Apple Watch

At One Year Old Is Apple's Watch a Flop? Not Exactly.

At One Year Old Is Apple's Watch a Flop? Not Exactly.
Image credit: Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
2 min read
This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine

The Apple Watch celebrated its very first birthday Sunday.

And for many tech critics, the anniversary wasn’t exactly cause for cheer; the smartwatch was widely criticized for its often frustratingly slow speeds and unoriginal features. The debut model, many have said, is a flop.

It isn’t a “breakthrough product,” the critics moan, and people just aren’t wearing it. Some birthday present.

But despite all the grumbling, the watch’s first-year sales were actually better than the company’s first-year iPhone sales. Apple Watch sales, at an estimated 12 million in their first year, according to the The Wall Street Journal, were double the first-year iPhone sales, at 6 million.

Of course, compare those 12 million Apple Watches with the more than 200 million iPhones sold in 2015 and the boast suddenly seems less impressive. But then again, the iPhone has had nine years to develop its loyal fan base and up processing speeds on its phone.

With the company slated to announce its first-quarter earnings Tuesday, many are predicting a slow, underwhelming report for Apple’s first quarter of 2016, as iPhone sales plateaued. And it also remains to be seen how well the new smaller-style iPhone 7 will do for the company when it is released later this year.

Meanwhile, a new second-generation Apple Watch isn’t forecast to be released until next year, with only internal upgrades expected for the wearable in 2016. Looks like the world’s leading smartwatch might need to celebrate a few more birthdays to really get up to speed.

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