The analysts’ mean estimate says one thing, the median says another.
On the second anniversary of the Apple Watch’s release, it’s still a fact that nobody outside Apple really knows how many units it sells each quarter. Tim Cook resolved early on—for competitive reasons, he says—to keep those sales numbers close to his chest.
That hasn’t stopped some of the braver analysts from making educated guesses.
I’ve heard from 11 so far this quarter—six Wall Street professionals and five independents. With estimates ranging from 1.6 million to 3.4 million, there isn’t what you would call a consensus. There is, however, a numerical average: about 2.6 million, 200,000 fewer than last year.
Plotting the average estimates, this is what the last eight quarters look like:
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Below: The individual analysts’ estimates, pros in blue, indies in green. Note that despite what the the average says, more analysts expect unit sales to grow year over year than not.
Click to enlarge.
It’s likely that Apple won’t release a unit sales number when it reports its quarterly results on May 2—a week from today. But the size of its “Other revenue” category, where the company buries Watch sales, may tell us something about who was closest to the mark.