Apple is still being pretty cagey about exactly how many Apple Watches it has sold since the wearable premiered in April, but a new report suggests that the device is doing just fine in the all-important Chinese market.
Shanghai-based research company RedTech Advisors estimates that China has more than 1 million Apple Watches in use, and it reached this number in a mere 17 weeks.
The Apple Watch has been on sale in China since the first wave of pre-orders on April 11, and the hyper-expensive, gold-plated Edition model proved to be an immediate hit. But we haven’t gotten much of a sense about how well the device is selling in general because even Apple won’t share those numbers. The estimates coming out of China are encouraging, however.
“Now that the Apple Watch is easier to get in China, we’ve seen a significant ramp in users,” said RedTech co-founder Michael Clendenin. The company’s data says that on August 23, the number of people who had activated their Apple Watches reached 1.07 million.
These numbers are significant because they are a more accurate indication of sales than a count of units shipped. While the latter figure represents vendors’ expectations of how many watches they expect to sell, the former indicates how many people have actually purchased and are using the smartwatch.
All we’ve heard from Apple head Tim Cook is that Apple Watch sales are “exceeding expectations,” as he said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call back in July. Another research firm, IDC, estimates that Apple has sold about 3.6 million units of its latest gadget since launch, which would mean that China accounts for almost 30 percent of total sales.
We aren’t sure if Apple will keep up these numbers, but the Apple Watch’s regular expansion into additional countries and the upcoming holiday shopping season definitely won’t hurt its bottom line.