Watch Sales First Year

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by TallManNY, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. TallManNY macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    Quick trip down memory lane (at least according to a cursory internet search):

    iPod sales - 600,000
    iPhone sales - 6 million
    iPad sales - 7.5 million

    What do you think the watch sales will be?

    Note that we have the WSJ "report" about watch pre-orders by Apple being about 5 million for the first quarter. That report was firmly debunked as a fabrication because it included a statement that the Edition version was expected to settle into about 1 million per month. Obviously that is not going to happen with a minimum sale price of $10,000. I'm sure world does not has enough rich people to buy 1 million $10,000 smart watches per month no matter how good the watch was or how beautiful it is. And this watch isn't that good or that pretty.

    So the WSJ was either (A) made up, (B) a fake informant trolling the WSJ reporter, or (C) a legit informant who had very suspect and confused information, but was basically somewhat informed and making their best though misguided guess.

    In any case, I don't give much credence at all to that report.

    However, looking back at the initial launch of the various iDevices, I think you can see that relatively humble beginnings can lead to some amazing product lines.

    I'd also like to point out that I think the watch will sell for an average price point higher than both the iPod and the iPad. I don't know if it will meet the iPhone $600 price (which was the initial release price and I suspect (after subsidies paid by AT&T) about the price it continued to sell for as far as Apple was concerned). I think the Sport version is going to vastly outsell the rest of the line. In fact I'd guess that the Sport makes up for 70 - 80% of the unit volume. The SS making up 27 - 17% and the Edition 3%. Obviously these numbers are pulled out of thin air. And I suspect the Edition's percentage will decrease over the first year. Apple won't care too much about Edition numbers because the margins will be ridiculous for that version.

    The reason I have the SS at such at such a low percentage is that it is just too expensive. I think people will figure out pretty quickly that they can buy the Sport, add an aftermarket and unique band, and end up with something about as fashionable (and a bit lighter and more comfortable) as the SS version for a hundred dollars less. I think you buy the SS to have the metal band and the version with the metal band is just too much. I think folks will add a $50 metal band to the Sport watch.

    So lets play predict the future.

    The watch will launch to hype, long lines and sell outs. But it won't sell millions during its launch weekend.

    But, like in the Matrix, where everyone falls the first time, it doesn't mean this smart watch isn't the One.

    Media will announce it a dud.

    The watch will be useful, folks will like it, folks who have it will have new abilities. Let me explain what I mean by that. When I had the first iPod, I had an ability that no one else I knew had. I had thousands of songs in my pocket at all times. It was cool. No one I knew bought one to start out with. They didn't get it.

    I didn't get the iPhone first gen. Too expensive for me since I had a BBRY given to me and paid for by work. I couldn't justify the expense. But folks who had an iPhone suddenly had the internet in their pocket at all times. It was like a freaking knowledge sourcing super power.

    I got the first gen iPad. Now I had a device that both a baby and my 90 year old grand mother could use and find magical. It was amazing.

    But did any of these sell in huge numbers in their first year? Nope. Not like the numbers they sell at now. Folks had to figure out their usefulness. Yes the devices got better. But they didn't get THAT much better. I knew many people who could have afforded these devices during the launch year. But they didn't buy them. They bought later generation versions though. Not because those later generation versions were better. But because those folks figured out how the devices would be useful to them.

    That is what I think is going to happen with the watch. The first gen will be deemed a dude. And then in five years it will considered normal in certain demographics to own an Apple Watch and Apple will make vast sums of money sell watches.
  2. mailboxbetacoin macrumors 6502

    Aug 19, 2014
    how generous of you to publish this ebook for free
  3. troop231 macrumors 603

    Jan 20, 2010
    Also it's going to take a few killer apps to draw people in, and that will naturally come when the full native SDK is released and APIs are opened up.
  4. Rachel Faith macrumors regular

    Rachel Faith

    Apr 24, 2007
    I agree. It is premature and short battery life. Dud out of the gate, the Newton of iPads. And I HAD one of those too.
  5. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

    Dec 15, 2013
    New York
    Well if my math is right selling 100 watches priced at $10,000 would be one million in sales. That seems extremely do able. And Apple has watched that go up to $17,000.
  6. TallManNY thread starter macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    WSJ predicted one million Edition watch units per month. That would be $10 billion in sales per month if we are talking only about the lowest priced watch. That would alone (because of the insane margin on the sale of these luxury device) make the business of selling just the Edition watches more profitable than all of the profit made by Samsung in all its business lines.

    So WSJ was completely wrong in that regard.


    Yeah, it was kind of a lot of thoughts that I threw down. I was kind of shocked at how long it was after I submitted it and looked at what I had done. :eek:
  7. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

    Dec 15, 2013
    New York
    Sorry I misread :eek:
  8. betabeta macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2013
    The iPad sold close to 15 million in the first 12 months,
    April 2010 to March 2011.

    The 7.5 million was fiscal year 2010 which only include Apples 3rd and 4th quarter so only 6 months, April to September 2010. So 7.5 million did not include October to December of 2010 which it sold over 7 million.

    That being said, I think it's going to be huge, close to that 15 million in sales.

    China alone will push 5 million.

    First 80 days iPad 1 sold 3 million. I don't think :apple:watch will beat that.

    Problem is how many of those buyers will continue to use it? I think many will decide they don't want to wear a watch.
  9. TallManNY thread starter macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    Thanks. I had a feeling I was doing my internet research too hastily. My bad.
    I stand by my prediction though that the media will compare the watch sales to the current iPad and iPhone sales and declare it a dud. And that is even though I bet the watch outsells the iPad during that 80 day window you mention above. I'm very confident that it produces more revenue because I think the Edition price point is going to be a cash cow. But the initial reported numbers will be in units sold. In fact I'm looking forward to IDC comparing Smart Watch units sold disregarding the price point difference between an Apple Edition and a Pebble.
  10. JFazYankees macrumors 6502


    Feb 12, 2012
    While I hope the Apple Watch sells like crazy, I think it'll be lucky to hit a few million in its first year.
  11. camtechman56 macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2015
    Warren, pa.
    I think it will depend on the watch and if Apple comes through with the features it stated. They built the watch up to be a product that is both function and fashion, now they have to come through or people will lose faith, and if people lose faith Apple will lose business. So I guess it is in their court now.
  12. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    I think it will sell 5-10 million in the first year.
  13. Technodynamic macrumors 6502


    Jul 25, 2012
    I think it will be a 'success', perhaps not as popular as iPad however. Both were released in the spring time if I recall correctly.

    The watch will gain a lot of momentum in the fall when us hipsters are wearing ours around the world and people see it in public and want one. It will be 'the item' to buy from Apple during holiday time late in the year.

    I think the demographic least likely to buy with be the baby boomers, who contrarily, purchased iPads right away. Everyone wanted one of those. I think in time they will swing over as a buyer, but they need to see it in action and determine the value first.

    The 30 to 40 crowd will be the first adopters. It's expensive, but cutting edge. Need solid incomes to purchase one. Next will be parents buying it for their teens for gifts, then eventually the 45+ crowd buying it for themselves (mostly 2016).

    Just my gut and 2 cents. I'll guess 5 million units this year.
  14. matrix07 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2010
    10 million for the first full year is my number.
  15. profmatt macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2015
    I have two contradictory views.

    First, I have never been more excited by an Apple product. I've never before set my alarm so that I can order the second it's possible to do so. Surely everyone in the world will do this and Apple will sell millions in the first week.

    But second, although virtually everyone I know has an iPhone, no-one I know is planning on getting an Apple Watch and most of them think I'm being slightly ridiculous in even thinking about it.
  16. Technodynamic macrumors 6502


    Jul 25, 2012
    I've got a click of iphone loving IT people I work with. 3 out of the 4 have macbook pros. 4 of the 4 plan on getting an Apple Watch. 2 Sports, 1 SS and one still unsure.
  17. TallManNY thread starter macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    I'm pretty much right there with you. Basically everyone I know has an iPhone (6 or 5s). I'm pretty much the only person who has said they will buy the watch. I'm not pre-ordering as I can't decide between Sport or SS. To spend the money on the SS, I need to be convinced that this becomes my daily driver watch for the foreseeable future. Otherwise I will just get the sport. Changing from my Hamilton watch to the Sport will be just another thing that I do when I get home. I also take off my suit and put on jeans and sneakers, so I'm pretty much going through a whole process every night already. Changing the watch wouldn't add much to that process.
  18. Patriot24 macrumors 68030


    Dec 29, 2010
    I don't think we can really use iPhones or iPads as measuring sticks here, at least from a numbers perspective. There are no subsidies involved, it cannot replace a laptop, and other factors that those devices have that the watch does not.

    My expectation is that the watch sees modest success initially, followed by significant growth as the market becomes more clear and consumers understand the value of the product.
  19. JuryDuty macrumors 6502


    Sep 22, 2014
    While I think sales will be strong, I don't believe they'll be as strong as the iPhone or iPad sales. The difference is two fold:

    1) To use an Apple watch you must already own an iPhone (or buy one). For those other products you mentioned, there was no barrier to entry. The iPhone is a barrier to entry for the Apple watch.

    2) The watch still seems to many people as just an extension to the iPhone. It doesn't seem to have strong purpose outside of that and until people see the usability outside of being an iPhone extension purely for convenience, they'll wait to buy.
  20. Runt888 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2008
    I'm betting strong word of mouth will be crucial to watch sales. I've already sold two people on buying one sight-unseen just because of my excitement for it. Once people see you using yours, I'm guessing at least a few will buy one.
  21. Esoom macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2010
    I'll second that, and wouldn't be surprised if it's higher.
  22. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    AW doesn't have the luxury of time (no pun intended) given the full press PR Apple as put into the product and personal capital TC has used to sell it. If they kept it low key like the AppleTV then sure they could drag it on. It's either going to have respectable sales or the tech and financial press are going to come after Apple and the executives full-on.

    TC and Ive will especially be humiliated. You or someone else brought up the Newton. I agree it was a not-ready-for-prime-time device. Cool concept, poor implementation. Because Scully championed it, very similar to how TC is doing with the AW, he and the watch are done if initial 90 day sales are under 2 million.

    So then the question is how dumb is Cook and Ive and I'd say not very dumb at all. Surely they understand the stakes more than any of us -- stakes Sculley didn't have to contend with because Apple wasn't on the hot seat to come up with a new product. No one cared about Apple in 1993. Today's Apple is very different -- biggest market cap in the world. It has to show a post-Jobs money making product or Chicken Little investment money is going to cluck and maybe because Apple's sky IS actually falling.

    I find that scenario far fetched. AW will do just fine assuming Apple can get units on the sales floor while the impulse money is burning people's pockets. If selling stock is low and impulse momentum stalls then very plausible that AW fails and TC is done.
  23. Camusrieux macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2013
    Some interesting estimates on this thread—but will we ever really know for sure? Is Apple actually going to publish the number of units (not to mention the SS/Sport/Edition breakdown) they sell in each quarter, year, etc.?

  24. TallManNY thread starter macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    They certainly didn't make things easy for them to sell units with the prices. The Sport probably has a nice margin in it. I'd guess better than the cheapest iPad. But that is just a guess. But the SS probably costs just a few bucks more to make and since it starts at $300 more for the first one without a rubber band, the margin on the SS will be huge. And of course the Edition will cost $1,000 more to make because of gold and limited runs, but the margins will be even better due to $17,000 price for what I suspect will be the most popular options.

    But if the AWatch sells at the margins I think it has, then I think the stock will increase dramatically.

    I suspect they continue to report it in the "other" category with Apple TV for a bit to hide some of the economics. But it will swamp that category, so folks will be able to back out the numbers. They will, of course, not announce the break down between models or bands. I don't know if the App developers get enough info from the watch to be able to tell what model it is beyond size, but maybe we will be able to tell from that sort of info.
  25. rasputin1969 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2010

Share This Page