Well-connected analyst cuts Apple Watch 2016 shipping estimates by 15 to 25%

Well-connected analyst cuts Apple Watch 2016 shipping estimates by 15 to 25%
In a note to investors, Ming-Chi Kuo, a respected analyst with deep Apple connections, has cut shipping estimates for the Apple Watch by 15 to 25 percent. 

Previously, Kuo had estimated that Apple will ship between 10 to 10.5 million Apple Watch units by the end of the year, but now his estimates have been cut to 8.5 to 9 million units. These numbers include both the original Apple Watch, now called the Apple Watch Series 1, as well as the new smartwatch model, called the Apple Watch Series 2.

Interestingly, Kuo has raised his shipping estimates for the Apple Watch Series 2 by 10 percent. However, the analyst doesn't believe that this will make up for the slowdown in sales of the Apple Watch Series 1.

Last year, Apple is estimated to have shipped 10.4 million Apple Watch units in just eight months of commercial availability. If Kuo's new estimates turn out to be accurate, then Apple will sell about 19% fewer smartwatches this year despite having three additional months of runway.

According to Kuo, this decline in Apple Watch sales is due to several factors. Among them, Kuo mentions the lack of hit apps, poor battery life, as well as a heavy reliance on the iPhone. Here's a comment from Kuo's recent note to investors, captured and reposted by Apple Insider:


Moving past this, Kuo does not believe that Apple's partnerships with big retail brands such as Nike and Hermes will increase demand for the Apple Watch.

Fitbit remains the leading wearable device manufacturer, with shipments continuously on the rise despite the introduction of the Apple Watch. Kuo's downward revisal of estimated Apple Watch shipments for 2016 is yet another indication that the average customer has yet to be sold on the smartwatch concept. While the Apple Watch (like all Android Wear competitors) aim to accomplish a number of tasks, Fitbit's dedicated fitness trackers are far more efficient in achieving their goals, as simple as these might be. Kuo mentions:


What do you guys make of all this? Where do you stand in the simple fitness wearable vs complex but failed smartwatch battle?

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13 Comments

1. EC112987

Posts: 1213; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

I love my original Apple Watch but those minor upgrades aren't worth forking out another 400 dollars.

8. sgodsell

Posts: 6902; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

It comes down to the Apple watch still very reliant on the iPhone. Even 3rd party apps still require the iPhone. Even with Native support in watchOS 3. Developers still have to create an iPhone app. Other watch OS platforms like Pebble, Android Wear, and Tizen have real 3rd party watch apps with standalone capabilities.

2. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

I am not a fan of sport bands like the Fitbit. They look too much like bracelets and if I had to wear a wearable it would need to do more than fitness.

3. cdm283813

Posts: 424; Member since: Jan 10, 2015

I bought a Apple Watch series 1 but I should have went with the cheaper first gen when Best Buy had them at $219. I don't see a huge difference and if that's my take I really don't see any reason why first gen owners should update. And the mass market still needs convincing.

4. surethom

Posts: 1618; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Or simply & more logical the sales are done because the existing users don't need to upgrade a smartwatche every year so sales are down.

5. Fona13A unregistered

I don't see why anyone would buy this over the Gear S3 anyways.

6. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

because its apple?

7. Fona13A unregistered

Just the very convenient features in the S3 that is nowhere in the latest Apple watch. Apple played it way too safe, a round face would take drastically better advantage of the OS interface.

10. iC-118

Posts: 260; Member since: Sep 29, 2016

The Sony S2 is really nice looking.

12. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Or even a Gear S2.

9. darkkjedii

Posts: 30836; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I'm waiting for the S3.

11. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

What do you expect. Hardly anyone bought the first one. At least 50% of them are still sitting on shelves at retailers.

13. willard12 unregistered

What do you mean? There was a 3 x month wait to get the first one. You had to try it out in the stores and couldn't buy it or you had to do a long pre-order. In fact, it was $350 for the smallest version with an aluminum case. So now, because that same model is $219, are you alleging that Apple created false hype by limiting inventory at launch and people who are easily swayed jumped on the hype train. No way. Apple would never do such a thing upon the launch of a new device. Better yet, people would never be so naive to fall for it. On top of all that, you can send heartbeats to people.

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