Apple CEO Tim Cook responds to declining iPad sales (again)

Above: iPad Mini

Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat

Once again, Apple is reporting another quarter where iPad sales have fallen year-over-year and missed analyst expectations.

But Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, doesn’t seem too concerned.

Apple sold 13.2 million iPads in the third quarter, down 9 percent from a year ago and a ways off from the 14 million to 15 million analysts were expecting.

During Apple’s earnings call today, Cook noted that “iPad sales were gated in part by a reduction in channel inventory,” and he also pointed to “market softeners” in international markets that affected sales. Last quarter, Cook, along with Apple controller Luca Maestri, also blamed inventory changes on lower-than-expected iPad sales.

Cook said that it’s more important to him that customers are actually enjoying and using their iPads. A recent ChangeWave survey, for example, saw 98 percent of customers satisfied by the iPad Air and a solid 100 percent satisfied by the iPad Mini with Retina Display.

“We still feel the [tablet] category as a whole is in its early days and that there’s still significant innovation that can be brought to the iPad — and we plan on doing that,” Cook said during the call today in response to an analyst question probing for more detail on iPad sales.

Apple has sold more than 225 million iPads so far, Cook said, and more than 50 percent of iPads sold end up going to first-time customers.

“The market is bifurcated on iPads,” he added, pointed to 51 percent of iPad growth in China over the last quarter as well as 64 percent growth in the Middle East.

Apple isn’t entirely resigned to falling iPad sales, though. Cook mentioned that tablet market penetration is still fairly low for businesses, which means that’s a big opportunity for future sales. Not surprisingly, he noted that was one of the reasons Apple ended up partnering with IBM to bring iOS devices to businesses.

More information:

Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t... read more »

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nim aa
nim aa

With the new iPad Air 2 coming out I better sell my old iPad before the value of it drops. I usually search 8-13 different sites to find the best offer, but I just found this company that compares all the buyback companies in one spot, it’s called RecomHub.

It's like Kayak but for electronic devices that show you all the offers in one spot.

Sanjay Dua
Sanjay Dua

Some may even consider Wall St.' Apple analysts to be amongst the most successful team of roving clowns. It is quixotic that respected journalists, such as those from VB, continue to accord such a team any measure of sound credibility -- as if a comparison to their bumbling forecasts is a correlating barometer to potential success of an emerging product, or even a precarious testament to their effort in performing rigorous mathematical analysis on an Excel spreadsheet. Personally, my experience with the iPad has never wavered and continues to gain momentum – despite my parallel and first-hand experiences with competing products. Perhaps my views may also shared by many, many others. VB, if I may, as a suggestion, it is far more rewarding to form an objective and well-researched point-of-view than it is to use incredulous comparisons as a crutch.

Chung Yang
Chung Yang

Because Time Cook has a bigger-better-faster iPad up his sleeve? Or that once the IBM enterprise iPad distribution deal kicks it, it will more than make up for the losses?