About three months after the Apple Watch became available for sale, Apple Inc. has sold about 2.97 million of the wearable device online in the U.S., generating $1.19 billion in revenue, according to data from Slice Intelligence, a digital commerce measurement firm

Slice tracks online orders of the Apple Watch by monitoring emailed customer receipts. The firm has access to 2.5 million consumers’ receipts and bases its estimates off of that sample size, says Kanishka Agarwal, chief data officer at Slice. Slice is only tracking online Apple Watch purchases, although by late June consumers could purchase the wearable in-store, Agarwal says.

Consumers ordered 1,323,201 Apple Watches on the first day Apple began taking orders for the smartwatch, April 10, according to Slice data. Between April 11 and April 30, consumers ordered an average of 61,932 Apple Watches each day. Average daily orders have steadily declined since. In May, consumers ordered an average of 21,614 each day and in June 14,549 watches daily. Since June 24, daily Apple Watch sales have not hit the 8,000 mark.  

The falling sales are normal for hot, electronic items, especially when the brand takes orders in advance, says James McQuivey, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc. The watch is still on track to sell 10 million units by the end of 2015, he says.

By comparison, it took Apple two years to sells 1 million iPods, McQuivey says. Still, Apple sold 80 million iPads in its first two years. The Apple Watch, however, is different than the iPod and iPad, as it depends on another smart device—the iPhone—to function, McQuivey says. And that makes sales comparisons difficult.


“Much of Apple’s watch success will depend on if Apple can convince consumers they they need an all-body network, we won’t know until Apple tries to add more devices, such as earpieces and eyeglasses, to that network,” McQuivey says about the potential of consumers buying more smart wearable devices for their body.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The slowing in Apple Watch sales is exactly the slowing that all successful pre-order devices experience,” he says. “Companies like Apple use pre-ordering as a way to frontload demand for planning purposes, but it also sucks the air out of the first few months of sales.”

It’s also important to note that, these numbers don’t take into account upcoming holiday spending in Q 4, which accounts for 60% of electronic sales, McQuivey says.


It’s not uncommon for consumer electronics sales to triple during the fourth quarter as compared to the rest of the year, adds Angela McIntyre, research director at research firm Gartner Inc.

“A lot will depend on Apple’s marketing efforts to promote the watch for holiday gift giving,” McIntyre says.

“Anyone who tries to suggest it is a flop is ignorant of historical sales,” McQuivey says.

Agarwal attributes the slowing sales to the Apple Watch now entering the mass market, since the fanatics and early adopters already ordered their device.


“The mass market is saying, ‘Let’s think about this carefully. There are other options out there. Now the watch is available in the store; let’s go check it out,’” Agarwal says.

While fitness bands and monitors are the most popular wearable devices, smartwatches and other non-fitness-specific wearables, such as the Apple Watch, have not caught on as quickly, says Catherine Boyle, senior mobile analyst at market research firm eMarketer. Apple Watch can track fitness metrics for the wearer, such as the number of steps she takes in a day, but unlike the Jawbone or Fitbit doesn’t market itself as mainly a device to improve physical well-being. The Apple Watch is also more expensive at $349 for its sport version, compared to a $75 Fitbit and $60 Jawbone device. Plus, consumers can control those wearable devices with either an iPhone or Android phone, or on a desktop.

“An analysis of consumer survey data suggests manufacturers, specifically their marketing teams, still have significant work to do in convincing the average person that a smartwatch is as worthy of their time and money as the other smart devices already in their possession,” Boyle says.



Follow mobile business journalist April Dahlquist, associate editor, mobile, at Mobile Strategies 360, @Mobile360April

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