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Apple Finally Breaks Its Silence on Apple Watch Sales. Just Kidding.

Did Apple sell a kabillion watches? Who knows?


Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke effusively Monday about how consumers have embraced the Apple Watch on social media; he waxed rhapsodic over how developers had delivered some 3,500 apps for Apple’s first new gadget category in five years.

“We can’t wait to see more of the inspiring apps that developers dream up for the Apple Watch as we head into our developer conference six weeks from now,” Cook told analysts on a conference call to discuss Apple’s March quarter financials.

What he said almost nothing about was what everyone wants to know: Actual sales.

The Cupertino technology giant has been unusually tight-lipped about sales of the smartwatch, which went on sale April 24. Some have speculated that Apple is keeping mum for competitive reasons. The company also appears to be dealing with supply constraints, given the four-to-six-week delivery delays for those who placed online orders.

Cook told analysts that it typically takes Apple time to ramp up production for a new device. But he said the company is in a “good position” and should begin to sell the device in additional countries in late June.

Bernstein Research technology analyst Toni Sacconaghi resorted to a bit of Kremlinology, asking whether analysts should ratchet back forecasts for the Apple Watch based on the dearth of superlatives used to characterize demand for this latest product.

“I’m thrilled with it,” Cook responded, “and I don’t think you should read anything [into it] other than that.”

Whenever consumer demand is so much greater than supply, as was the case with earlier product introductions like the iPad, Cook said Apple declines to make long-term forecasts. Nor would he provide an explanation for why the Apple Watch’s margins are projected to fall below the company’s 38.5 percent to 39.5 percent guidance for the company as a whole in the June quarter.

“We’re not going to guide,” Cook said.

In the absence of the familiar Apple press release touting some sales milestone, outsiders have been happy to fill the void.

One shopping data firm estimated 957,000 people in the U.S. preordered an Apple Watch on the first day it was available, based on its panel of two million online shoppers. Slice Intelligence reported that 62 percent of consumers bought the less-expensive Apple Watch Sport model, based on e-receipt data from 9,080 online shoppers.

Wall Street analysts similarly have posited that Apple surpassed the one-million-unit mark with the device.

Apple has been building anticipation for its foray into wearable computing for months, with profiles of lead designer Jony Ive discussing the inspiration for the watch and a 12-page ad spread in Vogue positioning the device as a fashion accessory.

Cook put in an appearance at the Apple Store in Palo Alto, Calif., Friday, where he declared that online sales that began April 10 were “great.”

On Monday, Cook did not specify just how great.

This article originally appeared on

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