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Apple’s not going to tell us how many smartwatches it sells

In a decision as disappointing as it is surprising, Apple boss Tim Cook has said his company won’t be disclosing sales figures for its new smartwatch following its launch early next year.

That’s right, the tech titan has decided to change the way it reports sales, lumping the Apple Watch together with the iPod, Apple TV, and accessories in a new ‘other products’ category. Sales figures for the iPhone, iPad and its Mac computers will, however, continue to be reported separately.

On the face of it, the move appears to indicate Apple has some serious concerns about whether its upcoming wrist-based device will be a hit with consumers, though Cook, hardly surprisingly, insists the decision “says nothing about our expectations about the product.”

Related: Android Wear vs. Apple Watch – which one will wow your wrist?

In a conference call with analysts on Monday following the publication of the company’s latest set of financial results, the Apple boss added, “I’m not very anxious in reporting a lot of numbers on Apple Watch and giving a lot of detail on it because our competitors are looking for it.”

Of course, if the smartwatch sells by the boatload, you can be sure the company will let us know about it through the release of detailed sales figures. In fact, Cook said as much during the conference call when he added that Apple “might decide something different” with its reporting methods further down the road.

Related: Jony Ive gives Vogue interview on Apple Watch

The Apple Watch marks the Cupertino company’s first venture into a new product category since Tim Cook replaced Steve Jobs as CEO in three years ago, so the performance of its first wearable will be taken by many as an indicator as to whether the company has still got what it takes when it comes to innovation.

But even without official sales figures, consumer reaction to the new device is certain to emerge over time, so within a few months of launch we should have some idea whether the long-awaited Apple Watch is a hit or a miss.