To critics, Tim Cook’s defense of Apple Watch falls flat

“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.]


    1. “MacDailyNews Take: Of course, the IDC “report” used the worse possible period for Apple Watch. Of course. That’s why it’s FUD.”
      “Best defense would have been no defense.”

      IDC is an anti-apple propaganda tool of Microsoft and Wall Street. Apple can’t allow intentionally misleading articles to go unchallenged.

  1. Unfortunately, defense is a new territory for Apple. When introducing new products, they are typically run away successes (think iPhone, iPad). Yes, Apple has had failures (the G4 Cube – a from factor I still like to this day). But, I am referring to new product paradigms (the first smart phone coveted by the masses and the birth of the modern tablet). While Apple certainly has the best smart watch on the market, I still sent mine back (I purchased and Apple Watch 2). It just doesn’t feel like a complete product to me. That seems to be the issue with all smart watches. Apple has always been able to convince me that I needed their products. Even after owning an Apple Watch, I still don’t know why I need it. It doesn’t replace my phone and I can get my fitness data from a much cheaper device. Convince my Apple.

    1. The G4 Cube did not fail because of it’s form factor. It simply was priced to high at the time and it was not an enough performance to value proposition at the time. I agree completely with you on the Apple Watch. I am yet to be convinced that I need one.

      I use two fit bits, a Fitbit HR and a Fitbit One. The One is very well made and designed. The thing has even been thrown in the wash with no ill effects. However the HR is crap. It so cheaply made that I only use it during exercise. It had to be replaced once because the first one just came apart.

      1. Hi everyone,

        @crisrod63 – I wasn’t insinuating that the design of the G4 Cube caused it to fail. As stated in my post, I like the design, to this day. The point I was trying to make, was that the G4 Cube was considered a failure due to poor sales.

        @The Other Steve – The time period I was referring too, was post 1997; after Steve came back and Apple’s renaissance began – to present day. Post 1997 Apple, under, regardless of leadership has had far fewer failures that successes. I was just trying to give an example of a failure.

  2. What else does Apple has to sell this holiday season? The iPhone 6SS or 6SS Plus? Snooze. The over-priced and flawed MacBook Pro? Snooze. Other Macs that haven’t been updated in years? Snooze. iPads that haven’t been updated in a long time? Snooze. The $300 coffee table book? Snooze.

    No wonder the Watch is doing better than anything else.

  3. Sometimes, saying nothing at all would be a better way to address critics – especially if you have no numbers to back your defense up.

    Critics baying at the moon are quickly forgotten. Addressing them gives them power and exposure they would otherwise not have.

    Jobs knew that. Apparently no one currently understands that.

  4. Can’t wait for Apple’s next quarter results.

    My guess: Off the charts

    Unfortunately, many of the naysayers will abound by their rhetoric. Regardless of the fact that their mothers and/or spouses are still waiting for them to take out the garbage as they continually promise to do.

    1. You must have very small charts.

      Look, if Apple wants to impress investors its gonna have to report sales on each product it sells. The fact that it does not reinforces the view that the Apple Watch hasn’t come close to making back its development costs.

      The few remaining Cook defenders, show us your expert calculations since you refuse to respect idc.

      After that you can tell us how well the trashcan Mac sells, how well Apple TV sells, how much Apple is making on dongles, and why Apple’s hottest selling laptop is the one in the discount bin that doesn’t need them. It’s not nearly the joyful holiday that Apple could have provided.

  5. Watch is doing about as well as I thought it would, which is not that great at all. I believe there really just is no big market for wireless yet.

    To this day, no client or associate or friend has asked me about the Apple Watch. It has not captured the imagination of the public, nor has it seriously broken into the watch fetish world.

    In my opinion it is an unattractive device, but I’m a watch freak. If it doesn’t look like an Omega, I don’t want it. Watches should be round. When I do see it on people’s wrists it looks cheap, like something that came out of a carnival claw machine. It looks like a toy. It also looks like a ladie’s watch.

    As far as functionality is concerned, it’s got some tricks, but nothing that solves any problems I have. I just don’t buy the idea that it saves me time from the 1 or 2 seconds it takes to check my phone. Health is still the killer app.

    The new Samsung Gear is much more attractive, it’s round, and the dial on the watch beats the crap out of Apple’s jumble of icons. No wonder Apple is patenting a round wearable.

    As far as being an Apple product in general, who here wouldn’t have wanted to see those R&D dollars and manpower go into a new MacPro?

    1. From a design standpoint, I think it looks cheap because it is too rounded. High end watches actually have finely machined edges and angles with flat surfaces. I’m not a designer, but I’ve always thought that fine watches are the pinnacle of precision machinery, and therefore need to look like a machine. The complete opposite of the organic appearance of the Apple Watch.

  6. I happened to sit next to a woman in Subway store and saw her paying with the AW, asked how she likes it. “This was given to me by my company, first I didn’t like it, but there was 15 minute training every day for 2 weeks and I think it’s great.” What do u use it for? “It’s used for performance tracking, we get lot of notifications and have to respond quickly. I love the Apple Pay, my wallet is almost the size of iPad mini and I have a iPhone 6 Plus with a keyboard case. It’s a great sports watch and I love it when I can match the wrist bands with my clothing and style”. The most used or coolest app? “That’s the camera remote control, I use it all the time for product demo shots. Also the Just Press Record is handy. Gotta go, bye”. I didn’t get to ask what she did for living, but she looked like a Mary Kay lady, or maybe selling clothing and accessories, or shoes, which btw looked awesome.

    I also met a girl with a strange job title, Notifications Manager, 😀 She said she is mainly using their own App but also WeChat, and helping the work force which most (about 30) have AW’s. “It’s very inconvenient for them to use their iPhones with customers”. Which made me blurt out “Because they are naked?” which she responded:”Huh, NO, they are working with water in spa facility, mainly retired people. They will get name and other info since the customers have only their wristband number. Now lot of customers also have their AWs to track their heartbeats and as a SOS device”.

    That’s really what I see the AWs used for, it’s a tool for people that have their hands full.

  7. I think Tim Cook knows a lot more about the sales within Apple versus any stupid ass critic. Critics can fall dead as far as I’m concerned because half the time they rely on data trends that don’t actually reflect reality. Like suppliers, parts vendors and so on.

  8. Seriously. Its the stupid thing ever. What are you all too fucking lazy to lift up a phone?

    Pointless first world issue. Idiots with too much money that have nothing better to spend it on.


    1. What is so lazy, stupid or ignorant about sitting down for dinner at home or out with family, friends or colleagues; being in the middle of a meeting; or in the middle of your job, and getting discreetly notified thru a glance at your wrist vs picking up your ringing phone?

      But then you did do one thing properly. You defined the definition of MORON. That is You

      1. You need to keep up with all your super and very important news and messages during dinner with your Family.

        Its the fall of Rome. And you are a tech-placated peasant.

    2. Moron, it’s dangerous to pick up a phone while riding 20 mph on a crowded bike path.

      But it’s easy to glance at your Apple Watch heart rate display to make sure you aren’t exceeding the limit your cardiologist put on your heart rate.

  9. The only reason I now have the Watch is that Target had the Series 1 for $198. For that price I can justify it as a fitness tracker.

    It’s not a must-have, but being able to answer calls and reply to texts when I leave my phone in another room is nice. Plus Weather Underground’s motion radar on my wrist is sweet (lots of storms here in FL).

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