Keeping an I off Apple Watch

We think apart from the sort of spotting of some grey shoots of recovery in Apple revenue figures that possibly the most noteworthy disclosure in the results concerned a, arguably forward looking statement as follows in the *conference call.

Nancy Paxton -  Senior Director of Investor Relations

“We’ll be creating a new reporting category called other products. This will encompass everything we report in the accessories category today including Beats headphones and speakers, Apple TV and peripherals and accessories for iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod.

In addition, we will begin to include iPod sales in the other products category and we will also reflect sales of Apple Watch in this line item once it begins shipping in early calendar 2015.”

So is Apple Watch a product group as, possibly, indicated in their Store header or like Apple TV is it a sort of hobby?

We’ve had a feeble attempt at restating the latest quarters figures to see what it might look like. In practice we expect iTunes etc to be promoted. Going way back in time iPod was of course the first new product group after Mac starting in 2004 and likely being the largest revenue generator from 2005 through 2007 or 2008 when it was overtaken by the iPhone.

We guess that as with recent restatements only the last couple of years will be included in fiscal 2015 results.

The categorisation of the Watch as an Other product we regard as being defensive and to an extent Tim Cook’s reaction in the *conference call when directly questioned by Ben Reitzes on the topic really confirmed this.

Ben Reitzes – Barclays

“… Tim, I was wondering what we were to make out of your new segments with the Apple Watch being in the other category. We were just a little surprised to hear that because it seems like such a substantial new category and you could sell may be even tens of millions of unit.

So by putting it lumped in the other with iPods and a lot of other things, does that say something about your expectations for that product or do you think that you’ll just break it out after a little while?”

Tim Cook – CEO

“Probably it says nothing about our expectation for the product. We didn’t form those categories based on expectations. We looked at current revenue, today revenue, and decided that we would leave everything that wasn’t a Mac, an iPad, or an iPhone or a service in one kind of category.

In the future, we might decide something different, but for now, in Q1 we’re not shipping any iPhone or excuse me, Apple Watches and so it seems appropriate to start it that way.

And also to be also straight is I am not very anxious in reporting a lot of numbers on Apple Watch because of the — and giving a lot of detail on it because our competitors are looking for it and so aggregating it is helpful from that point of view as well.”

At the minute if it looks like, smells like, and is categorised as an accessory, (within Other products) then that’s what it is likely to be and remain, we think, and we are disappointed. But then you would expect us to be lobbying  for an iWatch product group wouldn’t you!

 

* Extracts from Seeking Alpha’s transcript

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