Apple Watch Demand Hard to Gauge, Says CEO Tim Cook

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Monday demand continued to outstrip supply for the new Apple Watch, released earlier this month.

“From a demand point of view, it’s hard to gauge when you don’t have product in stores,” said Cook.

Apple is only selling the watch online and in select third-party boutiques due to the large number of models and straps for the watch, which could become a logistics nightmare if it offered every permutation of the many varieties at already jam-packed Apple stores.

The California tech giant said profit rose 33 percent from a year ago to $13.6 billion, lifted by sales of 61 million iPhones in the first three months of the year.

Revenue increased 27 percent from the same period a year ago to $58.01 billion, Apple said.

Cook said the iPhone “led the way” in its massive increase in China sales. Apple saw an increase in revenue in the country 71 percent to $16.8 billion, although that was helped by gift-buying for Chinese New Year.

Chief Executive Tim Cook said that China’s expanding middle class is fuelling iPhone sales there, which is the bulk of the company’s sales. The iPhone 6 was launched last autumn in China with a number of carriers.

Apple sold 61.2 million iPhones in the quarter, up 40 percent from the year-ago quarter, but down from the record-breaking holiday quarter. It sold 12.6 million iPads, down 23 percent from a year ago.

Apple’s big screen iPhone 6 (Review | Pictures) and iPhone 6 Plus (Review | Pictures) have been popular with customers worldwide, helping the company overtake rival Samsung in global smartphone sales last quarter.

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