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On the Defensive, Tim Cook Gives a Different View on Apple Watch Sales

That iThingy You're Wearing
December 6, 2016

According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple Watch sales are doing just fine, thank you very much. His comments to Reuters come a day after technology research firm IDC said that Apple Watch sales have fallen 71 percent year over year.

Responding to an email, Cook says that Apple Watch sales to consumers set a record during the first week of the holiday shopping season and that the current quarter is on track to being the best ever for the wearable product, which first arrived in stores in April 2015.

At issue are the gadget’s sell-through, which is a measure of how many units are sold to consumers versus how many are stocked on the shelves.

Cook explains:

Our data shows that Apple Watch is doing great and looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year …

Sales growth is off the charts. In fact, during the first week of holiday shopping, our sell-through of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product’s history. And as we expected, we’re on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch.

Tim Cook

Tim Cook

On Monday, IDC said that Apple sold just 1.1 million Apple Watch units during the July through September quarter. This compared to the 3.9 million units IDC claims that were sold over the same time period one year earlier.

Apple never announces actual Apple Watch sales numbers. Instead, the company lumps the earnings into an “other products” category that also includes devices such as the iPod and Apple TV.

Cupertino announced the Apple Watch Series 2 in September, although most models, including the new Nike+, weren’t available until October.

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