Apple exec hints at strong Apple Watch demand, says the car is the 'ultimate mobile device'

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has sold "a lot" of Apple Watches, but it is not giving out a specific sales figure so far, according to a senior Apple executive.

Jeff Williams, Apple's senior vice president of operations, said at Re/code's Code Conference that demand for the Apple Watch has been "fantastic."

"Obviously, I can't give you that number," Williams said of Apple Watch sales figures. He did indicate that Apple could sell more of them if it could make them faster. "The only number I will give you is that demand divided by supply is greater than one," he said.

Apple does not expect customers to be able to go into an Apple retail store and buy the firm's Watch until June, according to an April memo from the iPhone maker's retail chief.

Angela Arendts, Apple's senior vice president of retail and online stores, wrote in that memo that "due to high global interest combined with our initial supply, we are only taking orders online right now. I'll have more updates as we get closer to in-store availability, but we expect this to continue through the month of May."

Pre-orders for the Apple Watch began April 10, and the company quickly sold out if its supply of the wearable gadget, which is likely the world's first blockbuster smart watch. Apple had initially said the Watch would be available for purchase in stores on April 24.

Meanwhile, Williams confirmed that Apple will soon release a software development kit that will allow programmers to write apps natively for the Watch. That will be unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, which starts June 8. Until now, as Re/code notes, developers have been able to customize their iPhone apps to let customers take some actions on the watch.

Interestingly, Williams also indicated Apple is exploring the car market as a place to invest its huge cash hoard. "The car is the ultimate mobile device, isn't it?" Williams said. "Look, we explore all kinds of categories, and we'll certainly continue to look at those and figure out which ones are ones where we think we can make a huge difference."

Apple reportedly has several hundred employees working secretly toward creating an Apple-branded electric vehicle, perhaps as early as 2020.

For more:
- see these two separate Re/code articles on the Apple Watch
- see this third Re/code article
- see this The Verge article
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

Related Articles:
Apple Watch likely won't be in stores until June, as analyst estimates 2.3M global pre-orders
Apple took close to 1M pre-orders on Friday for the Apple Watch, according to shopping data firm Slice
Apple expects demand to outstrip supply of its Watch ahead of sales debut
Apple Watch called best smart watch by reviewers, but is faulted for UI and usefulness
Apple's Cook: The Apple Watch will be the first smart watch that 'matters'

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