Only a day after IDC issued some sour comments concerning the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)'s Apple Watch, the company's CEO Tim Cook scrambled to quell anxieties. Apple Watch sales hit a record in the first week of holiday shopping, according to a Reuters report that quoted Cook.
Cook Upbeat On Apple Watch
While responding to an email from Reuters, Cook seems to have said the current quarter is on track for the best ever for the Apple Watch. The sell-through numbers, which refer to the number of units sold rather than stocked on retailers' shelves, created a new record, the report said.
IDC Issues Somber Apple Comments
A report released by market intelligence firm IDC on Monday showed that smartwatch market fell in the third quarter despite the overall wearables market growing 3.1 percent year-over-year.
The firm's estimate showed that Apple shipped 1.1 million Apple Watches in the third quarter, down notably from the 3.9 million units sold in the year-ago quarter. The company's share of the overall wearable market plunged to 4.9 percent from 17.5 percent a year ago.
IDC attributed the decline to Apple's decision to launch its second-generation watches in mid-September, which is toward the end of the quarter, an ageing line-up and an unintuitive user interface. However, the firm noted that the last two issues have been addressed with the latest generation of watches. Nevertheless, the firm believes Apple's success could be muted, given the challenges faced by the smartphone category.
Cook's Statement: More Than Meets The Eye?
Cook's email response, though reassuring, should be taken with a pinch of salt. Making sense of the comments, Jeremy Owens, MarketWatch's technology editor, clarified that sell-through represents the sales against the number of units shipped.
This takes the sheen off the "record number" Cook touted, as it suggests Apple sold the biggest percentage of smartwatches that were sent to stores. Also Owens cried foul over the lack of clarity offered by the phrase "record quarter for the gadget." It could be construed as a record for any metric, including revenue, profitability, unit sales or even sell-through.
All said and done, Apple investors seem to have taken Cook's statement at face value and the shares were up 0.7 percent at $109.94 in pre-market trading Tuesday.
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