Mac sales reach record high as unrelenting iPad ‘pause’ continues

“Apple yesterday said it sold a record number of Macs in the September quarter, dealing out 5.7 million machines to customers worldwide,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld. “With those sales, the Mac reached a major milestone for the first time — sales of 20 million or more machines in an Apple fiscal year — by logging a total of 20.6 million over the last four quarters.”

“Apple has been able to maintain Mac sales growth in the face of continued struggles by the PC industry overall: Researcher IDC recently pegged the business as down 11% for the September quarter, while rival Gartner tapped the contraction at 8%,” Keizer reports. “Revenue from Mac sales reached almost $6.9 billion, representing 13.4% of Apple’s total of $51.5 billion; that’s the largest slice of revenue for the almost-overlooked line in a year. To put that amount in context, the revenue Apple booked from its Mac line alone last quarter was more than the entire company recorded in the third quarter of 2007.”

“The Mac again out-earned the once-sexier iPad, and by a wider margin than before,” Keizer reports. “With iPad unit sales down 19.8% and revenue off 19.6%, the tablet accounted for just 8.3% of Apple’s total revenue for the quarter, the smallest portion ever. The $4.3 billion that Apple booked on iPad sales was the smallest amount since the first quarter of 2011, less than a year after the tablet’s debut.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The iPad remains the future. As we wrote last January:

The #1 reason why iPad sales have plateaued is because Apple builds iPads so damn well. Apple iPads last for years and years. We’ve handed down gen-1 iPads to pre-schoolers, years ago, and they’re still working just fine! Thrown around, walked on, dripped on, you name it – the iPad just keeps on ticking. The upgrade cycle for iPads is simply not going to match the cycle for subsidized phones on two-year contracts.

Even during its “pause,” iPad sold 9.883 million units in the quarter.


  1. You want to sell more iPads…LOWER THE PRICE! Especially if your not going to update it for two years (iPad Air 2), no one wants to pay the same price for year old hardware. My iPad with retina is stupid slow because of the mere 1gb of ram, I’m not upgrading anytime soon AT ALL because of the price. Period.

    1. The iPad Mini 2, with the A7 processor, at $259, is nothing to shake a stick at. The iPod Touch is now $199. Prices “ARE” coming down, but the leading model price has remained the same.

      Are you complaining that you can’t get an iPad Air 2, for less? One, two, three years, it doesn’t matter if there is no iPad Air 3 to replace it. It’s as good today, as the day it launched.

  2. Apple updated the iPad mini to the version 4. This is good, but the mini never was the most sold model.
    However, the most important model Apple decided not to update. I think this is to try to upsell the iPad Pro to some of these customers, but I think ultimately by not upgrading the Air 2 will contribute to stagnate the iPad sales.

  3. I totally agree with MacDailyNews’ take on this. iPad 2’s run iOS 9. Are they sluggish? Sure. But they work, and for most people they work well enough. Once Apple stops supporting the current version of iOS on older hardware, I think sales will pick up. If Apple made any mistake here, it was selling the iPad 2 for as long as it did (as the low cost option). They put themselves in a position where they had to support that hardware for an extended period of time. I think that by 2017 or 2018 Apple may drop support for all iOS devices except those running 64-bit processors. That would certainly change the game.

    1. “I think that by 2017 or 2018 Apple may drop support for all iOS devices except those running 64-bit processors.”

      Personally, I think they should be a little more aggressive and do that in 2016 starting with iOS 10.

  4. The iPad upgrade cycle is going to more or less mirror the Mac/PC upgrade cycle. Next to nobody buys a new Mac/PC every 1-2 years, so it’s really unreasonable to expect that from the iPad either. The iPad is more akin to a notebook than to an iPhone.

  5. Mac sales are growing because there is so many owners of Windows pc’s. A certain percentage of them are switching to Macs every year, and this trend is almost certain to continue.

  6. the old iPAD 2 still works slower, battery is great… Why replace it….when I do will give it to someone in the family….

    Love it , use it all the time.. But no need to replace it…

    Cheers elo

  7. I’ve been waiting for this damn pro to come out. Theres been talk of it for years. and I wasn’t buying a new one until this came out. so they have my business. But they really could lower the price or make something new on it if they want people to keep[ buying them

  8. I’m also on a “pause”. I bought the original iPad, then the next one, then in 2012 the iPad mini and I’ve never had a reason/need to upgrade since. I’d like a new one, but I want to be able to use all the features of the pro but in the mini size.

  9. Putting the HW features of the iPhone 6s – faster processor, better camera, 3D Touch, more memory – combined with lighter weight and longer battery life would motivate me to upgrade from my iPad 2. I think it would also attract new buyers and owners of older iPads. Apple missed an opportunity to introduce a new model in time for Christmas sales.

  10. I am always disappointed that the iPad line doesn’t have the features that the iPhone. It makes me put off purchases because I know they will put it in the next model.

    Personally, I wish they would release the iPhones in April, iPads & Mac’s in late August, and the Apple Watch & AppleTV around Christmas shopping.

  11. MDN is partly right to lay slow iPad sales on the longevity of the device. But there are other reasons:

    Usability: the iPad is brilliant for reading stuff. It’s not so good for other applications.

    – entering and manipulating text is clumsy compared to the Mac. The on-screen keyboard is clumsy to use, partly because it displays less keys at a time, requiring extra keystrokes to find numbers, dollar signs, percentage signs and even the @ sign. Yes, you can connect a Bluetooth keyboard but that’s a hassle and changes the form factor. Without a pointing device you have to use your finger – selecting text in a small font is tricky at the best of times but in some apps, for an unknown reason, it is almost impossible. Some developers don’t manage to make text boxes work properly – Seeking Alpha, for instance, had (and may still have) issues with text boxes which don’t scroll properly.

    – tabs in Safari don’t preload the way the do on a Mac, presumably to save memory.

    – passwords are a pain. 1password works well on the Mac but the iPad implementation leaves a lot to be desired. Manual entry of complex passwords is tricky with lots of keyboard shifts to find the right characters.

    – complex documents are nigh impossible to create because there is no real file management on the iPad, so assembling documents with charts, images (including screenshots of selected portions of the screen), text from other documents or PDF’s is either impossible or at least extremely tricky.

    – no multitasking. iPad emulates multitasking in limited circumstances but you can’t do more than one thing at a time or even see more than one thing at a time. For business users this is very limiting. A typical task for me means having email, contacts and calendar all open at once.

    The iPad is selling well to business, but it seems to me that this is almost entirely app-driven. But for specific business applications the iPad is brilliant, as long as the developer gets it right.

    I do a lot of text. This is typed on the iPad, and it’s fine for this sort of text, though i still make a lot more errors and it’s much more “hunt and peck” than it would be on a proper keyboard. I could connect my wireless keyboard but it was last paired to my Apple TV, which is always on. It won’t connect to the iPad unless I turn the Apple TV off.

    The rise in Mac sales which accompanies the fall in iPad sales suggests that the iPad is not accepted as a desktop replacement by many or most people.

    iPad is a niche product: paired with the right app it’s great for business, and for many it’s an adjunct to a Mac for reading the news,checking Facebook, checking the weather or stock prices perhaps.

    But I can’t post an MDN article to Facebook from the iPad – the share button crashes the app. Always.

  12. I still own every iPad I ever bought, plus one given to me as a gift. That’s 4 iPads. Much as I’d like a new one because it’s, um, new, I don’t really need it at this time. But will I buy more iPads? Of course! The short term way of thinking about things is killing this country.

  13. I am SO ready to buy a 15″ acBook Pro with Retina but I know they will be coming out with significantly upgraded versions in a matter of two months or so. The ones available now are behind the curve. Sigh sigh sigh.

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