Mini takes lead in US iPad sales as iPad Pro jumps in at 12 percent, survey data says

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2016
The split of U.S. iPad sales is now weighted in favor of the iPad mini, although the iPad Pro captured a "meaningful" 12 percent share during the December quarter, according to a survey compiled by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.




While the iPad Air 2 remained the best-selling individual iPad model during the period, both Air generations comprised just 40 percent of units sold overall, CIRP said. The Mini segment made a major leap forward year-over-year from 32 to 47 percent.

The low-cost Mini 2 from 2013 was the most popular Mini model, followed by last year's Mini 4. The Mini 3 took home just a fraction of sales, presumably because the product is effectively a Mini 2 with Touch ID and a gold color option.

The CIRP data may suggest that the Pro is off to a strong start, in spite of the cheapest model selling for $799 before accessories like a case, an Apple Pencil, or a Smart Keyboard. The firm surveyed 500 U.S. shoppers who bought Apple devices between October and December.

iPad sales have, however, been on an overall decline for several quarters. The exact causes are unknown, though typically this has been blamed on the rise of "phablets" like the iPhone 6s Plus, which are big enough to handle some tablet duties -- like reading and video -- while also serving as a phone.

People looking to save money might therefore just buy a phone and a laptop, especially since MacBooks continue to have advantages like a built-in keyboard, a user-accessible file system, and more powerful apps.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    Mr_GreyMr_Grey Posts: 118member
    Very glad to see that the mini is back on top.   :)

    That chart is unnecessarily confusing in terms of tracking form factor preferences though.  For the purpose of that preference, whether someone has a new iPad or an old iPad doesn't matter at all.  At the least, there should be a second chart that just breaks out the form factor only, and why a bar chart anyway?  This data is what pie charts were made for. 
    edited January 2016 chas_mcarthusiabrakken
  • Reply 2 of 31
    Without some basis of the number of sales of iPads, this report is essentially meaningless. If Apple sold 100 iPads and 12 of them were Pros, that would be bad. If they sold 25 million (which would beat last year's 21.42 million for the same quarter), that would be stunning. Without that important context, saying the iPad mini sold more doesn't really tell us much of anything.
    brakken
  • Reply 3 of 31
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    chas_m said:
    Without some basis of the number of sales of iPads, this report is essentially meaningless. If Apple sold 100 iPads and 12 of them were Pros, that would be bad. If they sold 25 million (which would beat last year's 21.42 million for the same quarter), that would be stunning. Without that important context, saying the iPad mini sold more doesn't really tell us much of anything.
    Sure it does. It gives us a preview of ASP. Using that and estimates/projections of unit sales, and the info is very compelling. It also gives us insight into sales trends and where Apple may focus attention.
  • Reply 4 of 31
    Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems obvious why iPad sales have decreased from initial sales - people keep them a long time, much longer than a phone.  I've had mine for two years or more - maybe three? - and it works great and I don't need a new one!  Eventually I may go for the Pro - but for now I'm fine!
    latifbpbrakkennetmage
  • Reply 5 of 31
    My wife has had her iPad 3 since it debuted (2011?) and until recently I have been unable to convince her to upgrade. Now, she'd prefer a thin-and-light laptop, as she wants a more powerful multitasking environment to work with pictures. I'm hoping there will be an improved MacBook for her basic needs: photos, internet, emailing, and invoicing.

    On the flip side, I'm hanging onto to my 2011 MacBook Air and will wait to purchase the next iteration of the 128 GB iPad mini/cellular. I really don't need to cart around a laptop. The MBA is thin and light, but not nearly as much as an iPad mini. The iPad Air, however thin and light, still is unwieldy. I have an Office 365 subscription and heavily use iCloud Drive, which will allow me to do "real work" on Windows desktops at my offices. 


  • Reply 6 of 31
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,833member
    chas_m said:
    Without some basis of the number of sales of iPads, this report is essentially meaningless. If Apple sold 100 iPads and 12 of them were Pros, that would be bad. If they sold 25 million (which would beat last year's 21.42 million for the same quarter), that would be stunning. Without that important context, saying the iPad mini sold more doesn't really tell us much of anything.
    Assume that the volume of the previous quarter; about 10 million so there were somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.2 million iPad Pro's sold. I'd also assume an ASP with accessories at $1200.

    That's about $1.5 billion in sales for the iPad Pro and I think that is the low side.
  • Reply 7 of 31
    There's probably no single reason, which seems to be what everyone is grasping for to put in their shiny headline. If you ask people why they didn't buy one this year, you'll find several recurring reasons: 
    1) the iPhone 6 Plus does what I need from a tablet
    2) I only use a tablet for surfing the web and watching movies at home, so I don't need an upgrade to do that
    3) it doesn't run __________ app and therefore doesn't replace my computer/laptop
    4) I already have an iPad and it still works great

    The last one is my reason.
    jfc1138latifbpnetmage
  • Reply 8 of 31
    @ carthusia: Wouldn't the two if you consider the 12" MacBook? (I wouldn't myself, because I dislike the Atom CPU by Intel, but it might suit you.)
  • Reply 9 of 31
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    tmay said:
    chas_m said:
    Without some basis of the number of sales of iPads, this report is essentially meaningless. If Apple sold 100 iPads and 12 of them were Pros, that would be bad. If they sold 25 million (which would beat last year's 21.42 million for the same quarter), that would be stunning. Without that important context, saying the iPad mini sold more doesn't really tell us much of anything.
    Assume that the volume of the previous quarter; about 10 million so there were somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.2 million iPad Pro's sold. I'd also assume an ASP with accessories at $1200.

    That's about $1.5 billion in sales for the iPad Pro and I think that is the low side.
    The holiday quarter traditionally has a lot more sales, and the Ipad was near top of list this year, so I'm guessing a lot more than 10M for the holiday quarter, 15M is highly probable.

    I expect revenue from Ipad pro to be about 2B.
  • Reply 10 of 31
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,960member
    @ carthusia: Wouldn't the two if you consider the 12" MacBook? (I wouldn't myself, because I dislike the Atom CPU by Intel, but it might suit you.)

    The 12" rMB has an Intel Core M CPU, not Atom. It has much better performance compared to Intel's Atom but still nothing compared to what's in the MBA
  • Reply 11 of 31
    Mr_GreyMr_Grey Posts: 118member
    carthusia said:
    My wife has had her iPad 3 since it debuted (2011?) and until recently I have been unable to convince her to upgrade. ...
    Has she at least tried other models?  The iPad 3 is literally the worst one they ever made.  It's heavier, it's thicker, and it heats up more than the others too.  An iPad 2 would even be a better choice. 
    latifbp
  • Reply 12 of 31
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,979member
    Mr_Grey said:
    carthusia said:
    My wife has had her iPad 3 since it debuted (2011?) and until recently I have been unable to convince her to upgrade. ...
    Has she at least tried other models?  The iPad 3 is literally the worst one they ever made.  It's heavier, it's thicker, and it heats up more than the others too.  An iPad 2 would even be a better choice. 
    How so? Retina display means anything to you? It did to me although I upgraded to Air after that after sold it on eBay for $350. Hell ya, almost 2 year-old device.
    brakken
  • Reply 13 of 31
    danyak said:
    Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems obvious why iPad sales have decreased from initial sales - people keep them a long time, much longer than a phone.  I've had mine for two years or more - maybe three? - and it works great and I don't need a new one!  Eventually I may go for the Pro - but for now I'm fine!
    Part of that must be due to the fact that they are all the same as each other though.  I mean, people would upgrade more often if the iPads that come out each year weren't essentially just the exact same design with a slightly thinner profile.  If Apple brings the pencil to the other iPads for instance, or ForceTouch etc., then there would be huge numbers of people upgrading.  

    I think the real issue is that there is so little difference between the models and not enough innovation around what the device can/cannot do.  For instance Apple came out with it's first keyboard case and it's first stylus this year, essentially the sixth generation.  It's arguable that keyboard cases and third party styluses are some of the greatest drivers affecting iPad sales, yet Apple has waited all this time to even dip a toe in.  It also took four years for them to reduce the bezels, and now they've left them alone for a further two years.  

    The key to iPad sales is adding features which make the devices useful for actual WORK.  As long as the predominant use for iPads is leisure, the iPad will never be a serious device and people won't refresh them until they actually drop it on the kitchen floor one day.  You can see that Apple has realised this by the fact that they are finally (after all these years) trying to do this exact thing. 

    Personally, I'd like to see an iPad mini that's narrower, that you can actually pick up and hold in one hand like all the advertising material says you can (but you can't).  Changing the bezels so they have the same side to top ratio as an iPhone would be a good first step.  This would make the side bezels about half as wide and it would still be just as useable.  Changing the edge form to match iPhone 6 style rounded edges would make it far easier to pick up one-handed as well.  
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 14 of 31
    I am not discouraged by the declining sales of the iPad because on the parallel side Macbook sales increase.

    Maybe this is the natural evolution. People do real pro work on their blazingly fast laptops with always more processor power, unlimited networking, connectivity and storage options. No one can question them for not choosing the iPad.

    It is when they become fully productive with their laptops and they master every intricacy of their pro software, their cloud and not-so-cloud storage and networking that they'll think maybe they need...

    .. the iPad.

    So stop lamenting on the shortcomings of the iPad and go buy a MBP 15 Retina, the big one with discrete GPU... It will buy you time until your eventual hug with the iPad...
  • Reply 15 of 31
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    "People looking to save money might therefore just buy a phone and a laptop,"

    And precisely HOW do you "save money" with that 
    godawful data service bill that rolls in every month to the tune of thousands of dollars of total operating costs over and above the hardware? NONE of which you pay with an iPad. Any phone costs thousands of dollars more than any tablet once the service bills are figured in.
  • Reply 16 of 31
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    danyak said:
    Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems obvious why iPad sales have decreased from initial sales - people keep them a long time, much longer than a phone.  I've had mine for two years or more - maybe three? - and it works great and I don't need a new one!  Eventually I may go for the Pro - but for now I'm fine!
    This is a big component of what has happened to sales. The other thing here is that iPad had massive initial success with millions being perchased in the first couple of years. When you hit a home run like that there is bound to be a regression in sales as the initial fever clams down. Frankly I'm not sure why anybody would expect sales to stay as high as they achieved in the first few years.
    In any event I'm one that has kept my iPad for longer than I expected. Part of that is due to it being good enough and part due to Apple screwing with customers and not moving the hardware forward fast enough. I'm looking at RAM and Flash here hardware wise. Software wise I'm not sure Apple gets it yet, iCloud sucks as does managing documents on the devices. IOS as it currently is will never replace a Mac.
  • Reply 17 of 31
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,767member
    IPods are overpriced. If they want to keep sales up they need to lover the price on all models between $50 to $100.
  • Reply 18 of 31
    latifbplatifbp Posts: 544member
    Mr_Grey said:
    carthusia said:
    My wife has had her iPad 3 since it debuted (2011?) and until recently I have been unable to convince her to upgrade. ...
    Has she at least tried other models?  The iPad 3 is literally the worst one they ever made.  It's heavier, it's thicker, and it heats up more than the others too.  An iPad 2 would even be a better choice. 
    Totally. I hated my iPad 3 so much.
  • Reply 19 of 31
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,767member
    k2kw said:
    IPods are overpriced. If they want to keep sales up they need to lover the price on all models between $50 to $100.
    Typo: iPads are over priced.

  • Reply 20 of 31
    kpomkpom Posts: 617member
    carthusia said:
    My wife has had her iPad 3 since it debuted (2011?) and until recently I have been unable to convince her to upgrade. Now, she'd prefer a thin-and-light laptop, as she wants a more powerful multitasking environment to work with pictures. I'm hoping there will be an improved MacBook for her basic needs: photos, internet, emailing, and invoicing.

    On the flip side, I'm hanging onto to my 2011 MacBook Air and will wait to purchase the next iteration of the 128 GB iPad mini/cellular. I really don't need to cart around a laptop. The MBA is thin and light, but not nearly as much as an iPad mini. The iPad Air, however thin and light, still is unwieldy. I have an Office 365 subscription and heavily use iCloud Drive, which will allow me to do "real work" on Windows desktops at my offices. 



    If she's fine with an iPad 3, the current MacBook is fine. It's as fast as your 2011 MacBook Air (actually faster, since the storage and memory are faster). The Skylake MacBook should be coming soon, but Apple did just start offering last year's model refurbished. I have a MacBook and it even runs Windows 10 in Parallels just fine for basic tasks like Quicken.
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