Apple announced its second quarter earnings today, up 38 percent supported by big sales increases in China and strong iPhone demand. The company did not break out Apple Watch sales, lumping them instead with Apple TV, Beats products, and iPods. Sales for that group of products grew 49 percent in the second quarter, to $2.64 billion.
CEO Tim Cook said watch sales were exceeding the company’s projections, which he did not share. He said that “sell-through” of the watch was higher than that of the iPhone and iPad at this point of their evolution, and noted that the watch was still available only in 680 locations — fewer than 1 percent of the outlets where the iPhone is available. (This is somewhat disingenuous; no plans have ever been publicly discussed to sell the watch through cell phone stores or the mass retail market.)
[UPDATE: The Verge notes that the “Other” category accounted for $1.7 billion last quarter. In an interview with the AP, CFO Luca Maestri said that watch sales were “well over” the difference between this quarter’s $2.64 billion and last quarter’s $1.7 billion. So with more than $1 billion in watch sales at what analysts are estimating an average sale price of $450-ish, and you’ve got at least 2.2 million watches — probably more. Maestri told the New York Times that watch sales in the first 9 weeks outpaced iPad’s first 11 week; Apple had said previously that it sold 3 million iPads in that period. For better figures than that, you’ll have to wait for reliable analyst numbers in a few weeks.]
Sales of iPhones, which are required to make the watch work, may something of a leading indicator of watch sales. If that’s true, the watch’s prospects are good: Apple sold 47.5 million phones in the June quarter, up about 35 percent from the same quarter in 2014 in what is normally a down quarter for phone sales.