MarketWatch hack claims ‘Apple Watch sales plunge 90%’

“Sales of the new Apple Watch have plunged by 90% since the opening week, according to a new market-research report,” Brett Arends writes for MarketWatch.

“Apple has been selling fewer than 20,000 watches a day in the U.S. since the initial surge in April, and on some days fewer than 10,000, according to data from Palo Alto, Calif.-based Slice Intelligence,” Arends writes. “That is a sharp decline from the week of the April 10 launch, when Apple sold about 1.5 million watches, or an average of about 200,000 a day, Slice estimates.”

MacDailyNews Take: Gee, ya don’t say? Don’t all products with massive pent-up demand experience huge launches only to decline significantly once the initial early adopter rush subsides? Yes, of course they do. It’s happened with iMacs. It’s happened with MacBooks. It’s happened with iPods. It’s happened with iPads. And it’s happened with iPhones. It’s normal.

Don’t all products with huge supply/demand imbalances see sales declines precisely because when there is limited product to sell, there are limited unit sales? Yes, of course they do.

Arends writes, “Furthermore, two-thirds of the watches sold so far have been the lower-profit ‘Sport’ version, whose price starts at $349, according to Slice, rather than the costlier and more advanced models that start at $549.”

MacDailyNews Take: As if Apple (and anyone else with at least half a brain) didn’t expect exactly such a product mix. Arends’ disinformation is ham-handedly transparent.

Slice Intelligence: Apple Watch  sales estimates

Arends writes, “Slice bases its research on electronic receipts sent to millions of email addresses following purchases.”

MacDailyNews Take: Ooh, look at that dramatic, oh-so-worrisome “drop-off” that began in mid-June – or precisely when Apple Watch began arriving in Apple Retail Stores. It would seem that Slice is not seeing emailed electronic receipts from Apple Retail Stores to their customers. Shocker.

Near the end of his piece, and we do mean piece, Arends admits, “You’d expect sales of any new product to tumble after the initial bump (and the first week’s numbers are heavily weighted toward the opening day). But this fall-off in sales, if confirmed, nonetheless looks ominous.”

MacDailyNews Take: It only looks ominous when you fail to consider, out of ignorance or via malicious intent, Slice’s methodology or when Apple Watch finally hit Apple Retail Stores.

Full article (tucked behind donotlink) here.

MacDailyNews Take: Who paid for this hit-piece? Outclassed stupidwatch peddlers? Deep-pocketed Apple shorts? Who?

Last October, Apple stated very clearly that they would not be reporting Apple Watch sales figures:

We’ll be creating a new reporting category called other products. This will encompass everything we report in the accessories category today, including Beats headphones and speakers, Apple TV, and peripherals and accessories for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and iPod. In addition, we’ll begin to include iPod sales in the other products category, and we will also reflect sales of Apple Watch in this line item once it begins shipping in early calendar 2015. — Nancy Paxton, Apple’s Senior Director of Investor Relations

I’m not very anxious in reporting a lot of numbers on Apple Watch… because our competitors are looking for it. – Apple CEO Tim Cook

Oh, BTW, here’s a little something that Brett Arends scribbled for MarketWatch back in January 2011:

Here’s how it’s going to go down: First, scammers will go into the derivatives market and buy a bunch of put options on Apple shares. Puts are effectively a bet that a stock will drop quickly. Then they’ll send out word that Steve Jobs is terminally ill with cancer and isn’t expected to return to work. Simple. Easy. Free money.

(Above, substitute “Steve Jobs is terminally ill with cancer and isn’t expected to return to work” with “Apple Watch sales plunge 90%.” – MDN Ed.)

The stock will plummet. Nervous investors will bail in panic. The put options will balloon in value… The scam artists will cash out, and walk away What makes this possible is Apple’s refusal to say anything whatsoever about Jobs’s illness or his absence… Nature abhors a vacuum. And if Apple won’t offer details, that leaves the door wide open for others.

Brett sees the door wide open, an information vacuum into which he’ll happily take a dump. Don’t fall for his shit.

48 Comments

  1. Don’t know about calling for Tim’s head over this one, but I suspect Angela can’t be feeling too comfortable about how well she’s run this launch.

      1. Not sure if it was a screwup. More like a product in search of a market that wasn’t there.

        Products like iMacs, iPhones and iPods are awesome. The watch, not so much. I’m a big Apple fan and have zero interest in it.

        The more Apple tries to push this product, the more desperate they seem.

    1. It’s what I’ve been saying all along. There’s never been a pent up demand for the Apple Watch. There’s been brisk curiosity on the part of technology and Apple fans, but the general public has not been clamoring for an Apple Watch or any kind of smartwatch.

      The entire “wearables” space has primarily been promoted by analysts and pundits.

      Prior to the iPhone being announced people constantly said “I wish Apple would make a phone.” No one ever said to me, “I wish Apple would make a watch.”

      I had no sense of interest from the general public. In contrast people are already asking about the iPhone 6s.

      The Apple Watch is the most impressive version of a product I remain convinced people generally don’t want. It’s got to be more than that though. It’s got to solve problems for people, not just be nifty.

      Give it a couple of iterations. Hopefully it will get more of a chance than the Newton got. It was ahead of its time also.

      1. I think this is a short-sighted view for a couple of reasons:
        1. AppleWatch is Apple’s first foray into a new class of computing device and the beginning of ubiquitous computing.
        2. Instead of one “killer app” there will be several very significant, capable, focused apps in a number of areas, including health monitoring, fitness, and business apps. Additionally, as one respondent to this post already pointed out, folks who have been wearing the watch for a while have already integrated the watch into their workflows, and the watch is becoming, for them, indispensable.

        New, focused, markets will emerge for this device. Not everybody will want it, but as this new class of computing device develops the watch will be joined by a whole suite of devices, all of which interact seamlessly with the central computer, be it the iPhone (most likely) or a Mac.

        Apple is nailing the continuity features upon which this kind of device depends. For me, it has changed how I interact with my iPhone, how I receive and process notifications and how I respond to text messaging. When email reply capabilities are added with Watch OS2, this will be a big leap forward.

      2. I’ve just created the new Watch Law: As any thread involving Watch grows longer, the greater the likelihood that someone compares it to The Newton.

        TM, since you mentioned The Newton first in this thread (albeit nicely!), you have nearby ended this discussion of Watch! 😉

    2. Everybody’s PO’d about the launch. How was it not perfect? Everyone was in a frenzy, people stayed up until ungodly hours to order, people waited months to receive the watch. People WAITED; they didn’t go buy something else, and the market wasn’t immediately saturated.

      You’ve got to understand that unavailability simply makes the product more desirable! Apple learned this lesson long ago, and they play people like a musician plays an instrument. The best thing about every Apple product for most people is always “I have one, and you don’t, and you can’t get one!”

      This product rollout was more extreme than any thus far, and may have pushed the envelope; however, once again, it appears to have worked.

  2. Oh behave. apple hasn’t released sales figures for the Watch, so how can someone say ‘they’ve plunged’?

    Considering it is an entirely new product ‘class’, I’m pretty confident Apple has sold more than Rolex, Breitling, Tag, Omega, Swatch etc, so why no Rolex sales plunge, Breitling sales plummet. . ?

    Watches are not the same as smartphones. They have an entirely different ‘appeal’. Apple Watch has sold well and I love mine. Best Watch I have ever had (and I did like my Rolex).

      1. That doesn’t matter. Analysts predicted around 30 million AppleWatch sales. If Apple doesn’t sell that many then it will be considered a failure even if they only sell 10X what other companies sold. Apple is judged by different standards than most companies. Investors definitely will be disappointed with lower than expected AppleWatch sales and the share price will drop.

        Apple investors are nothing like Amazon or Google investors where hope springs eternal. Any product sales less than expected means Apple has lost its way. I don’t make up these rules but that’s how it is. A lot of people want Apple to fail, so they’re doing their best to convince others.

        I feel sorry for shareholders who bought Apple earlier this year, but it doesn’t mean anything to me who has owned the stock for more than ten years. However, when Apple became the world’s highest valued company by a huge margin, I thought it would earn Wall Street’s respect. I was wrong.

        1. Since Apple pre-announced it wasn’t going to break out watch sales five months before the watch came out – lumping it into an omnibus “other” category, unless they like the sales enough to brag at some point, we’re not likely to be able to test your theory.

          Smart move on Apple’s part. Why help the competition target anything and you’re pre-protected if the new category falters by having made the move long before it had a chance to do so.

    1. Anyone, like myself, that waited to try on the Apple Watch at the store knows there still is a back log. It took more than a week to get my stainless steel Apple Watch with the black wrist band shipped. And what about the new country locations that are still coming on line.

      This is just another clueless idiot or manipulator. Move along. Nothing here but another pile of BS. Just check your lead time. When you can walk out of an Apple Store with any watch on the day you pick one out, you may be just at the point that Apple is matching the demand.

      Idiot!

      1. Still waiting for the Watch to arrive in our stores. Nothing. Not even rumors when it might happen. Guess, maybe this fall. Probably Christmas or a bit later. Not kidding.

  3. Emotions are running high on Apple Watch sales figures. If the watch was a Google or worse, a Samsung product then Wall Street will be claiming this to be a massive success. MDN makes a solid point on natural tapering of sales. It happens to any product — especially given that this is an entirely new category with the market slowly warming up to it.

    1. True, but an average of 20K units per day is “only” 7.3M per year – possibly around 10M including the initial sales surge.

      Some people are predicting 30M units or more – roughly 82K units per day average. That is a big difference.

      I don’t know what the truth is, and Apple has elected not to break out those numbers. So the speculators are running rampant. I don’t put any stock in their musings. If they were any good, they would be independently wealthy and taking care of their own business.

      Meanwhile, I am just holding onto my AAPL and watching it trend upwards over time. It may not be instant wealth, but it works if you give it time.

      1. Am I missing something? The article said 20k per day not month. At 20k per day, even if all are the $349 Sport version, that’s still $209million per month, or $2.5billion per year. I’d like to have that problem.

    2. Plus the Slice data (such as it is) is US only, no? And meanwhile the watch just hit more countries this week, right? With many more to go.

      So that 20K is likely 60K (at least) and growing right there. Which is a >20M units/yr pace.

      Even my mom would be happy, if that was my kind of “failing”… …lolz…

  4. Apple has been reticent to quantify sales data. Embarrassing silence apparently. Apple only need to produce the data that proves sales of Apple Watch are ” fabulous” and “beyond our wildest expectations”. So far – nada.

  5. After WWDC with the announcement of software changes to the Watch, I might wait until the fall too. In addition, the Watch is an ideal Christmas present.

    To be fair, give the Watch a year. I’m betting on over 50 million watches by then. That won’t “move the profit needle” of a 180 Billion dollar company but it isn’t too shabby by any other metric.

    As for me, the combination of the Watch, iPhone and iMac with “handoff” saves me valuable minutes on a daily bases. I really like to be able to click on the iMac to answer a call. I’m beginning to really like to quickly message with the Watch. It’s integration of the products that becomes compelling. It’s hard to explain. In addition, I’m using Airplay more and more between the iPhone and Apple TV.

  6. Angela should be held responsible for this. The rollout sucked. Even though the NYC stores have them for sale they won’t sell them to you unless you placed the order online. and thats backfiring on them. I want the watch- but only if I can walk in and go out with it. and I think there are others that are waiting for the health applications that still aren’t there.

    1. You can go into a store and walk out with one now. They did it online only because they didn’t have enough product to stock all the stores! If selling things online equates to failure then Amazon must be the biggest failure ever.

    2. Last time I looked angela wasn’t responsible for production. You can’t blame sales for not selling what isn;t available.

      New product, new tooling, first time assembly issues, unknown buying profile. All will change with version 2 – but not so much and the release will be a bump not a new production line.

      Too early to get revved up about it.

      No ‘Dick Tracy’ killer video call feature.

      Remember the difference between iPhone Gen 1 and Gen 4S,

      The critics are way ahead of themselves.

      ( however, Apple could help everyone by not making $3 dollar colour straps cost $50 )

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