In March it was revealed that Apple had overtaken Samsung as the world’s most popular smartphone manufacturer. In the fourth quarter of 2014, the combined sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus reached a total of 75 million - up from 50 million the year before.
There is, then, reason for Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, to be happy with how things are going at the moment. At the company’s fiscal second-quarter earnings call in April, he was more than happy to discuss iPhone sales figures, but when the Apple Watch was mentioned, he did all he could to sidestep the issue. This won’t come as a surprise to a number of technology publications, like Forbes, which felt that the Apple Watch would probably follow a similar path to the Google Glass - a necessary innovation to pave the way for future iterations.
In that sense, the Apple Watch can’t fail. Its release has highlighted where they went wrong - many people have pointed to the watch’s design as an issue, and gives them a chance to make changes, something which wouldn’t have been possible if the Apple Watch hadn’t been released earlier this year. Yet, with Business Insider reporting that the product had sold-out within 10 minutes of its release - it begs the question as to why the Apple Watch’s sales have dried up so quickly.
Forbes reported that Pacific Crest Securities Analyst, Andy Hargreaves, had cut his 2016 sales estimate from 24 million to 21 million, with product reviews mixed and consumer interest in the watch lower than the iPod, an MP3 player which has been on the market for over a decade. UBS also slashed its shipment projection by 23%. These figures are fairly damning for the product and highlight that it’s failed to hold the public’s attention.
Due to this, defining the Apple Watch’s success within such a short timeframe should be avoided. Like the Google Glass, Apple’s first wearable instalment should be looked at as a platform for future models. Apple will also argue that the watch’s sales have been much more impressive than that of the Google Glass.
The Apple Watch’s impressive sales figures at the time of its release can, in part, be put down to the select few who need to own the latest tech. The Apple Watch hasn’t failed, but Apple’s definitely going to have to do more to win over the rest of the public.