Apple Watch first-year sales were a failure: 10 million units sold, while Apple had planned for 40 mil

Apple Watch first-year sales were a failure: 10 million units sold, while Apple had planned for 40 mil
Jony Ive, the famed Apple designer behind iconic products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad, is leaving the company and his departure seems to have opened a can of worms, stirring suspicion that Apple's design team is left dispirited and the company is run by operations specialists rather than innovators.

And while time will give the best answer to those concerns, a fascinating report by the Wall Street Journal reveals a bunch of interesting details about the inside process at Apple.


The report points to Ive being the one who pushed for the miniaturization of the iPhone experience into the Apple Watch, despite concerns from other executives that such a small device will not have the compelling apps to convince people to buy it. Those disagreements were eventually shut down by Tim Cook who approved the project and what followed were a few years of time when Jony Ive threw himself into the project.

Ive was behind the rectangular design of the watch and also oversaw the software interface, meeting with software engineers almost daily and helping come up with the signature hexagonal grid of apps on the watch.

Ive diverged with other top-level executives on how to position the watch which he saw as a fashion accessory, while the other side viewed it as an extension of the iPhone. Ultimately, what happened was a compromise as Apple sold the Watch tethered to an iPhone, but also launched an exquisite gold version that was priced at up to $17,000.

But here is the interesting detail: within the first year, Apple Watch sales did not meet internal expectations at all. Apple sold 10 million watches against an internal forecast of 40 million sales!

The gold Apple Watch might have been the most hurtful loss as thousands of these watches ended up unsold.

Shortly after, Jony Ive told Tim Cook he wanted to step back from daily management duties.

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22 Comments

1. tedkord

Posts: 17408; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Heck, there were people in these forums predicting 80-100 million.

3. whatev

Posts: 2318; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

But they were right about this becoming the best selling wearable

6. tedkord

Posts: 17408; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Which is like being the best selling Bavarian polka album.

10. apple-rulz

Posts: 2182; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Still though the Apple Watch sold much better than your beloved Sammy watch. So dance to that teddy.

17. oldskool50 unregistered

Actually its because ewe aren't stupid enough to buy everything Samsung makes, just because they made it. Smart watches are stupid, regardless of brand. And yes I own one because it offers something I liked. It had cellular from day one, Apple just now getting it. I don't care if Samsung sells more of them than Apple. I know I have a better option. For one, I prefer round watches. I have 2 day battery life which you can't get on the iPhone or Apple Watch. I have Samsung Pay which works with NFC and MST, I can use standard watch bands and more. Only fanboys care about sales, and only when their sales are higher. How come you can't brag about the device itself? Lots of companies can sell garbage.

18. apple-rulz

Posts: 2182; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Stop replying because I refuse to read your spelling error infested essays. Stop wasting your time.

20. whatev

Posts: 2318; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Why are you still trying Techie? Did you know you’re annoying and weird af?

21. iczer

Posts: 160; Member since: Oct 14, 2015

So what? Apple was expecting to sell 40 million and they sold 10 million... what a Failure LOL.

22. whatev

Posts: 2318; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

That failure is selling way more than the competitors, what are the others then? :)

23. whatev

Posts: 2318; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Which is like being the bestselling wearable, outselling all android and tizen wearables :)))))

2. scarface21173

Posts: 700; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Not much inovation going on at Apple hq anymore, right from the horses mouth.

4. TheOracle1

Posts: 2329; Member since: May 04, 2015

The iFive will come along soon and tell us the WSJ is fake news and Apple actually sold one billion of them.

5. LawnBoy

Posts: 196; Member since: Feb 23, 2019

Glad this guy is gone. When has Apple made a product that looked better than the competition?

7. tedkord

Posts: 17408; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

The iPhone 4 through 5s.

16. oldskool50 unregistered

Almost never!

9. iloveapps

Posts: 855; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Remember android fans saying this gonna fail. They don’t have money to buy.

11. apple-rulz

Posts: 2182; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

They're upset the Sammy watches have failed to sell.

15. oldskool50 unregistered

Really? They sell. They just aren't selling like Apple. But so what. Only fanboys liek you talk about sales, only when they are in yoru favor. Because it butt hurts you to know, Apple has never sold more phones than just Samsung alone, and they never will. And that the iPhone 11 is gonna drive Apple sales down to 150-170M for there next fiscal year. We don;t buy products based on how many an OEM sells. They are suppose to sell their product. But that's all you can hang on too, because you can't brag about the hardware because it garbage. Lots of companies sell cheap junk from China. Apple is one of them.

19. cosmo100292

Posts: 7; Member since: Jul 01, 2019

Why would Android fans be mad that a Tizen device failed... Good try though..

12. TechNeck

Posts: 655; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

It's not that they don't have the money to buy it, they prefer the opposition. That's why you see some people spend $1K+ on higher end Android models such as the S10+, the 3 XL, and the V50 ThinQ 5G instead of paying $1K+ on a base line iPhone with only 64GB.

13. Topcat488

Posts: 1416; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

I hope they finally make a round watch that us grown-ups can wear. O.o

14. oldskool50 unregistered

What sucked most about the first Apple Watch is, Apple hyped a bunch of BS they said they were going to have and they didn't do any of it. Then after delays, it took 3 years to long, when you consider Samsung was already on its 3 gen model and the Gear S had cellular capabilities from day one. Apple 3 years later didn't even have cellular capabilities is total BS. Then the price was higher than the Gear S which had cellular capabilities. Sure, the Gear Slooking like a small Ga;axy device may have been a bit much, but it still had far and away more functions vs the Apple watch. How did the first Apple Watch be less than Samsung's original gear watch which was terrible. But ti had a nice camera on the wristband, which people will claim once apple brings that, that Apple was first. They shouldn't have sold any. It looks like one of those toy watches you win in those crane games. Now the Series 4 is nice. But VZW forcing me to buy an iPhone just to get one is BS. I want the Watch by itself. Too bad you can't even set it up using an iPad. That is total BS too. At least with the Gear, I can install Samsung's gear app on ANY Android device and setup a gear device. Doesn't matter if its a tablet or phone. With Apple you can only use the iPhone. That is stupid. $10,000 for the Watch edition, was total greed when you consider the watch had barely an ounce of actual gold in the mixture. I rather have a Rolex. At least I get real gold, real diamonds and real workmanship and quality.

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