Analysts’ Apple Watch unit sales estimates are all over the map

“Tim Cook hasn’t done Wall Street any favors by holding quarterly Apple Watch sales numbers so close to his chest,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“Apple’s CEO has explained several times that he’s not announcing them in order to keep his competitors in the dark,” P.E.D. reports. “But as a result he’s also kept Apple analysts in the dark, and the effect is apparent in [their estimates].”

“Left to their own devices,” P.E.D. reports, “the 26 analysts I’ve heard from so far—16 Wall Street professionals (in blue) and 10 independents (in green)—have submitted estimates for last quarter’s sales with a range greater than I’ve ever seen for an Apple product: from a low of 3.1 million to a high 10.5 million.”

Apple's newest Apple Watch Sport models
Apple Watch Sport models

Read more and see the full list of analysts’ Apple Watch estimates in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Anecdotally, we know of several Apple Watches that friends and family received and gave as Christmas presents, plus we’re seeing Apple Watches out in public on some wrists besides our own now!

Juniper: Apple Watch has already cornered the smartwatch market – January 12, 2016
Apple COO: ‘Apple Watch marks the end of single-function wrist devices’ – January 7, 2016
Fitbit either doesn’t understand Apple Watch or hopes consumers won’t; neither is good for the company – January 6, 2016
Fitbit exec calls Apple Watch a ‘toy,’ Fitbit shares crater more than 13% after unveiling Apple Watch Sport knockoff – January 5, 2016
It’s official: The Apple Watch is destroying the so-called competition – November 20, 2015
As Apple Watch sales ramp, Swiss watch makers suffer biggest slump in six years – November 19, 2015
Apple Watch models take top four spots on 10 most-wanted smartwatches list – November 18, 2015
Apple Watch is 2016’s hottest holiday gift – November 18, 2015
Apple has already sold more than $1.7 billion worth of Apple Watches – October 29, 2015
Strategy Analytics: Apple Watch sells 4.5 million units in Q315, takes 74% global smartwatch market share – October 28, 2015
Apple Watch users are abandoning traditional watches – September 15, 2015
Over 1 million Apple Watches already sold in China – September 3, 2015
Apple Watch already dominates smart-wearables market, says IDC – August 28, 2015
IDC estimates Apple sold 3.6 million Apple Watch units in Q2 – August 27, 2015
Best Buy CEO: Apple Watch demand is ‘so strong’ that we’re expanding sales to all 1,050 stores – August 25, 2015
Swiss watch exports decline most since 2009 – August 20, 2015
Apple Watch takes 88% of total smartwatch revenue – August 14, 2015
Apple Watch kills a entire industry in three months – August 12, 2015
U.S. wristwatch sales post biggest drop in seven years after Apple Watch debut – August 7, 2015
Apple Watch dominates smartwatches with 75% market share – July 28, 2015
Juniper Research: Apple is world’s #1 smartwatch maker – July 23, 2015
Canalys: Apple ships 4.2 million Apple Watches in Q2 to become world’s top wearables vendor – July 21, 2015
Apple Watch satisfaction is unprecedented at 97%; beats original iPhone and iPad – July 20, 2015
Non-techies love their Apple Watches even more than tech users – July 20, 2015
Apple Watch is Apple’s most successful product debut ever – June 1, 2015


  1. It is not Apple’s, or Tim Cook’s job to work for Wall Street. If Apple believes that the exact number of watches being sold is proprietary information, and that its disclosure would be beneficial to competitors, then it is Cook’s responsibility to protect Apple and its shareholders – not make life easier for the assholes who call themselves analysts.

    One more thing, Apple’s chief competitor in the mobile market – Samsung – discloses NONE of its sales (or, in its case, shipments). Not smartphones. Not tablets. Not watches. But I don’t hear the analysts complaining about that. Perhaps that’s because it allows them to make up what are often totally delusional numbers for Samsung in their efforts to hammer Apple…

    1. I guess Apple and Samsung are more alike than different, with respect to transparency, that is. Still, if some people wish to report “delusional” numbers, so be it. Your guess is as good as mine or that of anyone else. If markets are driven by “delusional” thinking then why would anyone want to invest in companies that wish to hide the truth? Lies, rumors, speculation, and secrecy only make the market more volatile.

  2. In my opinion, apple’s approach is a great way to identify the better analysts – the ones that doe not need to be spoon-fed data that they then regurgitate as their own innate wisdom and insight that should guide your investment strategies. Once upon a time, analysts had to work at their craft. But far too many people who call themselves analysts nowadays appear to be lazy charlatans who are, at best, repackaging ideas and information from others who are more competent and, at worst, publishing speculation and fabricated estimates to make it look like they are doing meaningful work.

    When your job is to predict and estimate, shouldn’t you be held accountable for your skill and accuracy? I think so…

  3. As a shareholder, Apple’s management team DOES work for me.

    So no matter how much we hate the Wall Street casino, that’s the market. Apple managers are NOT looking out for Apple investors when they allow BS talking heads to spread misinformation. It is Apple’s fiduciary duty to set the record straight. Sales information is the simplest way to do this — it is about as non-political as one can get.

    So stop giving Apple a free pass on this. Secrecy is great for new product development, but it is NOT ACCEPTABLE to treat investors this way. This is just one more reason that large institutional investors are wary of Apple — because Apple gives shitty guidance.

    1. @Mike. Apple announced six months BEFORE the first Apple Watch ever shipped that they would not now (nor probably ever) be breaking out Watch sales, so if that policy were so repugnant, you could have bailed out of the stock at that time. Apple plays the LONG game in most of its products and has its good reasons for not blabbing (reporting) its sales’ numbers. If you want consolation, take heart in the fact that the most recent survey reports state that Apple managed to sale 50% of the total of all Christmas wearables whereas ALL of Android only accounted for 10%. Additionally, Apple WILL report sales of Watch indirectly, included under its “Other” category. Therefore, analysts can glean a lot of “color” (as they say), by comparing that $ number compared to prior periods.

      I wouldn’t worry too much about Apple’s future. Those of us who own and enjoy Watch (and talk to others about it (e.g. Wristly Survey results), know that Watch will be a HUGE hit over the next couple of years, locking in folks to iOS even more.

  4. The reason why Apple haven’t published sales figures for the Apple Watch is simple….figures have been bad! Why do you think they publish figures for the iPhone or iPad?
    Eat humble pie Apple 🙂

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