Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple Watch’s First Quarter

Daisuke Wakabayashi, in a Wall Street Journal article entitled “What Exactly Is an Apple Watch For?”:

When Apple Inc. started developing its smartwatch, executives envisioned a state-of-the-art health-monitoring device that could measure blood pressure, heart activity and stress levels, among other things, according to people familiar with the matter.

But none of those technologies made it into the much-anticipated Apple Watch, due in April. Some didn’t work reliably. Others proved too complex. And still others could have prompted unwanted regulatory oversight, these people said.

That left Apple executives struggling to define the purpose of the smartwatch and wrestling with why a consumer would need or want such a device. Their answer, for now, is a little bit of everything: displaying a fashion accessory; glancing at information nuggets more easily than reaching for a phone; buying with Apple Pay; communicating in new ways through remote taps, swapped heartbeats or drawings; and tracking daily activity.

Lorraine Luk and Daisuke Wakabayashi, also for the Journal:

Apple has asked its suppliers in Asia to make a combined five to six million units of its three Apple Watch models during the first quarter ahead of the product’s release in April, according to people familiar with the matter.

Half of the first-quarter production order is earmarked for the entry-level Apple Watch Sport model, while the mid-tied Apple Watch is expected to account for one-third of output, one of these people said.

Orders for Apple Watch Edition – the high-end model featuring 18-karat gold casing – are relatively small in the first quarter but Apple plans to start producing more than one million units per month in the second quarter, the person said. Analysts expect demand for the high-end watches to be strong in China where Apple’s sales are booming.

Analyst Ben Bajarin on Twitter:

I have multiple supply chain sources which suggest a lot more than 5m Apple Watches being built.

(Presumably he means in its first quarter.)

Finally, Apple, in July 2010:

The Company began selling iPads during the quarter, with total sales of 3.27 million.

“It was a phenomenal quarter that exceeded our expectations all around, including the most successful product launch in Apple’s history with iPhone 4,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPad is off to a terrific start, more people are buying Macs than ever before, and we have amazing new products still to come this year.”

So, the Apple Watch is an aimless gadget that doesn’t meet Apple’s expectations and is “struggling” to find purpose, which will sell at least five million units during its first quarter, which is 60% more than the number of iPads sold during that product’s first quarter, which was the most successful consumer electronics product launch in history at the time, and in the Watch’s second quarter, a terrific number of the presumed pricey “Edition” model will exceed one million units.

Either Apple executives have no idea how to run a company any more, or the Journal is trying to write the story line again.