Apple, Cupertino, California, reported first quarter earnings last week, and to no one's surprise, the company left out Apple Watch sales figures. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook told investment analysts that Apple Watch sales met company expectations in the first quarter.
"In fact, unit sales of Apple Watch during its first year exceeded sales of iPhone in its first year," Cook told analysts on April 26. Cook previously called Apple Watch sales figures "competitive information" that the company would not disclose, according to a Fortune report.
Apple sold roughly six million iPhones after the first model released in 2007, according to the Wall Street Journal. The same Wall Street Journal report estimated about 12 million Apple Watches were sold in its first year, which would account for a roughly $6 billion business and would be three times the annual revenue of Fitbit, San Francisco.
"Apple Watch is an increasingly essential part of users' lives, from responding to messages, managing calendars and navigating with maps, to helping them be more fit," Cook told analysts. "And in some cases, the heart rate sensor has even helped save lives. We're really excited about the first year with Apple Watch. We have learned a lot, and we believe it has an exciting future head."
Apple has some catching up to do in the wearable device market.
Fitbit, which will report its first quarter numbers on Wednesday, was the top wearable vendor worldwide in 2015, according to the most recent report issued by the International Data Corp. Fitbit shipped 21 million units last year, with Xiaomi (12 million shipments), Apple (11.6 million shipments), Garmin (3.3 million shipments), Samsung (3.1 million shipments) and other manufacturers (27 million shipments) trailing Fitbit.
Cook also highlighted CareKit's first-quarter release in the call with analysts. He described CareKit as a new open-source software framework designed to help developers enable people to manage their own health conditions. CareKit apps will let users regularly track care plans, monitor progress and share insights with care teams.
"We're very excited about the ways iPhone and Apple Watch are helping people lead healthier lives," Cook said. "We believe there's great promise here for the future, and we are very interested in where this can take us."
CareKit's four user interface modules, according to a media release, are:
- The Care Card manages tasks that a user needs to perform as part of a treatment, such as taking medication or completing physical therapy exercises. Activities can automatically be tracked and entered using sensors in the Apple Watch or iPhone.
- The Symptom and Measurement Tracker manages tasks that evaluate the effectiveness of a treatment plan. These include subjective assessment of symptoms and objective measurements. Progress updates could include simple surveys, photos that capture the progression of a wound, or activities calculated by using the iPhone's accelerometer and gyroscope, like quantifying range of motion.
- Insights displays charts that are intended to provide insight to a user by showing the relationship between treatment and progress. An insight also can be a text that provides a tip or alert to help someone stay on track with health goals.
- Connect helps users communicate their health status and insights data with doctors, care teams, friends and family members.
Apps to manage post-surgical care, chronic conditions and diabetes are all in the works, according to Apple's website. Apple consulted with hospitals, medical institutions and foundations around the world to develop CareKit and Research Kit frameworks.
"We're thrilled with the profound impact ResearchKit has already had on the pace and scale of conducting medical research, and have realized that many of the same principles could help with individual care," Jeff Williams, chief operating officer, Apple, said in a statement. "We believe that giving individuals the tools to understand what is happening with their health is incredibly powerful, and apps designed using CareKit make this a reality by empowering people to take a more active role in their care."
Apple's lower-than-expected overall first quarter revenue reported last week set off an eight-day losing streak for its stock. If Apple stock, which opened Tuesday at $94.20 per share, extends its losses to a ninth day on Wednesday, it would be the longest losing streak for the company since June 1991, according to a MarketWatch report.