Apple’s Mac sales have risen and iPad sales have now declined for six consecutive quarters

Besides iPhone, “investors should also pay attention to sales of Macs and iPads,” Leo Sun writes for The Motley Fool. “For six consecutive quarters, Mac sales rose annually as iPad sales declined. Why are sales of these two product lines diverging, and what does it mean for Apple’s future?”

“Last quarter, Mac unit sales and revenue both rose 9% annually, accounting for 12% of Apple’s top line,” Sun writes. “What’s impressive about that growth is that it sidestepped a slowdown across the entire PC market. In early July, research firm IDC reported that worldwide PC shipments fell 11.8% annually during the second quarter… During Apple’s third quarter conference call, CEO Tim Cook noted that the new Macbook, which starts at $1,299, enjoyed a ‘very strong consumer reception’ during the quarter.”

“Last quarter, iPad unit sales fell 18% annually as revenue declined 23%, accounting for just 9% of Apple’s top line,” Sun writes. “Two things could happen to the iPad in the future. On one hand, it could be cannibalized by newer devices, just like the iPod. But on the other hand, users clinging to old iPads could finally upgrade their devices, and enterprise support might revive sales.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in April:

The iPad got off the a very fast start and they are very, very well made. They last a long time which is great news for users, but demands patience from investors, pundits, and Apple themselves. Bringing Force Touch to iOS and iPad, along with a larger “iPad Pro,” would go a long way to jolting the iPad, both in terms of new buyers and the upgrade cycle.

The future of tablets is Apple iPad-shaped – July 22, 2015
Apple places cautious orders for 12.9-inch ‘iPad Pro’; low initial supply expected for late-2015 launch – July 13, 2015
Apple’s 12.9-inch ‘iPad Pro’ is on the way – July 6, 2015
iOS 9 code: Apple’s ‘iPad Pro’ to feature 2732×2048 resolution – June 16, 2015
Why Apple’s new split-view multitasking feature is exclusive to its best iPad – June 13, 2015
Split-view multitasking: Hands on with Apple’s iOS 9 beta on iPad Air 2 – June 9, 2015
Apple’s 12.9-inch ‘iPad Pro’ will feature Bluetooth smart stylus, Force Touch, NFC and more, source says – May 29, 2015


  1. This suggests that most of those people who bought iPads didn’t go out and buy a new iPad two years later…they kept their existing iPad and bought a Mac instead.

    1. Yes the analysts are silly to think this is the doom of the iPad. The Stockholm syndrome is so strong with the analysts that they don’t realize a new paradigm when it is right in front of their faces. iPads and Macs are very well made. They do not need to be replaced constantly. The upgrade cycle is going to be different into the future than it was in the past. In the past it was, every couple years get a new computer. In the Apple world it is get a new computer one year, a few years later get a new tablet, wait a few more years, etc. etc..

      Those stuck in the PC world are doing nothing. The current movement is from Apple faithful and the few who brave new waters (for them). Over time more will jump on board as they see the benefits of sticking to good hardware for longer amounts of time. But old ways of measuring the health of a product line are misguided.

  2. I use my iPad 3 at least 4 hours a day. The only thing that would make me upgrade is for something lighter. But since I recently popped for a new iMac and rMBP, and I want a watch, it’ll last me a while longer as it’s a want, not a need.

  3. A few observations: 1) A lot of people bought the iPad 2 since its inception. The iPad 2 is slow under the current operating system. Expect a lot of people to upgrade, when newer devices come out . . . 2) a lot of kids who have grown up on iPads find laptop computers to be confusing. You basically have a whole generation of kids who will seek out iPads (and touch devices) going forward. 3) If you look at what the A9 chip is (a high speed 64 bit computer), and consider that all future iPads will be built on this chip and its successors, you see that Apple is treating the iPad as a computing platform (not just a media consumption device). 4) The iPad platform will differ from the Mac in this way: The Mac was designed around local storage, whereas the iPad and its Apps will be built to interface with the Cloud (you see this in the Apps that the Apple / IBM partnership is producing, or when Siri is processing your language on a supercomputer rather than on your device) 5) It’s possible to have a professional app like Final Cut Pro on an iPad if it’s used in conjunction with the Cloud. For example FCPX video or proxies could be stored online, and edited through the iPad. 6) When Apple releases the iPad Pro we will get a glimpse into where Apple is headed over the next 5 years.

    1. To create things that last, you will need a computer, with a keyboard. You can’t write on an iPad unless you attach a BT keyboard, still the options for creating there suck. The same goes for video editing, graphics, and so on. Let the kids be confused – they won’t be creating anything anyway (most people don’t). Then there’s the issue of heat. Then the issue of ergonomics. So much squinting; so little time. I really think people who argue for iPads to do it all fundamentally misunderstand ergonomics and creativity at the very least.

  4. Every time I mess with my wife’s iPad (I’ve bought her two so far) I find it very annoying and limiting. There’s no way in hell I will give up my MacBook Pro for any darn pad. But the new MacBook and the Airs look tempting.

  5. A lot of people simply use the iPad for content consumption, similar to the way they use a TV. TVs are replaced about every eight years. I could imagine iPads being replaced on a similar schedule.

    iPads are well built and last a long time. If you mostly use it around the home then battery life is not a concern. Presumably you have WiFi so network speed is not a big concern. You don’t need Touch ID as much as on an iPhone. For a large swath of the user base the iPad is nearly perfect as it is.

  6. Everybody still needs a real computer. iPad processors are nowhere near “desktop processing power.”
    The quality of OS X has been going downhill but it’s still the best choice out there.

  7. Couple of reasons why iPad sales have started to fall would be
    1. Way to many different models of ipad (both large and small)
    2. Chuck the 16GB, 32Gb and 64Gb models have only a 128Gb or a 256GB model.
    3. Dont have separate wifi and cellular models, do you really think that it costs $100 to make these two models.
    for apple to do this they will have to think different and ipad Pro is not thinking different.. it is thinking stupid.

    Apple has got a great eco system, they just have to make sure they dont follow the trends of being in all price points. reduce the number of models and reduce the price of the ipad and iphone. you are making sufficient profits and you will continue to make as your volumes will increase.

  8. Macs, like I’ve been asking Apple for the last 5 years: Please ADVERTISE your Macs (you’ll sell even more).

    No serious Mac ad campaign since Mac/Pc guy (66 different ads) more than half a decade ago.
    Has anybody EVER seen an iMac or Mac Mini ad?

  9. I know a lot of people who won’t be replacing their iPads. Why? Light, thin, laptops with SSDs and long battery life. They far a prefer a Macbook Air over an iPad.

    Several have told me iPads are nice to read books on, but they are two expensive for that purpose. Next time they will get a Kindle to go with their MacBook Air.

  10. I still don’t get the concept of the iPad Pro. Why would a bigger screen be an asset? What functionality would an iPad Pro offer that the current lineup would not?

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