We’ll get our best — though still inconclusive — estimate of how the Apple Watch is doing later today, when Apple has its quarterly earnings call. Ahead of that, though, analysts are continuing to churn out their own figures regarding how Apple’s debut wearable device is faring thus far.
The latest people to play analyst roulette are research firm Canalys, who peg Apple Watch shipments at a very respectable 4.2 million units, meaning that Apple “easily overtook Fitbit, Xiaomi and all the smart watch vendors, despite the Apple Watch’s significantly higher pricing.”
This is considerably up from the 2.79 million units Slice suggested Apple has sold so far — sensationally adding that sales have plummeted by 90 percent since launch week. It’s much closer to 4.5 million units analyst Mark Hibben proposed, although it’s worth noting that Canalys is talking about shipments rather than sales. (Apple has traditionally been good at not overestimating demand, but it wouldn’t be the first company to do this.)
One thing everyone can agree on, however, is that Apple can still achieve more in terms of sales. Canalys argues that early Watch sales were hindered due to it missing the 2014 holiday season for launch, and suffering constrained supplies in the first two months it arrived. On top of this, there remain a few technical challenges Apple is currently grappling with.
“Improvements in performance, battery life and sensor integration are needed to make future models more attractive, but it is the quality of third-party apps that will determine whether the Apple Watch will be a long-term success,” says Chris Jones, VP and Principal Analyst at Canalys.
Despite this, a separate report published yesterday claimed that the Apple Watch has a 97 percent satisfaction rating among users — second only to the iPhone 6 (with 99 percent) and higher than both the original iPhone and iPad.