Apple’s iPad lineup has had quite the week. After the announcement of a new iPad Pro last week, the spotlight has been fixed on the company’s tablets, and they did not disappoint.
Friday’s iPad Pro preorder was on everyone’s minds as we started the week, but it turned out that wouldn’t be the only iPad-related news to come up. Apple’s earnings were first up, and they were impressive from top to bottom.
Even though the iPad’s revenue was far more modest than the iPhone or Services and came in a bit under both the Mac and Wearables, that wasn’t all of the story. However, the iPad’s 79% year over year growth in revenue lead all categories. This is also the second quarter in a row with strong sales growth and that wasn’t the only good news. According to Apple’s earnings call, 50% of the buyers last quarter were new to the iPad, which is encouraging. Apple isn’t just selling tablets to existing users. They are still bringing in new users, which is key to them continuing this growth.
Apple’s own numbers were great, but they stopped giving us unit sales figures a couple of years ago. Several analysts have stepped into that void to try and fill in the data gaps for investors and others using supply chain information and sources. One of the better analyst organizations supplying these estimates is IDC, and they released their report on calendar Q1 of 2021 on Thursday.
Photo Source: IDC
Their numbers also show that Apple’s tablets are performing quite well right now and are still at the top of their market. They estimate that 12.7 million iPads were sold over the last three months, which is an increase of around 5 million or 64.3%. This report also shows Apple still leading the way in overall tablet market share with 31.7%. That is still 11.7% ahead of 2nd place Samsung and Apple’s lead actually grew slightly year over year. All of this is good for Apple.
There is more to be happy about in IDC’s overall assessment of the tablet market, as well.
“While vaccine rollouts and businesses returning to offices may slow down the work-from-home trend, we are still far from returning to ‘normal’ working conditions and hence the demand for tablets, especially detachables, is expected to continue for a while,” said Anuroopa Nataraj, research analyst with IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.
It’s also important to note that this quarter’s 56.9% year over year growth in tablet sales is the largest since 2013. If IDC is correct and this trend continues, then the iPad could have plenty of room to continue its current upward trajectory.
A great Apple earnings report and IDC’s new report showing strong market share and predicted unit sales growth would be enough for this to be a great week for Apple. However, there was more good news for Apple on Friday.
It’s hard to say how many iPad Pro preorders were placed, because we know that supplies are constrained due to chip and component shortages. That said, all Apple can do is sell what they can produce, and sell they did.
If you look on the Apple Store website today, the 11″ iPad Pro WiFi versions are still available in late May, just past the initial delivery window. The Cellular versions are running between late May to early June. However, more modest volumes should be expected with these models since the smaller iPad Pro didn’t get the big Mini-LED upgrade yet.
The 12.9″ iPad Pros have been wiped out across the board. I just went through every permutation of color, memory and communication options and every class is pushed out to between June 25th and July 9th. That’s a pretty hefty wait for a tablet that starts at $1099, but the market seems to be buying into the new features that Apple is selling and that demand was very strong at launch.
I’m glad that I was able to log in at 7 AM Friday morning and stake my claim on a new 12.9″ Pro. I got a 12.9 in Silver with 128 GB and Cellular. I was able to get in pretty quickly once sales opened up and other than a couple of bugs getting my chosen configuration into the Apple Store’s Bag, it was all pretty smooth. I was set within five minutes and was able to get in on the first delivery window of May 21st to May 28th.
In the only somewhat negative news of the week, Apple did finally answer the bell and clarify the situation with the new 12.9″ iPad Pros and the existing Magic Keyboard. However, with them admitting that their new tablets WILL actually fit, but maybe just not have a perfect closure, there’s even a silver lining of good news here.
With preorders over and delivery dates set, now the next waiting game begins. Apple will also have new challenges to face ahead, with their trial with Epic starting this coming week. However, there’s no doubt that Apple closed the book on April and the first 1/3 of 2021 with a bang.