No one outside Apple knows how many Apple Watches the company has sold since the product was released this past April, but in recent months there have been signs that sales have been disappointing.
On Apple’s August earnings call, Tim Cook was cagey about reporting concrete sales numbers for the Apple Watch, opting instead to include them in the “Other” category that includes Beats headphones, the iPod, and other accessories. And in July, a key Taiwanese parts supplier for the Apple Watch reported lower-than-expected volume for the third quarter, and low expectations for the fourth.
This afternoon’s Apple event offered further hints that the much-hyped watch has disappointed. The first has to do with sequencing. As the first product discussed, the Apple Watch was the undercard, the warm-up act for Apple’s more popular offerings. More notable, though, was the substantively fuzzy, but otherwise extravagant language Apple executives used when discussing the watch. “For many people, the Apple Watch has been life-changing!” Cook said at one point. “We’re on an incredible pace of innovation!”
Apple usually likes to point to tangible successes when introducing its products. When Cook started in on his iPhone pitch, he led with its swelling international market share, bragging about growth in emerging markets, especially China. “These are the most popular phones in the world!” he said.