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Evidence mounts that Apple Watch sales are shaky

We've heard more about Apple Watch sales on the grapevine, and as with other hints pertaining to Cupertino's smartwatch, the current outlook isn't a rosy one.

The latest sales rumour comes from a heavyweight source, the Wall Street Journal, which reports that Advanced Semiconductor Engineering – an Apple supplier based in Taiwan involved in watch production – has said that it didn't reach its "break-even volume", which is 2 million units per month, in Q2.

This news was leaked by an Advanced Semiconductor Engineering subsidiary on a conference call which Mark Li, an analyst for Bernstein Research, was a participant on.

The WSJ said that Li observed in a note to clients: “The shortfall of Apple Watch is a disappointment. We came in with a low expectation but below break-even still surprised us.”

Apparently the Taiwanese company doesn't expect levels to recover above break-even in Q3, either, and would make no commitment in terms of potential volume for the final quarter of the year.

As the Journal noted, Apple has warned against reading too much into reports from suppliers, because no one source has the "full picture" of the chain, but the evidence is mounting...

Last month, stats from Slice concerning the American market showed that Apple sold around 200,000 smartwatches every day during the launch week in April – but sales have since fallen off a cliff to 20,000 units per day, or even 10,000 on slower days.

The accuracy of those statistics can be debated, and it's the US market only at any rate, but the fact that Apple refused to reveal hard numbers for its smartwatch sales in its recent earnings report is also quite telling.

You can be sure if there were figures to trumpet, Cupertino would have trumpeted them loudly and brazenly. As it is, many are starting to wonder whether the Apple Watch will really be the device which ignites smartwatch sales – or whether it’s simply still too early in the wearables market for that to happen.

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.