Analysts offer little consensus on Apple Watch sales

Apple won't spill the beans and analysts are all over the map with their forecasts.

Apple Watch sales remain a mystery. Apple

How many Apple Watches sold last quarter? Apple won't say, but that hasn't stopped analysts from speculating.

A collection of 17 analysts offered Fortune Magazine their predictions for Apple Watch sales last quarter. The numbers varied from a low of 2.5 million to a high of 6 million.

The forecast provides a glimpse into the demand for the Apple Watch, a high profile product in the burgeoning category of wearable devices. Unlike the iPhone or iPad, Apple doesn't break out how many watches it has sold. This has led to a guessing game of sorts by analysts and investors. The Apple Watch, which competes against other wearable tech products and luxury goods, commands a premium price over rival smartwatches.

Despite some of the more bearish estimates, the Apple Watch seems to be doing relatively well, according to research firm IDC. In its latest quarterly report on wearables, IDC gave Apple's smartwatch the No. 2 position, just behind market leader Fitbit. Over the second quarter, Apple shipped 3.6 million watches, said IDC, grabbing 20 percent of the wearables market. Fitbit shipped 4.4 million wearable devices.

Apple also continues to push the watch, expanding its reach to Best Buy in August and launching an updated version of its Watch OS software in September. Even analysts such as Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, who estimated just 2.5 million in sales last quarter, believes demand for the watch will take time and sees sales surging from 14 million next year to 40 million in 2017.

Apple CEO Tim Cook refused to reveal sales numbers on the Apple Watch, calling it "competitive information," at a Wall Street Journal technology conference Monday. "We shipped a lot the first quarter...then last quarter we shipped even more," he said. "I can predict this quarter we will ship even more."

The Apple Watch is available in three varieties: the entry-level Sport version starting at $349, the Apple Watch starting at $549 and the Apple Watch Edition starting at $10,000.

Apple declined to comment on the analyst projections.

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