- Hollis Johnson
- Apple CEO Tim Cook says the company’s “wearables” business is as big as a “Fortune 400” company, implying that it does at least $6.7 billion in annual sales. Apple considers “wearables” to be its Apple Watch, Beats headphones, and AirPods earbuds.
Apple is known as the iPhone company, because that iconic product drives over half of its sales.
But Apple CEO Tim Cook dropped hints Thursday that the company had a new line of products that was flying under the radar and growing quickly.
During Apple’s fiscal fourth-quarter conference call, Cook referred to the new business “wearables.” And though Apple doesn’t break out financial results for the wearables category as it does with the iPhone or iPad businesses, Cook dropped a revealing clue about the size of this growing business.
“Our entire wearables business was up 75% year-over-year in the fourth quarter and in fiscal 2017 already generated the annual revenue of a Fortune 400 company,” Cook said.
The No. 400 company in the US by revenue is Calpine, which did $6.7 billion in sales last year.
That suggests that Apple’s “wearables” business did at least $6.7 billion in sales in a year.
That would mean Apple’s wearable business is larger than companies like Jones Financial, JetBlue, and Activision Blizzard.
More than just watches
What does Apple consider a wearable? In May, Cook said Apple considered wearables to be its Apple Watch, Beats headphones, and Airpods, which are wireless earbuds. At that time, he said Apple’s wearables business was the size of a Fortune 500 company, or had more than $5.1 billion in annual revenue.
Investors want more information about how the Apple Watch is selling. Though it dominates the smartwatch market, it hasn’t made a big impact on Apple’s bottom line yet – though that’s partially because of Apple’s massive size. Instead, the Apple Watch is reported in a category of “Other Products,” which Apple once said was to keep valuable sales information from its competitors.
Apple still doesn’t release Apple Watch sales, but it’s found a new way to hint that the device is selling briskly.