Is The Apple iPad Making A Comeback?

Is The Apple iPad Making A Comeback?
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Earlier today, Apple announced its Q3 financial results which were even better than expected, sending its stock price surging to an all-time high. Part of the success was down to an unlikely product: the humble iPad.

In defiance of doom-and-gloom predictions, the original, “magic” tablet has managed to sell 14 per cent more units globally than it did last year. Could we be on the cusp of a tablet resurgence?

The tablet is dead. This is what the technology experts have been telling us ever since larger smartphone screens became the norm. With the exception of hybrids, it’s not difficult to see why they would come to this conclusion, especially when it comes to Android options. Simply put, very few people are buying them.

However, the original iOS tablet is beginning to buck the trend, with sales actually increasing over the past quarter. As the graph below shows, Apple sold a healthy 14 per cent more iPads than it did a year ago. This is especially impressive when you consider that Apple’s other product categories remained relatively flat over the same period.

Granted, this recent sales growth follows several years of decline. iPad revenue was also up only two per cent, which suggests the new entry-level model drove most of the sales growth. Nevertheless, the results clearly indicate that there’s life in the device yet.

We’re curious to hear what you guys think of standalone tablets. Do you ever use them? If so, is it more for work or entertainment? When it eventually carks it, do you anticipate buying another one? Share your thoughts in the comments!

For those interested, here are the rest of Apple’s key financial results:

  • Q3 EPS (GAAP): $US1.67, up 17% year-over-year, vs expectations of $US1.57
  • Q3 revenue: $US45.4 billion, up 7% year-over-year, vs expectations of $US44.95 billion
  • Gross margin: 38.5%, up 1% year-over-year, vs expectations of 38.2%
  • iPhone unit sales: 41.0 million, up 1% year-over-year, vs expectations of 41.1 million
  • iPad unit sales: 11.42 million, up 14% year-over-year
  • Mac unit sales: 4.292 million, flat year-over-year
  • Q4 revenue guidance: $US49 billion – $US52 billion vs expectations of $US49.21 billion

[Via Business Insider]


  • iPads are great for movies and casual web surfing on the couch. Anything that doesn’t require much text input or manipulation. They are the way my kids watch TV too – no pester power ads on ABC Kids iview

  • To be honest it’s taken 4 years for them to have a new version with enough changes to make me replace the iPad Air with the iPad Pro.

    So, I’m not so sure if this is the market cooling or simply the market stabilising as customers realise you can stretch a number of years between purchases.

  • I had one years ago that I bought when I was travelling. I ended up giving it to my mum because I thought it was basically useless.

    Fast forward to last month and I bought one again, but that’s because I’ve enrolled in a course and Windows (SP4) isn’t a viable option for textbooks.

  • Just bought an iPad Pro as my first iPad.

    Now I wish that I had bought one years ago. Such a great little computer.

    And yes, you can use it as a work tool, using as much text manipulation as you like.
    Looking forward to testing latex on this baby.

  • My current iPad is five years old. I’ll buy another when this one dies. Don’t use a mobile, iPad instead. (Not up to managing a fiddley little screen .)

  • My iPad 3 is still going strong. There have been a few apps that are no longer supported, and I suppose more to come now that they’ve gone 64 bit in the app store, but I haven’t really felt the need to replace it yet. It’s still fulfilling its function.

  • Probably adding to this data is the fact that they’re now requiring (or at least strongly suggesting) that kids buy iPads for school. The note we got sent home dictated the exact model of iPad and when they had to have it by (start of this year).

    • Schools require ipads because Apple pumps enough money and product into the system to require them so. They tell the schools they will give them X% share of the revenue they make from selling ipads to students and school happily make them compolsury.

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