Apple iPad: Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated

“Apple’s second quarter results were announced [yesterday] by CEO Tim Cook. As part of the earnings call, Cook talked about the sales and acceptance of the iPad,” Ewan Spence writes for Forbes. “Sales are lower this quarter than the same period in 2013, with Apple selling 16.3 million iPads compared to last year’s 19.5 million, but before you start thinking about the death of the iPad, there are some mitigating factors to consider.”

“The main one was highlighted by Tim Cook,” Spence writes. “By reducing the volume of iPads in the channel inventory, the drop in sell-through was limited to just 3%.”

“This is classic Tim Cook – reducing the time from the factory to the consumers hands. There is more margin to be made by reducing the time that an iPad is shipped but not sold. That does require an adjustment in the channel, and it makes sense to do it in a quiet quarter, away from the Q4 Christmas sales and Back to School offers in Q3,” Spence writes. “[Unlike iPhones on two-year plans], iPads do not have a natural moment in the life cycle that generates an ‘upgrade now’ event… Cook stated that the iPad has sold twice as many units as the iPhone has done over a similar period from launch. According to Apple’s figures, 95% of tablets in education are iPads, and 91% of enterprise tablet activations are iPads. As for customer satisfaction, 98% of customers are satisfied.”

“To me these numbers do not suggest that Apple is somehow losing the tablet market,” Spence writes. “They say Apple is comfortably in command of a tablet market that could be approaching the end of the hyper-inflation period of adoption, and from now on the number of tablet users will continue to grow, but at a slower rate.”

Read more in the full article here.

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13 Comments

    1. That’s me. My iPad 2 runs great, and my wife’s iPad 3 is plenty fast enough. There’s no reason for us to upgrade either at this point, except that we could get rid of some of the dock connector charging cables lying around the house and move to all lightning connectors.

    2. I’m still running an iPad 1, as is my brother. I can wait for this years iPad, but I can barely use the thing. My 5s on the other hand is unapologetically gratifying white hot pure joy to use, makes using the oldPad even more jarring.

    3. I still use my ipad 1, which was purchased right at the time they started to sell. It has been dropped, taken to building sites everyday and until the last year or so used extensively. Its getting a little slow now, but battery is still going strong still get 6 hours use or more. As a piece of hardware it is a pretty amazing product.

  1. Yes, iPad sales may slow but by no means are they losing to anyone. I don’t know about everyone else but I’ve been investing heavily in GTAT. Who do you think is going to be supplying the glass (Sapphire) in Apple’s future iPads/iPhone/etc. products?

    My 2c. It goes along very well with my AAPL stock.

  2. Our local conservancy rangers all got Android tablets in their patrol vehicles a year ago. The reason: cost.

    Noticed recently all have been removed.

    About a dozen are in a drawer right now.

  3. No longer an iPad man. I have two and rarely use them. The big screen iPhone 6 will be all the mobile computer I need and unless iPads become drastically different I don’t see myself buying another one.

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