The running storyline is that the Apple Watch isn’t selling well. But we have little reliable data about its retail performance, and Apple may surprise us with some big numbers when it reports earnings July 21.

Slice Intelligence, which is making a name for itself by tracking Watch sales based on online sales receipts, recently said that those sales fell sharply during June. Several media outlets amped up the story by stating that Watch sales were “off 70 percent” from the high levels of first day preorders on April 10. Of course the much-hyped Watch’s sales were sky-high on the first day of preorders. That’s a good baseline for a comparison. Duh. Regardless, the Slice numbers painted a gloomy picture of the market’s embrace of Apple’s new product. But the numbers don’t paint the whole picture. Slice has been clear that its receipts data doesn’t track international sales and doesn’t track in-store sales.

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