Apple Q3 13 hardware sales: iPhone strong, but iPad stumbles

Apple sees strong iPhone sales for the third quarter, but sales of its tablets have fallen precipitously, suggesting either market saturation or consumer fatigue with the iPad.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Apple's Q3 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 Apple's flagship product, the iPhone.

The iPhone did remarkably well, selling 31.2 million over the quarter, compared to 26 million in the year-ago quarter, and a record for the June quarter. This represents a 20 percent unit sales growth compared to the year-ago quarter, which resulted in a 15 percent increase in revenue.

"We are especially proud of our record June quarter iPhone sales of over 31 million and the strong growth in revenue from iTunes, Software and Services," said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. "We are really excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, and we are laser-focused and working hard on some amazing new products that we will introduce in the fall and across 2014."


So far, so good. But this is set to change.

Moving on to the iPad, Apple sold 14.6 million tablets (iPads and iPad Minis combined), down from 17 million from the same period a year ago. This represents a 14 percent unit sales decline compared to the year-ago quarter, which resulted in a 27 percent drop in revenue. This is a particularly precipitous fall for the iPad, and could result from a number of factors, from market saturation to consumer fatigue with Apple's tablet.


During the last quarter Apple only managed to shift 3.8 million Macs, down a fraction on the year-ago quarter sales of 4 million. The Q3 quarter Mac sales represents a 7 percent unit decline and a 1 percent drop in revenue compared to a year-ago quarter.


iPod sales have also stalled. Whereas once Apple could have relied on non-holiday quarter sales in the region of 10 million (increasing to over 20 million during a holiday quarter), this quarter's sales of 4.6 million are down a whopping 32 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. iPod revenues are also down, a massive 31 percent.

The era of the iPod is definitely drawing to a close.


Bottom line:

  • Overall, quarterly sales for the iPhone was good, showing a very strong upward trajectories. Cumulative iPhone sales now exceed that of the iPod, with almost 400 million handsets sold.
  • The iPad experienced a larger fall in sales than I had expected, and no doubt the potential reasons for this will be pored over by pundits over the coming days.
  • Mac sales are holding at around the 4 million mark, showing some signs of a slight decline. Is the Mac suffering a similar fate to that of the PC? 
  • The era of the iPod is quite definitely drawing to a close. It had a good run.


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