Apple product sets consumer record during first week of holiday shopping

Sales of the Apple Watch is on track to be the best ever for the product after a sensational first week of Christmas shopping. Consumers have bought the Apple Watch in mass bulk all over the globe and it set a record. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the gadget’s sell through is a measure of how many units are sold to consumers, rather than simply stocked on retailers’ shelves reached a new high.

Cook's comments followed a report on Monday from technology research firm IDC estimating that the tech giant sold 1.1 million units of the Apple Watch during the third quarter of 2016, down 71 percent from the year-ago quarter. The comments offer a glimpse of the gadget's performance during the holiday quarter, which is typically Apple's strongest.

Cook described the sales growth as off the chart and said the company was on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch.

Cook said: "Our data shows that Apple Watch is doing great and looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year. Sales growth is off the charts. In fact, during the first week of holiday shopping, our sell-through of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product’s history. And as we expected, we’re on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch.”

However, Cook declined to comment when he was asked to disclose the specific sales figures for the Apple Watch. Apple has disclosed few details about the performance of the Apple Watch, which is its first new product released under Cook. The company has not broken out sales of the gadget in its earnings, instead incorporating it into an "other products" category that includes devices such as the iPod and Apple TV.

Strong sales of the Apple Watch are to be expected during the holiday quarter as the gadget is a more natural gift than some of the company's other products such as the iPhone or Mac computer, said analyst Bob O'Donnell of TECHnalysis Research. Apple also lowered the price of the gadget this year, potentially helping the holiday sales comparison, O'Donnell noted.

Apple is facing mounting pressure to show new sources of growth as sales of the iPhone, the company's lifeblood, begin to level off. O'Donnell said he remains skeptical the Apple Watch can fill the void, citing uncertain demand among consumers for smartwatches.