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Shredding Slice data on Apple Watch sales

Probably one of the most commented news last Tuesday was the report of Slice Intelligence in which the Apple Watch would have suffered a 90% fall in its sales since its launch. No doubt these are figures that have surprised more than one and that lead to say that the Apple Watch is in trouble .

However, a number of aspects should be taken into account when talking about sales estimates, especially because of the way in which Slice Intelligence calculations have been made. That is why today we are going to break down the different parts to give a little more perspective to the story.

Slice Intelligence, before and after

Shredding Slice data on Apple Watch sales
Shredding Slice data on Apple Watch sales

For anyone who has been following the Apple Watch’s sales estimates, the name Slice Intelligence will ring a bell. It was the same company that published the sales estimates for the watch during the first weekend of reservations last April 10: almost 1 million units. At the time at Apple we said that:

The data collected by Slice Intelligence:

  • They measure only sales made through the Apple website.
  • They are noted in the purchase receipts sent electronically (email).
  • They focus only on the American market.
  • Its user sample is 2.5 million people in this country, according to its own website. More than enough from a statistical point of view.

In the first wave of the Apple Watch countries we had nine of them : United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong and Japan. In Apple’s latest financial results, it was estimated that China may have overtaken Apple’s domestic market in iPhone sales. Therefore, Slice’s data covers “only” one of the company’s main markets.

Every new product launch sees an initial spike followed by a drop

The report presented by the analyst firm this week says that Apple Watch sales would have fallen from around 200,000 per day during the online sales week to just 20,000 and even 10,000 per day by the end of June. More than 90% drop.

The Slice method is the same as that applied in the first report in April. That is, it measures the electronic receipts of a sample of 2.5 million people in the USA . The problem with these assumptions is that the Watch is no longer sold only on the web, since June 17 it can be purchased at Apple Stores. In addition, last June the Apple Watch was opened for sale in 11 more countries, including Spain and Mexico.

Is this enough to put both reports on the same level? The truth is that without knowing the official sales, Slice keeps trying to guess the sales. Before, he could do so with a high degree of certainty, but the new sales channels and the expansion of the launch mean that they no longer paint as complete a picture as they did in April.

Filling the gap left by Apple

Apple revelará los resultados de su tercer trimestre fiscal del 2015 el 21 de julio.

Apple’s CEO already said several quarters ago that he would not give details about the sales of the new product. The reason is still what we saw then. Apple has always disclosed two very juicy metrics for analysts: revenue by segment and number of units . Enough to deduce the average selling price, a data that gives a lot of information about the performance of a product.

It is clear that Apple does not want to divulge this variable, as it gives clues to the competition about the sales mix. If the number is very high, it would reveal that the market is willing to pay for smartwatches that are worth more (much more in the case of the Edition) than a high-end smartphone. Or the opposite, so they can adjust their own sales mix.

This is a “weakness” to which Apple has voluntarily exposed itself

Apple has always been transparent about sharing numbers as its products go. And analysts have used that data to estimate sales for other manufacturers, which in my experience are not usually so open to sharing details . There is now a gap where there should not be and will remain so as long as Apple is not forced by the SEC to disclose sales data.

It should also be noted that many analysts have made clearly exaggerated estimates of Apple Watch sales. Now they need to adjust their numbers downwards so as not to be exposed in their predictions. So the doom & gloom that is looming over the new Apple device has only just begun.

Sooner or later, Cupertino’s company will reveal the exact sales of the Apple Watch and we’ll see the real numbers. It will be interesting to see how the Christmas period impacts on the new device. Until then, we’ll have to settle for more or less accurate addition, subtraction and estimation .

At Apple

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