Apple sold one iPad for every four iPhones in Q3 2017, which is very good

Apple had the best non-holiday quarter for the iPad in over four years. But the Apple Watch might be losing traction.

Apple's Q3 2017 results are out, and while the iPhone is the device that still pulls in the big bucks, the iPad saw a much-needed sales boost during Q3 2017, giving it the best non-holiday quarter it's had in more than two years.

See also: Ten Apple products you shouldn't buy (and three that you can't buy anymore)

With iPad sales of 11.4 million, which is a unit sales growth of a massive 28 percent compared to the previous quarter, and 15 percent growth compared to the year-ago quarter, you'd have to go back to Q2 2015 to see a non-holiday quarter that was that strong (that quarter saw 12.6 million iPads sold).

iPad sales

iPad sales

This would suggest that the iPad Pro refresh back in June, along with an iPad price cut, triggered a modest upgrade cycle. How long it will last remains to be seen, but it has helped to draw attention away from lackluster iPhone sales, which at 41 million, hung on into growth territory by only a couple of percentage points.

Given that new iPhones are around the corner, and considering the massive hype surrounding the iPhone 8 (or whatever it ends up being called), it doesn't surprise me that iPhone sales weren't anything to write home about.

iPhone sales

iPhone sales

But still, growth is growth.

Equally, Mac sales of 4.3 million are pretty lifeless too, showing only a one percent growth compared to the year-ago quarter.

Mac sales

Mac sales

When it comes to the Apple Watch, things might not be that good. While Apple itself doesn't publish Apple Watch sales figure, it is possible to make some educated guesses. I tend to go by the guidance issued by Above Avalon analyst Neil Cybart, who looks at the "Other Products" revenue and gauges Apple Watch sales by assuming a certain amount of accessories sales and then taking the average selling price for the watch of $365.

Apple Watch sales estimate

Apple Watch sales estimate

Above Avalon

Based on the data he released, "Other Products" revenue of $2.7 million would translate into Apple Watch sales of only 2.3 million, which would be very weak indeed.

Overall though, a good quarter for Apple, especially considering services revenue hit an all-time quarterly high. But iPhone growth still remains sickly, and it's unlikely that the increase in iPad sales is little more than a transient blip.

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