Apple iPad sales worries appear overblown

Apple iPad sales worries appear overblown

Summary: Apple delivered some modest price cuts to the iPad and drove sales on Black Friday. The move should keep worrywart analysts at bay for a bit.


Remember all those recent worries about how many iPads Apple would sell in the December quarter? Black Friday, free shipping and small price cuts may have allayed the worrywarts.

Worries about iPad sales were beginning to pile up as Amazon launched its Kindle Fire. The biggest concern was that Apple was overdue for an iPad price cut.

However, some field work from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster may silence those fretting about iPad sales. Munster, who estimates Apple will sell 13.5 million units in the December quarter, concluded that the company's flagship stores were selling 68 percent more iPads per hour than a year ago. Specifically, Apple sold 14.8 iPads per hour at its retail stores. A year ago, Apple sold 8.8 iPads per hour on Black Friday.

Also: Apple's iPad sales: Time for 'pricing stimulus'? | Great Debate: Are $200 tablets a game changer? | Great Debate: Kindle Fire or iPad: Which one should you buy?

Munster said:

Apple discounted iPads 8%-9% for Black Friday in 2011, vs. 6%-8% in 2010 which likely drove the acceleration in iPad sales that we observed during our 8 hours of Apple retail store checks on Black Friday. Our checks are consistent with comScore data, which indicated that Apple's online store saw double-digit y/y growth in traffic, and ShopperTrak, which saw overall Black Fri. retail sales up 6.6% y/y (the largest increase since 2007). We believe Apple retail stores outpaced overall retail sales due primarily to rare discounts on the iPad 2.

Mac sales also appear on track to ship 5.2 million units in the December quarter.

Other analysts were also upbeat about Apple's iPad sales. Wedbush Securities analyst Scott Sutherland said:

Apple store traffic was extremely robust with positive checks at other channels. On Black Friday and over the weekend, we surveyed five Apple Store locations. On Friday, all five stores experienced wall-to-wall traffic, driven by ~10% price discounts on iPads, iPods, and Macs. On Saturday and Sunday, traffic remained steady. In addition, checks at Best Buy, AT&T, and other channels indicated solid demand for Apple’s products.

We are more comfortable with iPad expectations despite recent supply chain chatter as Apple starts the transition to the iPad 3. With $41-61 iPad discounts, we saw a steady flow of iPad sales at Apple stores and other locations. While there was some concern with reduced orders for iPad 2 components, we believe this is mostly due to the transition to the iPad 3, which we still expect to be introduced in 1H12. Furthermore, until this weekend, we believe it was too early to call iPad unit sales, as we believe most will be for holiday purchases.

Topics: Apple, Enterprise Software, iPad, Mobility

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  • Do you think...

    A random unsourced rumor about potential supply issues and blog sphere takes it as gospel fact.

    Same with the iPhone 4S sales are slower than expected.
    • No sane person ever 'worried' about iPad or any other Apple's sales this ..

      @Bruizer: ... quarter.

      Because, you are right, it was single ignorant, nonsensical tabloidish rumour.
    • RE: Apple iPad sales worries appear overblown

      @Bruizer The 4s is selling but I have not had any issues finding them in stock when a friend or family member has been looking. Also, White iPhone 4s phones ship in a day from Verizon so they aren't as high in demand as the 4 was.
      • that doesn't exactly follow...

        @Peter Perry.. all that says is that supply is not outstripping supply this time around.. says nothing about demand.. might say that Apple was able to properly anticipate demand build enough iPhones this time around in order to services customers demand..
      • RE: Apple iPad sales worries appear overblown

        @Peter Perry On the day the iPhone 4s was released, the local store (one nearest to me) had over 300 iPhones behind the counter. I believe that Apple had large number on hand to avoid the Internet haters posting false reports. You would e surprised at the level of hate there is for Apple, on the Internet.
      • Every person I know had to wait a few days...

        @Peter Perry

        To pick it up in the Apple store. I know of not a single person that has been able to walk in and "just buy one". The local BBs was sold out on Black Friday. My friends white 32GB Verizon iPhone that he just got Sat, took 10 days to deliver after order from Apple.

        Demand still seems very very high. Nice attempt at implying iPhone 4S demand is low, however.
      • RE: Apple iPad sales worries appear overblown

        @Bruizer if your friends phone took 10 days from Verizon then he ordered a Black one as the White phones are 1 Day Ship time! My sister ordered hers last Wednesday Morning and it shipped the same day, arrived on Friday (would have been there thursday if not for Thanksgiving)!

        As for the demand, I have sent no less than 5 people to different stores and they all walked out with their iPhone in hand! Those that ignored me when I told them where they were in stock waited 10 Days for Black or 2 Days for White from Verizon.
      • RE: Apple iPad sales worries appear overblown

        @DoctorSpoc so Apple can meet demand th is time but couldn't in the past?

        Look, I am not saying it isn't selling well, just that it isn't as big of a success as the iPhone 4 was for Apple and yet this is on 3 carriers.

        Use the best buy store locator and you will find them in your area pretty much every day of the week. I know as this is exactly how I keep finding them for people that want them.
  • When it comes to Wall Street analists.....

    ...a lesson that Guy Kawasaki said he learned from Steve Jobs sums it up best: "Experts are clueless."

    P.S. No, I didn't misspell "analysts". The Urban Dictionary defines an analist as "A person who is so focused with rules, and the way things "should be", that they show no common sense, and becomes an annoyance to all."
    • Someone else originally coined that phrase

      "experts are clueless", I just can't remember where that was i saw that.

      Still anal is a good term to lable all these speculators with, ;)
      William Farrell
      • RE: Apple iPad sales worries appear overblown

        @William Farrell <br>"Someone else originally coined that phrase"<br><br>Implying that Steve Jobs copied three very generic words that come together to make a true statement? Getting desperate are we?
      • RE: Apple iPad sales worries appear overblown

        @anono the NBM trolls are the worst, they look for anything to disparage Apple, even if they have to lie.
  • lol

    Why do people feel the need to defend Apple products? If the people want the phones and tablets they will buy them. If not they will chose another product. Its called choice!
    • RE: Apple iPad sales worries appear overblown

      @adholt Why do people feel the need to lie about Apple products? Is it that Apple products are desired more than someone??? personal flavor of the minute?
      • Why do you feel the need to defend Apple so much?

        It's almost like you're defending your mother's honor, or that of your sister or wife.

        Are you married to Apple?

        Get a life. It's just a manufacturer of computer gadgets, and there are many of those out there. Your adoration for an inanimate object (Apple) and its offspring (iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMacs, etc), is unhealthy for a human being. Relax and do your own thing without feeling the need to search and destroy every negative Apple post. Just accept the reality that, there are people who have different preferences, and that, no matter how good Apple and its products might be, they will not love Apple as much as you do. I like Apple products, but, I've never felt that I needed to spend more to get a product that will serve my needs, so, most of what I do get is non-Apple devices, and I feel very good about them, because, they serve me just as well, and oftentimes better, because, I'm not limited to what Apple decides I can do with my devices that are non-Apple. Apple products are nice, admittedly, but, not enough for me to fall in love with them.
  • RE: Apple iPad sales worries appear overblown

    Just like how Antennagate was overblown, that was surely going to hurt the iPhone sales they thought. The first gen iPad if we listened to some pundits was never going to sell well next to netbooks.
  • RE: Apple iPad sales worries appear overblown

    wp7 has failed.

    Even Samsung BADA Outsells wp7
  • RE: Apple iPad sales worries appear overblown

    They aren't overblown at all. Eventually even the most challenged consumer will decide to stop paying so much more than the IPad is worth. Kindle Fire is going to make a lot of people realize how much they have been overpaying for the Apple name.
    • RE: Apple iPad sales worries appear overblown


      Don't agree. The Fire will spur iPad sales as people tire of small screens, poor peripheral support and jittery performance. Considering how Amazon has to give up niceties like volume, home buttons and storage to force that price into the $200 shoe, people will see that Apple is priced better than the competition.

      I suspect most people who purchase the thing did it because Amazon has great return policies so what do you have to lose?
      • RE: Apple iPad sales worries appear overblown

        @dhmccoy People buying the kindle will not tire over the smaller screen, it is the reason many of them bought it.