On Tuesday, Apple announced it had sold a record 74.5 million iPhone units between October and December 2014. Mac sales were also huge during the company’s first fiscal quarter of 2015, numbering 5.5 million units sold. Apple also reported revenue of $74.6 billion and a net profit of $18 billion, making it the best quarter ever for the company.
What about the iPad? Sales of Apple’s tablet line fell for a fourth quarter in a row, down 18 percent year over year, to 21.4 million units.
Apple CEO Tim Cook told investors that he continues to believe in the iPad, while also admitting that there are some problems. He noted “There’s probably some level of cannibalization that’s going on, with the Mac on one side and the phone on the other.”
He reminded folks, however, that the iPad remains the top-selling tablet line in the world.
“Usage is six times our nearest competitor. Usage measured in Web browsing is like 71 percent of total tablets. Also the commerce taking place across the iPad is enormous. Essentially over 80 percent of the commerce on tablets is taking place on iPad,” he said.
Though Cook acknowledged that there would be no “miraculous change” in short-term iPad sales, he did suggest that future growth could come from business sales.
He explained, “I think the partnership with IBM and the work that we have going on in the enterprise [sector] is profound, I think we’re really going to change the way people work.”
In July, Apple and IBM announced a groundbreaking new partnership that brings IBM services to iOS devices and much more. The first wave of IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions arrived on the market in December.
Cook noted that new iPad products were in the pipeline. However, he didn’t mentioned the long-rumored 12.9-inch “iPad Pro,” which could arrive later this year.
First introduced in 2010, the iPad line currently consists of the 9.7-inch iPad Air and iPad Air 2, and the 7.9-inch iPad mini, iPad mini 2, and iPad mini 3.
Personally, I think Apple would be wise to introduce a larger iPad — while also ditching the iPad mini line, which seems to have been compromised by the arrival of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. Nonetheless, I still believe that the bulk of iPad sales will revolve around a 9.7-inch model.