Three salient facts regarding Apple’s Q211 iPad unit sales

By SteveJack

Three salient facts regarding Apple’s Q211 iPad unit sales:

1. Apple’s iPad 2 launched on March 11, 2011 in the U.S. and on March 25, 2011 in 25 additional countries (both dates were announced on March 2, 2011, thereby freezing the market for original iPads).

2. Apple’s fiscal 2011 second quarter ended on March 26, 2011.

3. Anyone who states iPad’s 4.69 million unit sales for Q211 were “weak” or similar is either attempting to spread some FUD or is morbidly ignorant.

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.

Related articles:
MacDailyNews presents live notes from Apple’s Q211 Conference Call – April 20, 2011
Unstoppable Apple beats Street with record $24.67 billion quarterly revenue – April 20, 2011


  1. Is it not true that one’s credit card is not charged until the order goes to “prepared for shipping” when ordering online? No charge means no sale, even though the product has been ordered. That alone would result in many iPad 2 orders not being counted in the quarter.

    1. Unless you’re planning on selling AAPL this quarter, it hardly matters. The sales will go into next quarter. Apple is building its iOS device business for the long run, and in the long run, AAPL’s value will reflect its success. That the price might lag by a few months based on stupid analyst mistakes, matters only to the day-traders; if anything it creates a buying opportunity for smart long-term investors. In the end, it’s Apple’s engineers and customers who will dictate its value, not Bloomberg.

      1. So, it was no surprise to you that despite a blowout quarter that Apple went up only about 3% after hours. I believe even Andy Zaky had higher expectations of a blowout quarter. I guess I’m under the impression that a blowout quarter means a share price rise according to increased revenue. I guess I’m wrong.

        For instance, VMWare beat WS estimates and went up about 13% after hours and the stock has a P/E of 116. I think that’s what many investors think of when they see the words blowout, crushing or clobbers.

        I’m not criticizing Apple or analyst expectations, but I honestly think that a puny 3% rise in share price would warrant something in the terms of “barely squeaking by” WS estimates. Apple is still lagging behind its median share price by 20% or so and still $10 below this year’s high if you see what I’m trying to get at. There really shouldn’t be a reason for that. A good beat is a good beat and that should matter most.

        1. Apple fell after earnings this past January, due to the Jobs announcement. It fell after great earnings last October, and only rose a few percentage points after strong earnings last July. Yet Apple has outpaced the S-P in that time and has paralleled VMWARE’s 150% growth over the past 2 years. So gigantic jumps in stock price immediately after earnings aren’t necessary to a company’s long-term stock climb. I’d rather make my 150% profit in a company with a p/e of 18 than with a company whose p/e is nosebleed high.

        2. I think institutional investors put more stock (no pun intended) in companies that sell to corporate world. Apple is viewed by many of these investors as a consumer product company, and consumers are fickle. When and if Apple products become a bread-and-butter staple of corporations you will see a monumental increase in share price. The earnings are monumental, but these guys have watched Apple crash and burn once, and they are not quite convinced that it can’t happen again. My 2¢.

        3. The 3% move in AAPL is twice as much gain in market cap as the 13% move in VMWare, since AAPL is nearly 10x as big. It takes a lot of money coming in to move the price of a $320B company, no? There is a reason penny stocks have the highest growth potential. AAPL is no longer in that realm. The 3000% return over the last 10 years has been great, but I’ll be shocked and delighted if I see 300% over the next 10. You notice even the most wild-eyed fanboy bulls on MDN throw out numbers like $600 for a couple years from now– sounds big, but it’s barely 70% up from today.

          Think about it another way– if AAPL grew 3000% in product terms from the just-ended quarter, it’d be earning three-quarters of a trillion in revenue, on sales (every three months) of 560 million iPhones, 270 million iPods, 140 million iPads, and 112 million Macs.

          AAPL might have a lot of room to grow in market share– especially in iPad, where it’s creating a market from scratch– but no company in the world has THAT much room!

        4. @laughingboy48+2working brain cells
          I wonder if you realise, when you get your 2 brain cells working, that the words anyone writes on a board like this is more than the sum of their words. You like to have a laugh, I guess. Har de har har. See? Others can do that too. But the ideas you express in your attempts at mocking Apple, and others here, are shallow and only serve to demonstrate that your level of understanding is exceeded only by your brain cell count.
          Apple shares rose by 1.35% during yesterday and by another 4.07% after-hours (at least it was as at 03.45 PT). Let’s just call it a rise of $18 shall we. That equates to an increase in the market’s valuation of AAPL of about $16 billion. You find that unimpressive, ignorant of the fact that very large corporations rarely move by even a small fraction of that amount based on earnings news, however good they are.
          $16 billion.
          And you are talking about a dangerously overvalued company with a pretty shaky business franchise, compared to Apple and 11-12 percent of its market cap. VMW is so impressive to a two-cell thinker but go back to 1 November 2007 and you’ll see that, even today with your amazing disclosure of VMW’s leap in value, it is still worth far less now than it was back then. Wow LB48+2, you’re a true genius! That is impressive analysis, I must say. There might be a fine job for you on Wall Street among the other one and two-cellers.
          But do tell us something LB48+2 with your two functioning brain cells. We’re dying to know you better, you see?
          So tell us.
          Whenever you have an intelligent thought in your head; does it die of loneliness a few years later?
          I like your way of thinking.
          I like it a lot!


            1. to rwahrens: somehow this thread software won’t let me reply directly to your post. Maybe because your post is not worth responding to. Anyhoo:

              No sir, I did not count the words. Maybe you have heard of this newfangled thing called a Word Processing Application? It counts the words for you! Maybe you should get one of those. Took me all of 3 seconds.

              Who’s the loser now?

  2. And let’s not forget that Apple doesn’t count sales that haven’t shipped. As of March 26th I’m sure there were many iPads on back order.

    Apple may have sold many many more, but only shipped a fraction of them before the end of the quarter. We’ll have to wait until next quarter’s numbers to truly gauge how well they are selling.

  3. iPad blowout @ Apple

    iChair blowout @ Ballmer’s office.

    I feel sorry for the other Steve B, because the last 10 years has shown all he can do is defend the Windows/Office duopoly.

  4. I think Apple was pushing Q2 sales in Q3 (for whatever reason).

    I ordered my ipad on the day it came out. My credit card was charged twice. First charge was for smart cover on March 25th. Second one was for iPad on April 5th. Clearly they booked a sale in Q3. What is interesting that my wife and everyone i know had the same experience.

    I don’t know what Apple’s sales will be in Q3. The world Epic comes to mind.

  5. Exactly right. And the unit sales number for this (2nd calendar) quarter for iPad 2 is going to be absolutely HUGE, when iPad is going to be sold for the entire quarter in most of the major worldwide markets. The only constraint will be Apple’s rate of iPad production, and they said in the conference call that the production ramp is proceeding smoothly.

    Last year (right after the first iPad sales numbers came out), I predicted 15 million for 2010. That was almost exactly right. I’ll predict 45 million for 2011.

    About 5 million in 1Q
    About 10 million in 2Q
    And about 15 million in each of 3Q and 4Q.

    Ultimately, the total number will be the number Apple decides to make in 2011.

  6. well of course Apple refused to say when asked how many iPad 2’s were sold as part of that total number. so they will just have to take the grief from people guessing. and they knew that.

    i have to think Apple will have some kind of “event” between now and WWDC in June. maybe we will hear more about iPad 2 sales then.

  7. Terrible, terrible, terrible iPad 2 sales. Apple only sold a “few more” tablets than rival tablet vendors. I’m sure Amazon must have easily sold twice that many Kindles. What exactly is going on with Apple to be slacking off and making shareholders suffer. Maybe Acer was right. Tablets are just a fad and consumers have already come to their senses. Maybe Windows netbooks will rise again or Kindle consumer usage is making the iPad 2 irrelevant.

    1. You are “sure” because you have no evidence? If Amazon had sold all those one trick wonders, why don’t the release sales figures? Guess you are one of those hedge fund pirates who spreads lies so they can manipulate the stock market. It’s illegal, you know!

    2. Let’s see now.
      I’m guessing that your in the midst of an acrimonious divorce and have lost the shirt off your back and your shorts as part of your settlement.
      Angered by your belittlement and impoverishment, your inability to afford even one AAPL share, you decide to vent your spleen among us MAcadamia nuts.
      Join us. You’ll feel better and I’ll send you a photocopy of my original, framed, AAPL share certificate.
      When I’m right, I’m right……
      …… and I am right.

  8. In addition to the points in the article another thing to keep in mind is Japan had it’s iPad 2 launch postponed (still not available as of today) which is one of Apple’s biggest markets.

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