Snapchat corporate parent Snap Inc. has hundreds of thousands of unsold Spectacles collecting dust in a Chinese warehouse, according to a report from The Information. Swayed by early adopter responses to limited introductory sales, Snap apparently severely over-estimated the demand for the hardware product, ordering way too many units from manufacturing partners.
Snap didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
CEO Evan Spiegel revealed at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit earlier this month that Snap had sold more than 150,000 Spectacles since the introduction of the product a little over a year ago. He painted this as a success, and said the company had expected to sell only about 100,000 units in year one, as Apple did when it first introduced the original iPod.
However, the Information report paints a different picture. Unnamed insiders told the publication that the company was thrown off by the initial demand for Spectacles, which at first were only available at highly-publicized vending machines.
But the lines at those Snapbots didn’t translate to online sales once the product became widely available, and sales have actually been declining: Snap sold fewer than 42,000 units in Q2, following sales of roughly 62,000 units in Q1. The company has since laid off a dozen members of its hardware team.