While the iPhone and Mac computer registered growth of more than 10%, iPad sales fell 9% in unit terms to 13.3 million units – coming up well short of analysts’ expectations of 14.4 million units. It marked the second straight quarter that sales of Apple’s tablets declined.
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said the iPad figures were in line with what the company had expected. “This isn’t something that worries us,” said Cook in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
One factor in the iPad’s disappointing numbers, according to Cook, is that the quarter ended June tends to be focused on “higher-education” sales where the Mac is more popular. In the age range of high-school and below, the iPad outsells the Mac by two-and-a-half fold.
One challenge for tablet computers, in general, is that they aren’t quite as portable as smartphones, but also aren’t as useful as computers when it comes to doing office work.
Cook said while iPad sales fell in North America and Europe, he is encouraged by iPad revenue growth of more than 40% in emerging markets such as China and the Middle East.
Cook said the iPad still holds vast amounts of potential, especially in the corporate sector where it has only 20% market penetration compared to 60% for notebook computers. Last week, Apple announced a partnership with IBM to create more than 100 workplace apps catered to mobile devices with an eye toward reimagining how people work.
In November, Apple introduced a thinner, lighter version of its 9.7-inch iPad and offered a high-definition display for its smaller 7.9-inch iPad Mini. It helped boost unit sales 14% in the December quarter before declining in the three months ended in March.