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What's Up With the Apple Watch?

By Motley Fool Staff - May 5, 2016 at 3:00PM

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Reading between the very few lines provided by the tech giant to tease out what impact the product actually has on the company’s performance.

Apple (AAPL 1.62%) has been notoriously tight-lipped about its Watch since the product's typically splashy launch. 

In this clip from the Industry Focus: Tech podcast, with some hints from management and analyst estimates, Dylan Lewis and Nathan Hamilton attempt to discern just how much the product contributes to the company's business.

A transcript follows the video.

This podcast was recorded on April 29, 2016. 

Dylan Lewis: Another thing, this was not available when you were talking about Apple and doing the show -- the Apple Watch. (laughs) Unfortunately, we still don't know a ton about it, which is maddening. The company has been kind of infuriatingly opaque about the Apple Watch. On the most recent call, we got this: "Unit sales of Apple Watch during its first year exceeded sales of iPhone in its first year," which means they sold at least 6 million. Some analysts think it's closer to 12 million. ASPs are believed to be around $500. So, this business right now looks like a $3-$6 billion business. Not huge, but again, something to watch. It gets people more involved in their ecosystem.

Nathan Hamilton: By all business standards, that is a huge success. There are good things about the Apple Watch. I recall one article I recently read, where it said more than 50% of Apple Watch buyers just don't think the Watch has much value. It's important to put that into context. Is that the thinking now, and will that be the thinking two to three years from now, after they're able to iterate upon it? Maybe they add more health capabilities, controlling, I guess, Internet of Things sort of ideas, and controlling your home and so forth.

I think it could be a good idea, but when you have to look at it now, and what it means, I just don't think it's a huge success, even by Apple's standards. It almost feels a bit like the iPad. The iPad sales are trending down over the last 1-1.5 years, during that time frame. Still generates a lot of revenue, has high enough margin where you're getting cash flow. It's going to contribute to buying back shares, it's going to contribute to investing in the company and growth. But, I would like to see something a little more innovative out of it. And at this moment, I just don't see it.

Lewis: Yeah, the reception has been a little bit flat.

Hamilton: Yeah, it has.

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