iPad sales are on the rise
Cheaper models’ popularity likely responsible for the first rise in three years
All eyes may be on the new iPhone right now, but iPad just had its best quarter sales-wise in a long time.
It’s not just a tiny uptick, either: Apple sold 11.4 million iPads in Q3, the three months ending July 1. Unsurprisingly, CEO Tim Cook called these “very positive results” on the company’s earnings call.
This figure pales in comparison to the 41 million iPhones also sold in the quarter, but it’s a surprising 15 percent increase from the same quarter last year (when 9.9 million iPads were sold) and a 28 percent increase from the quarter before (8.9 million iPads). The iPad also achieved its highest market share in over four years, Cook said.
To put an even finer point on it, CNBC noted this is the first time iPad has enjoyed year-on-year sales growth since 2014. Indeed, the tablet market as a whole continues to struggle, with a 3.4 percent decline in sales compared to this point last year.
What’s interesting about Apple’s latest iPad results is that while unit sales grew by double-digits, revenue from iPad only rose by 2 percent year-over-year. Although Apple didn’t break out figures for specific models, this could mean customers bought more of the cheaper iPads rather than scrambling to scoop up the newer, pricier Pro models.
Tablets have created somewhat of a problem unto themselves. Smartphones like the iPhone usually make major advancements in both design and technology year after year due to the wide (and evolving)
range of use-cases they cover, and so new models tend to attract previous buyers.
Tablets, meanwhile, evolve more slowly by comparison, and are seen more as an entertainment and productivity device. This distinction in buying habits further widened with the rise in popularity of 2-in-1 computers, many of which detach into tablets of their own.
May of this year, however, saw the release of the new 9.7-inch iPad. Complete with most of the standout capabilities seen in the iPhone 7, the new iPad surprised many with its low price point of $329 – around $130 cheaper than its predecessor.
The recent upswing in tablet sales is thus likely due to something that had to happen eventually: prices getting lower. 2-in-1s forced the hands of tablet makers to do something they didn’t want to do, but now, finally, Apple and others are beginning to respond with more affordable hardware.
Don’t discount the iPad just yet…