Apple Q1 2013 hardware sales: By the numbers

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?
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

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?

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