Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has put together a very different kind of launch for the Apple Watch. Without lines the media is having difficulty in finding an angle to report on the full launch of the new device, without availability in stores customers can’t truly equate Friday April 24 with a real launch.
Because of the way the Watches are being delivered, it will be almost impossible this time around to know how many of the devices have been sold. The best estimates will come in the weeks ahead when market researchers figure out how to measure the activity of the devices.
Apple Watch numbers hidden
Tim Cook has already told the world that he probably won’t reveal sales numbers for the Watch, and so far the Cupertino, California company has kept mum about its latest product launch. It’s unlikely we’ll hear any thing on Monday, April 27, either, so we may be forced to wait until June to actually know the number of Apple Watch units in the wild.
Guesses about those numbers range from Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray’s low of 8 million in 2015, to the 40 million Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research reckons that Apple will be able to sell this year. Tim Cook says he’s keeping the real figures hidden in order to keep them out of the hands of competitors.
As Reuters says today, the lack of a real launch will obfuscate popular demand for the Apple Watch. With Tim Cook hiding the numbers in the company’s earnings report, that may be entirely intentional.
Apple’s Angela Ahrendts keeps secrets
It’s not clear why Tim Cook thinks it’s important to keep Apple Watch numbers secret from competitors when iPhone and iPad numbers are routinely shared, but the decision may come from Angela Ahrendts, the Apple vice president in charge of retail. Ahrendts is an expert in fashion retail, and she may be more guarded about sales numbers as a result.
Coming from British fashion house Burberry, Ahrendts may have a history of keeping the numbers from her business to herself. Fashion companies don’t typically go out of their way to inform investors of which exact product lines are doing well. In a world where configurations are easily copied they don’t want competitors to know what to aim for to attract attention.
The Apple Watch is fashion
The Apple Watch is much more of a fashion item than the iPhone or the iPad, and form is definitely coming in over function in many ways. The secrecy surrounding the Apple numbers is probably part of that. The company is now acting more like a fashion business than a tech one, at least when it comes to the Apple Watch.
Tim Cook is going to keep that transformation close, however, to avoid alienating his loyal fans. The Apple Watch isn’t fashion, it’s the most personal device ever.