Apple's Sizable Jump in Tablet Sales Wasn't Entirely Driven by New Lower-Priced 9.7-Inch iPad
Apple recently reported sales of 11.4 million iPads in the June quarter, an increase of 15 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. iPad revenue was also up, but only 2 percent year over year, suggesting Apple was selling a lot of new lower-priced 9.7-inch iPads, which start at just $329 in the United States.
A new report by research firm Strategy Analytics, however, argues that isn't entirely the case. Apple's average selling price for iPads remained steady at $435 in the June quarter, down only one dollar from the March quarter.
That doesn't mean the new 9.7-inch iPad, introduced in late March, isn't popular. With a faster A9 chip and brighter Retina display than the iPad Air 2 it replaced, and for less money than even an iPad mini 4, the tablet provides good value with few compromises for customers at the low end.
What it does mean is that more expensive iPad Pro models likely sold well enough to offset the addition of a lower-priced iPad in Apple's tablet lineup. Apple launched new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models at its Worldwide Developers Conference, a few weeks before the end of its June quarter.
"It's undeniable that lower pricing on the new iPad helped drive sales throughout the June quarter, but the ASPs tell a slightly different story," said Eric Smith, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, speaking with MacRumors.
"ASPs were steady from last quarter, showing that higher priced iPad Pro models also sold well, even though the new 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch models were out for less than a month in the June quarter," he added.
For historical perspective, the average selling price of iPads has typically been between roughly $415 and $450 since 2015, although it briefly rose to $490 in the year-ago quarter following the launch of the original 9.7-inch iPad Pro.
Wall Street Beat
Apple's sales of 11.4 million iPads far exceeded analyst expectations. The average Wall Street prediction was approximately 9 million iPads sold, according to Wells Fargo, with some analysts predicting as low as 7 million.
Strategy Analytics estimates that Apple took a 26 percent share of the global tablet market in the June quarter, up from 21 percent in the year-ago quarter. iPad remained the world's best selling tablet, ahead of Samsung tablets, which maintained an estimated 13 percent market share in the quarter.
Chinese company Huawei also saw explosive 42 percent growth in the quarter, with an estimated 3.2 million tablet shipments, according to Strategy Analytics. Apple, Huawei, and Amazon were the only tablet makers to experience growth in the quarter, with Samsung, Lenovo, and all other vendors facing declines.
It's worth noting that Apple doesn't disclose iPad sales on a model-by-model basis in its quarterly earnings results.
Given the new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models were released towards the end of the June quarter, the tablets should have even more of an impact on Apple's tablet sales in the fourth quarter. Apple's 15 percent increase in iPad sales marked the product category's first unit growth in nearly four years.