Apple Q1 2013 hardware sales: By the numbers

Apple Q1 2013 hardware sales: By the numbers

Summary: Apple's Q1 2013 financial data is out, telling us, among other things, how much hardware the technology powerhouse sold over the past quarter. How does this three-month period compare to previous quarters?

TOPICS: Apple, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, iPad

Apple's Q1 2013 earnings are out, and the data provided gives us an insight into how well the company performed over the last quarter relative to historical data.

Let's begin with the flagship Apple product, the iPhone.

This is the first full quarter since the launch of the iPhone 5, and so expectations were pretty high. Analysts were expecting sales of between 43 million and 63 million, and Apple delivered 47.8 million. This makes it the iPhone's third quarter ever (behind the first quarter of 2012), and over 10 million compared the same quarter a year ago.


Moving on to the iPad, Apple sold a record 22.9 million tablets--iPads and iPad Mini tablets--up from 15.4 million from the same period a year ago, and beating the previous best quarter, which was the third quarter of 2012, when Apple sold 17 million iPads.

The introduction of the new iPad 4, along with the iPad Mini, is likely to have pushed sales up during the quarter, and the holiday bump is likely to have helped considerably.

However, since Apple doesn't break down sales by model, we can't tell if the iPad Mini is cannibalizing sales of the full-sized model.


So far, so good. However, when it came to Mac sales, things are not so good any more. During the last quarter Apple sold only 4.1 million Macs, down 1.1 million from the year-ago quarter, but the sales still beat both the second and third quarters of 2012.

The refreshed Mac lineup that we saw just before the holiday period failed to translate into strong sales over the quarter.


iPod sales have also stalled. Whereas once Apple could have relied on holiday season sales in the region of 20 million, last quarter's sales of 12.7 million are down 2.7 million from the equally dismal--for the iPod at any rate--year-ago quarter.

We can also determine how many iOS-powered iPod Touch and Apple TV devices were sold. In the earning statement, Apple chief executive Tim Cook is quoted as saying that "over 75 million iOS devices" were sold during the quarter. Given that we know that this consists of 47.8 million and 22.9 million iPads, this means that over 4.3 million iPod Touch and Apple TV devices were sold.


Overall, quarterly sales for the iPhone and iPad were incredible, showing very strong upward trajectory.


Cumulatively, Apple has sold over 369 million iPods, almost 319 million iPhones, and nearly 121 million iPads since the respective products were first released.


A very strong quarter for Apple, but it leaves some lingering questions:

  • By moving the iPhone and iPad refresh closer to the holiday quarter, this is undoubtedly giving sales an aggressive boost, but will this soften the second-quarter sales?

  • iPod sales are tumbling. Is there anything Apple can do to revive them, or are the days of the iPod numbered?

  • Mac sales are stalling, despite an aggressive refresh. Is Mac suffering from the same stagnation as the rest of PC industry?

Topics: Apple, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, iPad

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Mac sales are a logical consequence to Apple descitions

    I see the new Macs whit a grain of salt. They are heavely integrated, non-upgradeable and incredible overpriced.

    I have been a Mac fan since 2005 when I bough an iBook. That machine was incredible. It's PowerPC CPU showed a pure Unix orientation to multitasking. Todays Macs are based on commodity HW. But Apple insisted on making them impossible to keep with time. Is different when you get a cheap iPhone/iPod or even an iPad. But for a start price of $ 2.500 you want something that lasts, you need the capability to change the battery, the RAM and the Hard Drive to keep this pricey machine alive for a 3 to 5 years period. Of course cannabilization from iPhone and Tablets doesn't help either as people realie they don't need a Desktop or Laptop to check email/facebook/youtube. So most Macs sales go to BYO or independent professionals that are refreshing their machines so price and longevity (i.e. upgradeability) is important for them.
    Today I have a Mid-2010 MacBook Pro, I am keeping this machine becuse I could upgrade the RAM and the HD to an SSD so the laptop still is very fast. In the meantime, I bought 2 Core i7 Windows laptops for a third of the Mac price and also improved its RAM to 16 GB and SSD drives for specific work (I am an IT Pro and need to run Server VMs on them). A newer MAC with those high-end specs would cost me $3000. So no-no, I keep my still good Macbook and buy Windows machines until a Mac refresh gets unavoidable.
    • Not because of the price or upgradability

      If it were true, and those lost Mac sales were converts to PCs, PC sales should have been strong, but they were worse than Mac, so obviously the price and upgradeability don't appear to be the major factor. IMO, Mac sales are being affected by expansion of tablet market, just as PC sales were affected by it.
      • No not really...

        Comparing percentages on PCs vs Macs is not a clean analysis and converts very well could have been the only people keeping PC sales as high as they are... then again, maybe the PC Market is going back to the white box untracked brands.
      • I think price can be said to be a factor

        the new retina Macs are much more expensive than their non-retina counterpoints - certainly enough so to scare off would be buyers. Someone after a Macbook Pro 15 clearly isn't looking for an iPad - if they switch models, it likely would be to a PC (or one of the non-retina hangover Macs.)
        • I think you miscalculate.

          If you configure the MBP retina and the old MBPs with similar components, the old MBPs cost more. Do it. Go to Apple's website, and configure a MBP with a 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM. Last time I looked, the retina will come out about $400 ahead.
      • Wrong assumption..

        Mac to PC converts are insignificant in PCs volume because Macs market share is very low. So your argument is not proved.

        Price will always be important (if not the central) part of a sale. Charging $3000 for a Mac that has a PC equivalent of $1000 will redirect a lot of people to the PC.

        Some years-old Professional people do care about upgradeability and TCO. Maybe younger pros didn't lived with the "upgrade culture". But it's certainly there when you need to pay a lot just for a hard drive capacity upgrade (ie. a new Mac is needed)....
        • Price will keep some away from purchasing a Mac but there is nothing new

          about that. Everyone on here seems to like to use the top 15" MBP with Retina as the base line for Mac pricing but that isn't the case. I think the biggest factor in the drop in sales for the quarter was they announce the refreshed models early in the quarter even though they would not be available until late in the quarter and then when they were available supply was limited. Not saying that I would have expected YoY growth like the iPad but pricing alone most definitely doesn't account for the drop.
  • Rip-off prices

    Apple is taking a profit margin close to 40% , so no wonder their products have only style and no substance. There is no innovation from Apple since 2007. They can't fool people for ever...

    The Launch of Windows 8 and Surface tablets will strangle Mac and iPad sales...

    Apple need some new products to save its future.
    • Surface is not a strong competitor

      Even Balmer says that Surface sales were "modest," which means they were very slow. One group monitored an Apple store and a Microsoft store over a period of several hours and counted 11 iPad sales and no Surface sales.

      The Surface Pro will have poor battery life, which doesn't bode well for its sales.
      Sam Ellens
      • But wasn't that Gene Munster

        The "buy Apple at any price as it'll hit 1000 a share" analyst?

        Not sure if I really trust him. If it was one of the bloggers here, I probably would.
        William Farrel
        • I don't recall who it was but considering the several new reports coming

          out that the Surface RT sold between 600K and 700K in the quarter I don't think his analysis was off.
    • Perhaps someone's products are a threat, but it won't be the Surface

      the Nexus, Galaxy Tab, and Kindle are the other popular slate like products out there, selling in numbers. The Surface is just not a factor right now.
    • That

      is at lest a great laugh. Windows 8 is doing fantastic.
      • 60 million licenses sold in the first 2 months is a fantastic number,

        and by now, it's probably closer to between 70 and 90 million licenses. It those numbers keep going in the same trajectory, Windows 8 could be even more successful than Windows 7, which also has more than fantastic numbers.
    • Maybe you should try studying those numbers again

      Even a cursory examination of the revenue vs profits shows the profit margin less than 25%, not anywhere close to 40%.

      As for Windows 8 and Surface? If I were you, I'd worry more about Android than Apple.
    • I used to just laugh at the idiocy of your posts but anymore

      when I read them I get sad thinking what a pathetic life it must be when all you have is your irrational hatred for a company.
  • No Mac Pros, premium imac costs

    Multinationals have been holding back on IT refresh and realising since the crash that PCs/Macs can last alot longer than than original refresh cycles. They are directing hardware budgets at servers (rarely Mac), security, storage, backup and VMs. CTOs don't buy all-in-one PCs and consumers outside gaming buy notebooks now. Look at Dell/HP- most of their revenue is coming from pro services, data servers and storage-not something Apple sells.
  • I wonder how many iPad Minis actually sold?

    This is a valid question given the metrics of the market.

    Why invest in something that's not selling so well, if they decide to discontinue it and pull support due to underwhelming sales numbers?
    William Farrel
    • It is clear that the sales of minis are really bad

      What is cook trying to hide by not announcing those numbers?
      • Yet more lies from SuperZealot.

        Given we have the Revenue from iPads and the number of units, an ASP could be calculated. Based on previous quarters and distributions, a very good estimate of iPad cannibalization caused by the iPad mini could be determined.

        But why even remotely tell the truth when you can write a good lie?