By now you’ve probably heard or read that Apple announced what can only be described as “ridiculous earnings” for the most recent quarter. The stock is at an all time high, the most valuable company on the planet; worth more, in fact, than the annual output of some entire nations.
What can we gleen about the iPad from the results? Revenues from iOS devices make up the lion’s share of the company’s total, something on the order of 72%. Incredible. Apple shipped over 15 million iPads in the quarter (not to mention 37 million iPhones!), three times the number of Macs shipped, though the Mac total also represented a new quarterly record and ever growing market share for Apple.
How does Apple feel about all this? Just great apparently. According to Tim Cook, they’re quite pleased that iPad sales are cannibalizing the Windows market. Further Tim Cook believes that “there will come a day when tablet market by unit is larger than the PC market.“
I say…welcome to my world!
(And no, I don’t believe that this is a new opinion from Mr. Cook; I believe he saw the writing on the wall long ago.)
For those of you who followed me early on, you know that I’ve firmly believed – basically from the moment the iPad was announced – that tablets (useable ones, not windows XP/7-based tablets or hybrid laptops) would come to dominate the market in terms of unit sales. They are the future of computing. Or at least the next wave. As Nikki Finke would say…Toldja!
The trend is inevitable, and inexorable. Despite analysts and pundits consistently underestimating the market’s appetite for the iPad (which, for the moment is, for all intents and purpose, the tablet market), the thing has continually exceeded even the rosiest estimates.
You may not like the trend. But just remember: the iPad can already do what 9x% of the people use a computer for 9x% of the time (and do it extremey well…) For the rest of the people the rest of the time, “full” computers will continue to exist. On the other hand, iOS and future iPad hardware will obviously continue to improve and grow in capabilities, pushing the percentages above closer and closer to 100%. Add in the Kindle Fire, Android 4 tablets, and, yes, Windows 8 tablets, and betting against this trend is foolhardy.
It’d be interesting to poll the pundits to see when they believe the tablet market will outpace the PC market in unit sales. Whatever the consensus, I’d bet sooner 🙂
EDIT: I came across this lovely tidbit which puts iPad sales into sharper perspective:
The iPad by itself, in one quarter, brought in more revenue than 230 out of the Fortune 500 companies earn in an entire year.