Why Apple Isn't Worried About iPad Sales Numbers
NEWS ANALYSIS: Analysts seem surprised Apple's iPads didn't sell in the same high volume as iPhones, which likely shows they don't understand the tablet market.When Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed his company's earnings July 22, he noted that iPad sales were lower than some analysts had expected. Cook also said he wasn't worried about those numbers and, in fact, said sales were in line with Apple's expectations. But Cook's statement that the company is happy with iPad sales hasn't stopped a number of analysts from expressing alarm, seeking answers (usually in the wrong places) or suggesting that the end is near for the iPad. Clearly, a number of analysts don't understand that the iPad isn't an iPhone, and expecting similar sales numbers is lunacy. In fact, the iPad is selling just fine, as Cook noted. So why the difference in sales between the iPhone and the iPad? The fact is that there are some major differences between the two seemingly similar devices that dictate how they're used, by whom and under what circumstances. The most obvious difference is that the iPad isn't a phone. That means it's being sold to people who have different needs than people who buy phones. That also means the iPad doesn't have the heavy subsidies that phones have, which means the up-front cost for an iPhone is usually lower.
But the real difference is in how the devices are used. iPads are used to display information in a format where it can be read easily, where data entry is easier than it is on a small device such as a smartphone, and where the primary interface is the larger screen. The characteristics that make an iPad so attractive for reading ebooks, entering data, searching the Web or displaying presentations also make it less sensitive to the relentless upgrade cycle that Apple engages in.