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Apple Watch sales: we make sense of the dramatic decline in demand

Apple Watch sales: we make sense of the dramatic decline in demand

Apple Watch sales have declined by a dramatic 90% since the device’s first week on sale. That’s according to research from Slice Intelligence in the US that paints a grim picture of the performance of Apple’s first foray into a new product category since 2011.

Word is Apple is selling just 20,000 watches a day across the pond, sometimes as low as 10,000. That’s a vertiginous fall from a high point of 200,000 in the first seven days of availability.

Of course, a drop off after launch is to be expected. No company, even Apple, can sustain such high numbers for more than a few days.

apple watch edition

The iPhone and iPad have suffered the same fate, although the drop off in those flagship products is generally gradual and happens as the year wears on.

This research, however, points to something a lot more worrying. It seems that the Apple Watch’s novelty factor has worn off quickly, as users struggle to understand just why they need it and how it can add to their daily tech experience.

If their smartphone can already do it, why bother getting a smartwatch at great expense?

Apple will not have been helped by extremely constrained supply, which has seen it only just start fulfilling some orders placed in April.

Apple Store black and white

The device only went on sale in high street stores at the end of last month, and even then only select models were available to buy.

The reasons for the lack of availability are shrouded in mystery, although some reports have suggested Apple had to bin thousands of finished watches after discovering faulty Taptic Engines had made it inside.

Then there’s what can only be described as a botched launch process.

There was one pre–order date and a separate launch day, despite the fact the watch was only available online and had sold out by the time the latter date came around.

apple watch force press

Not putting it in stores seems to have hampered Apple more than anyone could imagine.

With users unable to just walk and play around with the watch, Apple lost a core part of its retail experience.

The beauty of any Apple store is the fact you can go in and try stuff out, no questions asked.

Of course, Slice’s figures are just one piece of research. But the longer Apple maintains its silence regarding official sales figures, there's going to be plenty more speculation about how well, or how badly, the watch is doing.

Apple store spiral staircase

We should know more when Apple reveals its April to June results in the coming weeks.

But failure to add Apple Watch sales stats to its charts detailing the health of the iPhone, iPad and Mac could mean the watch is doing worse than anyone could have imagined.

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