Analysts take stabs at secret Apple Watch sales figures

Place your bets! Analysts take stabs at secret Apple Watch sales figures

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And the roulette wheel of Apple Watch predictions lands on... zero? Photo: John Wardell/Flickr CC
And the roulette wheel of Apple Watch predictions lands on... zero?
Photo: John Wardell/Flickr CC

Apple is still being coy about Apple Watch sales figures, with Cook this week noting that, “We are not announcing the numbers” — but assuring people that the company has “shipped a lot” of Apple Watches, and that numbers continue to grow.

“This is competitive information,” he said. “I don’t want to help the competition. We shipped a lot [of Apple Watches] the first quarter, then last quarter we shipped even more. I can predict this quarter we will ship even more.”

But how many is a lot?

In his latest commentary, Fortune writer Philip Elmer-DeWitt shared the below chart; collecting not only a wide spread of amateur and professional predictions so far, but also averaging them out.

The blue lines refer to professional analysts, while amateurs are shown in green. As Elmer-DeWitt notes, the 2.5 million — 6 million spread is, “as wide as I’ve ever seen for an Apple product.” The numbers average out at 3.95 million for the last quarter.

That's quite a range of figures there!
That’s quite a range of figures there!
Photo: Philip Elmer-DeWitt

That figure would be enough to put the Apple Watch over both the iPhone and iPad in their first quarters. In the first quarter the iPhone was available, Apple sold just 0.27 million units. The iPad fared much better, with 3.27 million units in its first quarter — which places it much closer to the project Apple Watch numbers.

Anecdotally I’ve not seen nearly so many Apple Watches as I saw iPhones or iPads during their first year (I live in the U.K.), although there have been plenty of retailers describing the high demand they’ve seen so far — so I’m happy to be proven wrong.

Still, given that Apple has now opened up about Apple Music sales figures, it does seem kind of odd that they’ve given no indication whatsoever of how the Apple Watch is doing. Maybe next week’s earnings call will shed some light…