Apple is set to report its fiscal third-quarter results today (July 21) after the market close.
As usual, the most important numbers will be Apple’s iPhone shipments—Wall Street analysts are expecting around 50 million—and its forecast for the fourth quarter. If there’s a sign that iPhones are still selling well ahead of their expected “6S” update in September, investors will be pleased.
But Apple will also give its first report on Apple Watch sales, after its new gadget launched this past April in nine countries.
Apple’s disclosures could be minimal. The company has already said it would group Watch revenue in its “other products” category, which also includes the iPod, Apple TV, Beats Electronics, and accessories businesses.
Apple has not revealed unit shipments for its “other products” since reclassifying its product categories this year, so don’t expect numbers now. And CEO Tim Cook has said Apple is in no hurry to announce Watch sales figures or provide any detailed results for competitive reasons.
But the revenue will still be there. And the “other” category has been in a relatively steady decline over the past couple of years.
Over the past four consecutive quarters, revenue from “other products” has declined about 6% over the previous year. That points to revenue of about $1.6-1.7 billion for the June quarter—before the Apple Watch is figured in. Any spike upward, then, would likely reflect the Apple Watch. One analyst, Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty, projects “other” revenue to reach $3.1 billion for the June quarter. If our assumptions are close, that’s a rough doubling of that category.
As for trying to guess Watch unit shipments, that depends on the mix of Apple’s differently-priced collections shipped over the quarter. But a reasonable estimate is probably somewhere around $500 to $700 per watch, reflecting the popularity of the Sport model, which starts at $350, relative to the higher prices of Apple’s other versions.
Along those lines, every $1 billion in extra “other” revenue implies roughly 2-3 million watches. Another $1.5 billion, then, suggests about 3-5 million watches, which seems plausible. Let’s not expect confirmation from Apple, though.