Apple Watch: Analysts anticipate fifth straight quarter of >40% growth

Exclusive to Apple 3.0.

Nobody outside Apple knows for sure how many Watches have been sold over the past three years. Tim Cook resolved early on—for competitive reasons, he says—to hold those sales numbers close to his chest.

That hasn’t stopped some of the bolder analysts from making educated guesses.

I’ve heard from 14 so far this quarter—six Wall Street professionals and eight independents. Their guesses range from 3.9 million to 7 million. Average estimate: 5.4 million, an increase of 42% year-over-year.

That would make it five straight quarters of better than 40% growth.

To see that in context, click on “Year-over-year (%)”  in the chart below.  Not seeing the whizzy interactive graphic? Click here.

Below: The individual analysts estimates, pros in blue, indies in green.

watch estimates q4 2018

My take: I don’t expect Apple to release a unit sales number next Thursday, when it reports its September quarter results. But the size of its “Other revenue” category, where the company hides Watch sales, may tell us something about who was closest to the mark. I’ll be monitoring the earnings call, and you can too. Click here.

Once again, Neil Cybart, who submitted the high Watch estimate nine months ago, has the low estimate today. In a note to Above Avalon ($) subscribers Wednesday he explained:

Watch demand likely trailed off during the summer ahead of Apple’s big September event. It would not be surprising if Watch demand slowed somewhat materially at the end of August and early September given the rumors of a more substantial Watch update coming in the pipeline. The result: Watch unit sales may be a bit contained in 4Q18, although that should not be used as a demand indicator for 1Q19.

7 Comments

  1. Gregg Thurman said:
    But the size of its “Other revenue” category, where the company hides Watch sales, may tell us something about who was closest to the mark.

    I don’t see how. Low unit sales with high ASP could look very similar to high unit sales with low ASP. Given that other is comprised of several products and taking into account we don’t have factual data points on which to base our estimates, all we are going to learn is that Apple sold some quantity of AW at some unknown ASP.

    0
    October 26, 2018
    • Mark Visnic said:
      But we will have a very good directional idea Gregg.

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      October 26, 2018
  2. Fred Stein said:
    The Watch is a big deal. It will sweep up other functions, just as the iPhone swept up music player, camera, application software, games (but still in its infancy), and video viewing.

    Why buy a fitness tracker when you can buy Apple Watch and get much more all in one device. The Watch will become the default senior safety device. It will become part of medical research and clinical trials.There is a style / accessory aspect. Parents may buy them for kids safety (I’m just guessing). The Watch plus AirPod combo makes a great MP3 player, especially for runners, hikers, etc.

    2
    October 26, 2018
    • Mark Visnic said:
      This series 4 watch is the biggest deal of all of the Apple watches because it has a “killer” function that will save lives for an entire category of people, many of whom wouldn’t know they were in the category without it. As that fact becomes more apparent, it should lead to an entire demographic segment determining that a $400-$500 insurance policy with loaded functional benefits and uses is a no- brainer “must have”. I mean, of course, the FDA approved ECG. Even better, it will not be the last of the “killer” functions on this life-saving wearable; And that is a win-win for both shareholders and consumers.

      0
      October 26, 2018

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