Apple Watch Sales Plummet Significantly

Courtesy of NBC
Pharrell Williams, with Gwen Stefani, wearing an Apple Watch.

Apple's smart watch has yet to become a Hollywood must-have despite being worn by everyone from Pharrell Williams to Katy Perry.

Sales of the Apple Watch have plummeted 90 percent since its first week of sales, according to a report from Slice Intelligence, a research company that analyzes sales based on email receipts.

According to the report, Apple sold approximately 1.5 million watches the first week after its unveiling on April 10 but has since been selling as few as 2,500 watches per day.

Apple has not released sales figures for the watch, which has led to intense speculation about its popularity.

The Apple Watch's apparently plunging popularity is echoed by the tepid response to the device in Hollywood, where it has yet to capture the hearts and wallets of Hollywood the way the iPhone captivated A-listers when it was introduced in 2009 or the iPad and iPod before it, according to industry insiders.

"It's not a must-have like the iPhone was," says comedian Morgan Murphy, a staff writer on 2 Broke Girls who bought an Apple Watch on impulse. "It's only cool if you consider people saying, 'Hey is that an Apple Watch?' to be a cool thing. Nobody I work with seems to have wanted one and most of those people are rich" — the most popular model, the entry-level sport model, sells for $349 — "so it's not a matter of price. In hindsight I should have probably given that money to charity."

Before the watch's debut, Apple made certain that major entertainment figures were seen wearing one. Pharrell Williams sported a $17,000 gold Edition model with a white band. Beyonce and Anna Wintour were spotted wearing similar models. Karl Lagerfeld showed off the gadget's throbbing heart monitor at Chanel's 2016 Resort Collection.

Other celebrities seen wearing the Apple Watch or singing its praises on social media were J.J. Abrams, Katy Perry, Ellen DeGeneres, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Drake (who wore his, with a bright-red bracelet to match his outfit, at Coachella), Sam Smith (his was hand-delivered by Apple design guru Jony Ive) and Christy Turlington, who serves as the Apple Watch brand ambassador — she appeared onstage with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the watch's unveiling and ran the London marathon wearing one. Even Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter to gush, "Word spreading Apple watch will amaze and fascinate with design and many undreamt of features."

But once the Apple Watch went on sale and its limitations known — it must be charged daily and paired to an iPhone to have any significant functionality — "the impracticality of it at this stage in the game makes it more of a weird status object than a must-have gadget," says producer David Jargowsky (Comedy Bang Bang). "I'm not sure what feature would push me over the edge to want one, but at this point I'm going to keep my distance."

No killer Apple Watch app or apps have revealed themselves, but considering that the iPhone had a slow start, then exploded in popularity once its usefulness and useful apps became apparent, the Apple Watch could follow a similar trajectory. For now, it seems one of the chief advantages of wearing an Apple Watch, beyond its tenuous cool factor, is that it helps keep the iPhone, with its manifold distractions, in one's pocket or purse. 

Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-creator Dan Goor says that thanks to the Notifications app on the watch, "I take my phone out less, which means that I'm less likely to fall into a vortex of web/Twitter-surfing/phone-induced coma." Adds Murphy, "It comes in handy if your boss has a 'no phones in the writers' room' rule. I can read texts and emails and Tinder messages and it just looks like I'm checking the time."

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