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Apple Inc. (AAPL) Watch Best Buy Launch Is an Awful Sign

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watch

Apple Inc. newest product is the Apple Watch but it doesn’t appear that the new product is living up to expectations. The firm’s CFO, Luca Maestri hinted that revenue from Apple Watch was “well over” $952M.

Apple In.c (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watch

Apple  CEO, Tim Cook was full of praise for the product when he said that Watch sales exceeded the firm’s expectations. The tricky part is that no one outside of Apple knows what those expectations are; hence, it is hard to know if the Watch fared well or otherwise.

Based on Apple’s secretive nature about sales figures, Wall Street has busied itself with the task of figuring out how many Apple Watch were sold. Analysts’ estimates on sales figure ranged from a low 2.85M units to a high 5.7M units. The consensus number seems to agree with estimates from Strategy Analytics that Apple most likely sold 4 million units of the Watch.

Recent Data Suggests Apple Watch is a Flop

Despite the consensus estimate for sales of 4M units of Watch, hard data suggests that the firm probably sold fewer watches than expected. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple Watch sales are not pretty based on data from supplier numbers.

The WSJ reports that Taiwan’s Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE) said it didn’t meet breakeven expectations on Apple Watch shipments. ASE is the firm behind the chips and sensors in Apple Watch; hence, its shipment figures are reflective of watch sales.

Mark Li, a research analyst with Bernstein Research was quoted saying that ASE failed to reach its break-even volume of 2M units per month in the Q2. ASE said the shipment is not likely to rise up to that break-even level in Q3 and it is doubtful that the situation will be any different in the fourth quarter.

The third quarter is usually a busy period in production lines as suppliers gear up for increased holiday sales in Q4. Hence, ASE’s negative outlook for the third and fourth quarters suggests a weakness in Apple Watch sales. In the words of Mark Li, “The shortfall of Apple Watch is a disappointment… We came in with a low expectation but below break-even still surprised us.”

Apple is Desperate for Sales with Best Buy Deal

Last week on Tuesday, news broke that Apple has struck a deal with Best Buy to have the Watch in its stores and on its website starting from August 7. The firm’s decision to have Best Buy carry Apple   Watch goes contrary to the exclusive sales model that required people to pre-order the device online, and then schedule a pick up at an Apple Store location.

The low supplier figures and Apple’s deal with Best Buy suggests that the Apple Watch is a flop. In essence, the first “original” product from Tim Cook’s firm since the demise of Steve Jobs has failed. You can expect the bears to come out with a vengeance.

That, combined with shifting conditions in the wider market, might put pressure Apple on stock in the weeks and months ahead.

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Victor Alagbe is a seasoned business and finance writer with a specialty in writing about how to invest for the long-term in healthcare, pharmacology, energy and tech stocks. His long-term focus is on stocks that provide a nice mix of growth and income. For the short term, he passionately writes about trading stock options for the excitement and leverage that stock options offer.

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