“Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook on Tuesday tried to punch back against a downbeat report on Apple Watch — but it was unclear is he landed any meaningful blows,” James Covert reports for The New York Post. “Cook said that Apple Watch is very popular and that “sales growth is off the charts.””

“The rosy outlook stands in stark contrast to a report from IDC released 24 hours ago that found that Apple Watch shipments plunged 71 percent in the third quarter, to 1.1 million units,” Covert reports. “Cook countered that sales of Apple’s wrist computer set a record during the first week of holiday shopping, and that the current quarter is on track to be the best ever for the Apple Watch, according to Reuters. Of course, the periods Cook focused on are outside the period included in the IDC report.”

MacDailyNews Take: Of course, the IDC “report” used the worse possible period for Apple Watch. Of course. That’s why it’s FUD.

“‘Our data shows that Apple Watch is doing great and looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year,’ Cook wrote in an email to Reuters. ‘Sales growth is off the charts. In fact, during the first week of holiday shopping, our sell-through of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product’s history. And as we expected, we’re on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch,’ Cook wrote,” Covert reports. “Critics countered, however, that ‘sell-through’ is merely an indicator of how many watches sold versus the number that were shipped to stores — a metric that says little about how many were actually sold.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If you wanted to make something look like a “failure” because you had a competing product and because you know that few people would want to give their loved ones a “failed” product for Christmas, you could try to use stats and “estimates” from certain periods (like before the next-gen product sales really hit) in order to do so. Just sayin’.

IDC’s latest crapfest – which lumps sophisticated $269+ smartwatches with under $20 fitness bands and measures a period guaranteed to be Apple Watch’s lowest sales period – sure seems like a bought-and-paid-for piece of FUD planted by a competitor. Of course, that might be ascribing too much intelligence to the rocket scientists at IDC (who, after all, predicted Windows Phone would be easily dominating Apple’s iPhone by now), so this is probably just another typical IDC cockup.

As we wrote a year and three days ago:

Mixing Apple Watches that start at $349 [now $269] with fitness bands that you can get for under $20 (Xiaomi Mi Band) is a goofy way to measure unit share, but, of course, if IDC measured anything correctly, we’d probably have a collective stroke.

BTW: Apple Watch also dominates online holiday revenue share, which lines up quite nicely with Cook’s statements regarding the product.

Apple Watch dominates online holiday revenue share – December 6, 2016
Apple Watch sales growth is ‘off the charts,” on track for the best quarter ever – December 6, 2016
Apple CEO Cook: Apple Watch sales to consumers set record in holiday week – December 6, 2016
IDC: Apple Watch sales fell 71% YOY in Q316 as Series 2 launched at end of quarter – December 5, 2016
Computerworld reviews Apple Watch Series 2: Delivers on first generation’s promise – October 21, 2016
Computerworld reviews Apple Watch Series 2: It’s time to jump in – September 27, 2016
Ars Technica reviews Apple Watch Series 2: ‘Great experience with very few hiccups’ – September 22, 2016
Mossberg reviews Apple’s watchOS 3: Quicker, easier, and more useful – September 21, 2016
CNET reviews Apple Watch Series 2: ‘The smooth wrist companion it was always meant to be’ – September 14, 2016
WSJ reviews Apple Watch Series 2: ‘Apple Watch finds its purpose in life’ – September 14, 2016
The Verge reviews Apple Watch Series 2: There’s something effortlessly cool about it – September 14, 2016
Apple Watch Series 2: Apple refocuses its smartwatch – September 12, 2016
Apple and Nike launch the perfect running partner, Apple Watch Nike+ – September 7, 2016

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]