1M Apple Watches Sold in China
Have you ever wondered exactly who is buying all those Apple Watches that the company claims to have sold when no one you know has purchased one? Thanks to a data analysis firm, now we know where at least a million of them have wound up.
TalkingData monitored more than 80,000 mobile apps to estimate that over 1.07 million Apple Watches have been sold in China. How did TalkingData arrive at this number? One of the apps monitored was WeChat, China’s most popular chat application with over a billion registered users.
The Apple Watch is currently on sale in 19 countries and China is one of the tech giant’s biggest customers. Just last month Apple CEO Tim Cook promised investors that business in China was just fine and if that figure of 1M+ holds up, he’s telling the truth. Apple is in the process of increasing its retail presence in China, doubling its number of stores to a total of 40 in 2016.
The bad news for Apple is that a large portion of those sales happened shortly after the replica watch was released and demand has diminished in the months since. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich has been carefully tracking internet searches of the Apple Watch and last month stated that the device is trending lower. He estimates that Apple will sell a total of 20 million replica watches in fiscal 2016 and that most of them will be sold in the US, UK, Canada and Hong Kong. Milunovich noted that “China is difficult to read, though Hong Kong can be a good indicator.”
Is the relative success of the Apple Watch in China an indicator of what will happen over the next year or two? Demand from China was an important factor in the high sales numbers for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus so maybe the country can work the same magic for the Apple Watch.