Based on the number of times both terms were searched for on Google over the past three months, customers are less interested in the Apple Watch than they are in Apple’s virtually-abandoned relic, the iPod.
That’s according to Google Trends data published by Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves, whose latest note to clients has few kind words to say about Apple’s debut wearable device.
“After strong initial demand, follow-on interest in Apple Watch appears mediocre,” Hargreaves writes, claiming that Apple is likely to ship 11 million Watches by the end of September.
Describing the first generation Apple Watch as “leaning a bit too much toward ‘calculator watch'” in the looks department, Hargreaves says how “confidence is declining” in the product.
The Apple Watch “will need a big boost in functionality to overcome mixed initial reviews, if it is to become a mass-market device,” he concludes.
Hargreaves is no Apple hater. The bulk of his investment note, which we covered earlier today, focuses on the astonishing success of the iPhone 6 and Apple’s plans for the iPhone 6s. In fact, even if the Apple Watch does the (still solid) numbers he thinks it will, Apple is still in his good graces on account of its massive iPhone success.
But is his Apple Watch analysis fair? Certainly, it’s true that there has been a bit of an Apple Watch backlash as of late. Numerous users have reported selling their Apple Watches after owning them for only a few weeks, while headline-panicked tech writers are eager to compare it to other high-profile Apple “failures” of the past such as the Newton.
Personally, I’m not going to write it off so quickly. For one thing, Google Trends is not always the most accurate metric for estimating real-world impact, as was seen through the company’s disastrous attempts to use search term popularity to track the spread of flu. The most accurate metric is, of course, sales, which Apple no longer publishes for the iPod.
There are plenty of reasons customers might be searching for the iPod on Google, and it could have as much to do with recent headlines about the device’s demise as it does with customer interest in buying one.
The Apple Watch, meanwhile, has a few massive spikes in interest and is gradually on the rise — while interest in the iPod remains largely flat. The Apple Watch could still turn out to be a disaster, but it’s all but guaranteed to obliterate the 6 million units the iPhone sold in its first year. Given that the iPhone now sells around 10 million+ in the first weekend new models are on sale, I think reports of the Apple Watch’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
Are you ready to write the Apple Watch off just yet? Leave your comments below.