Tim Cook has a secret about the Apple Watch, and he’s not any closer to telling us.
Apple’s latest quarterly earnings report for Q2 2017 was yet another big showing for the company, and CEO Tim Cook was, as always, pleasant and positive on the publicly-streamed conference call disclosing the financials.
But yet again, he left us hanging when it came to the Apple Watch’s exact sales numbers. Instead, he boasted that the sales of the smartwatch “doubled” from last year and lumped the wearable into the same revenue category as AirPods and Beats products (and even called Beats “wearables,” LOL). Cook, you know Beats are fundamentally different than the smartwatch that’s supposedly the top-selling product on the market, right?
Clearly, the Apple Watch is selling to some degree but it’s frustratingly unclear exactly how well.
Apple Watch sales nearly doubled year-over-year, from “we’re not telling you” to “We’re not telling you (x2).”
Ina Fried (@inafried) May 2, 2017
Time and again, Cook has neglected to disclose the exact sales numbers for the Apple Watch. The silence goes back to the first earnings call the device was available in 2015. Last year, Cook touted “a best ever quarter” for the Apple Watch in the lead-up to the holiday season without giving any concrete numbers, leaving us to depend on projections from market research firms to estimate how many units of the smartwatch were sold.
Later in the Q2 2017 call during the Q&A session, Cook doubled down on his denial to disclose true figures, calling the “Other Products” vertical “a really key product category for us” and again claimed the Watch sales doubled in six of the 12 top markets.
“When you begin to combine the watch revenues with the revenues for AirPods … and then add the Beats products that our customers really enjoy as well and look on the trailing 12 months, that business was well into the Fortune 500,” he said. He didn’t budge when asked for more details, saying only that Apple is “really committed” to Apple Watches and its other wearable devices.
Maybe someday we’ll find out exactly how many Apple Watches have been sold. Considering the state of the market, though, it might just have to be a postmortem report.