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Apple Supplier Numbers Suggest Apple Watch Sales Are Below Analyst Expectations

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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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We're all curious about how many Apple Watches Apple has sold, but with the company opting not to break out its Apple Watch sales numbers, all we have to go on are analyst guesses, information distilled from third-party sources, and tidbits of data that Apple has provided.

The latest data that hints at how the Apple Watch has fared comes from The Wall Street Journal, citing shipment information provided by analyst Mark Li from Taiwan's Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE) most recent earnings call. ASE is the company that builds the S1 package housing the many chips and sensors used in the Apple Watch.


An ASE subsidiary reportedly failed to meet its "break-even volume" of two million units shipped per month during the second quarter and does not believe it will meet that target in the third quarter, either. The company's failure to meet this target suggests the Apple Watch "is not selling nearly as well as some analysts expected," says The Wall Street Journal.
"The shortfall of Apple Watch is a disappointment," Mr. Li wrote in a note to clients. "We came in with a low expectation but below break-even still surprised us."

In an interview, Mr. Li said it is unusual for a company like ASE not to reach break-even volume during a typically busy period like the third quarter, especially when dealing with a new product.

He said that he now expects ASE to fall short of his forecast of shipping 18 million units this year, peaking in June.
Ahead of Apple's recent earnings call, analyst estimates of Apple Watch sales during its first quarter of availability ranged from 2.85 million to 5.7 million, averaging out to 4.07 million. After the call, many analysts adjusted their estimates, with the consensus largely changing to between 2.2 and 3 million units sold. Estimates continue to vary, however, with Strategy Analytics suggesting Apple sold 4 million units in a recent report.

During the call Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple Watch sales "exceeded [Apple's] expectations," despite supply continuing to trail demand at the end of the quarter. "We feel really great about how we did," he said. Apple CFO Luca Maestri hinted current revenue from the Apple Watch was "well over" $952 million, but he also did not provide insight into sales.

In the past, Tim Cook has warned against attempting to infer information from single data points from the company's supply chain due to its complexity.

Article Link: Apple Supplier Numbers Suggest Apple Watch Sales Are Below Analyst Expectations
 

MikeAnd

macrumors regular
Jan 8, 2008
102
100
An ASE subsidiary reportedly failed to meet its "break-even volume" of two million units shipped per month during the second quarter...many analysts adjusted their estimates, with the consensus largely changing to between 2.2 and 3 million units sold. Estimates continue to vary, however, with Strategy Analytics suggesting Apple sold 4 million units in a recent report.

Okay, Apple Watch was released 24 days into the second quarter, which means that ASE must have been shipping S1s to Apple during the entire quarter. 2 million units shipped per month means 6 million per quarter, but analyst estimates of watch sales only range from 2.2 million to 4 million to begin with. So failing to ship 2 million units per month isn't news...it's implied directly by all the estimates.
 
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Thunderhawks

Suspended
Feb 17, 2009
4,057
2,118
Why are people so hung about wanting to know how many Apple watches were sold?

Scenario 1) They sold well (darn it , competition and Apple haters are unhappy)
Scenario 2) They DIDN"T sell well (yay, competition and Apple haters are happy)

Everybody pick what scenario they like.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,259
27,962
I guess this company no longer wants to be an Apple supplier? Let's not forget this from the WSJ, January 13, 2013:

Apple Cuts Orders for iPhone Parts

Apple Inc. has cut its orders for components for the iPhone 5 due to weaker-than-expected demand, people familiar with the situation said Monday.

Apple's orders for iPhone 5 screens for the January-March quarter, for example, have dropped to roughly half of what the company had previously planned to order, two of the people said.

Tell me again why we should trust the WSJ? As Tim Cook said:

https://www.macrumors.com/2013/01/2...rying-to-interpret-supply-chain-order-rumors/
I suggest its good to question the accuracy of any kind of rumor about build plans. Even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to interpret that data point as to what it meant to our business. The supply chain is very complex and we have multiple sources for things. Yields can vary, supplier performance can vary. There is an inordinate long list of things that can make any single data point not a great proxy for what is going on.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,259
27,962
Why are people so hung about wanting to know how many Apple watches were sold?

Scenario 1) They sold well (darn it , competition and Apple haters are unhappy)
Scenario 2) They DIDN"T sell well (yay, competition and Apple haters are happy)

Everybody pick what scenario they like.
And what is the definition of "well"? Who decides? Is it 2 million? 3 million? Some crazy number a Wall Street analyst pulls out of their rear end?
 
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Poochi

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2010
875
236
Toronto
It's too bloody expensive! There are certainly other issues with it too but the one I liked (stainless with links) was $1400. That's more than the top model iPhone 6+.

That's what I bought. Worst purchase decision ever made.

Watch isn't "that bad", but not that great either to be worth the price. It's a nice gift to "receive for free" however.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,259
27,962
Not surprising given the internet chatter, lots of hype but as the things cooled down, reality set in. The more I think about the watch the more I like it, but I've had months now to mull things over.
It's not surprising that the WSJ would run with a report like this. Again they're the ones who ran a front page headline saying Apple had cut iPhone 5 orders in half. To which Tim Cook had to remind everyone that making assumptions based on supply chain chatter is stupid.
 
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easy4lif

macrumors 6502
Mar 31, 2005
385
503
Southbay CA
Still sold more than Samsung.


Doesnt matter if it sold more, buyer word of mouth helps these products the most.
The irrational haters have something to cling to!

Ive owned macs since 1998, 3 imacs 1 emac 1 macbook, 1 ibook 5 ipods 4 ipod touchs 1 iphone 5 lots of airports extreme. And i find no reason to plop 350 for this.
 
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