Tim Cook Touts ‘Off The Charts’ Apple Watch Sales Disputing Recent IDC Report

Market research firm IDC put a damper on the smartwatch category noting that basic wearables such as fitness bands are taking over as the wrist accessory of choice among consumers. It also predicted that Apple's success in the smartwatch sector going forward "will likely be muted" as it comes off a down quarter with year-over-year decline in Apple Watch sales. If that's the case, then why is Apple CEO Tim Cook so high on the smartwatch category?

Simply put, Cook views IDC's assessment of the category as being flat out wrong.

"Sales growth is off the charts. In fact, during the first week of holiday shopping, our sell-through of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product's history. And as we expected, we're on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch," Cook said.

Apple Watch 2

Cook declined to offer up specific sales numbers for the wearable, though he insists that Apple's data shows the Apple Watch is "doing great" and is on pace to become "one of the most popular holiday gifts of the year."

It's not surprising that Apple saw an uptick in sales during the holiday shopping spree that takes place starting with Black Friday and running into Cyber Monday and beyond. But from Apple's perspective, not only was there an uptick, an internal analysis of the sales numbers has the Apple Watch ending the year with a bang with a record quarter.

IDC estimates that Apple sold 1.1 million Apple Watch devices in the third quarter of 2016, a whopping 71 percent decline compared to the same quarter a year prior. If IDC's numbers are correct, Apple would now sit in fourth place in the wearables category, behind Garmin (No. 3), Xiaomi (No. 2), and Fitbit (No. 1).