Apple Watch: Neil Cybart vs. IDC

Who ya gonna believe?

Above Avalon‘s Neil Cybart, who tracks the wearable market as closely as any analyst I know, has a running beef with IDC, which tracks all sorts of markets. He believes IDC’s estimated Watch sales numbers are way off.

How off? For Q4 2016 (Apple’s fiscal Q1 2017) the gap between his and theirs reached 1 million units. See chart:

Not seeing the interactive graphic? Try the website. 

In his latest blog and podcast, Cybart goes further. He throws in an estimated 1 million AirPods to declare Apple “the new leader in wearables.”

See also: Apple 3.0 Podcast: The Neil Cybart Story.


  1. George Providakes said:
    These estimates are always just that estimates. Unfortunately, they never provide the error bars. For example 4.5 Million of something plus or minus a 1 sigma number of 250, 000 uncertainty.

    Since there is little to no evidence that ANY analyst has the rigor that captures these numbers it is difficult to compare, assess, or judge. I get particularly amused and at times confused when the numbers have more a than 2 significant digits. This focus on Precision vs Accuracy remains a hallmark of random guesses.

    March 5, 2017
    • David Emery said:
      > never provide the error bars
      I have this problem with most reporting of samples and also with a lot of science reporting.

      March 6, 2017
  2. John Kirk said:
    Here’s the thing. Apple leads in whatever market they’re in.

    They only have 15% market share in smartphones, but pull in all the money (about 90 to 95%) and all the influential users.

    They dominate tablet sales. If is sells for more than $150, it’s an Apple tablet.

    They dominate smartwatches. The others are, are are becoming, a joke. Apple stands alone.

    They will soon dominate wireless earpieces. There’s plenty of options out there, but the A1 chip sets the Apple device apart.

    As has been noted over and over agains, you can’t judge Apple by a single product. You look at their software hardware integration. You look at their lock on the PC, the tablet, the phone, the watch and soon, the earpiece markets. You look at the services that people pay for because of Apple’s integrated approach.

    And let’s not forget Apple prowess with with semiconductors. The the A1 is just the first of many chips that sets Apple apart. The gap between Apple and its competition is growing wider, not smaller.

    In a time where people are predicting that Apple will go out of business in 7 years, Apple is dominating their industry like no other.

    March 5, 2017
  3. Fred Stein said:
    Agree on all points, John. Semiconductors merit extra attention. From the start of chip design to fully integrated high-volume retail products is 3 years; And it requires high margins to sustain the continued R&D.

    March 5, 2017
  4. Turley Muller said:
    We have been saying forever IDC is fake news.

    March 5, 2017

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