iPad's Dominance Helped by Enterprise, Education Markets

Apple CEO Tim Cook, following sales of 17 million iPads during the second quarter and strong sales to the education market, said he has yet to see any competitor gain "any level of traction."

Apple sold 17 million iPads during its second quarter, marking a "new all-time quarterly record for iPad units sales," CFO Peter Oppenheimer said during Apple€™s July 24 earnings call. Along with its accessories, the tablet contributed $9.2 billion to the $35 billion in revenue Apple brought in during the quarter.

While the iPad was first introduced with a consumer emphasis, executives needed none of the prompting they did with the iPhone, and the tablet quickly found audiences in any number of enterprise verticals. During the earnings call, these were detailed a bit, with Oppenheimer naming education as a vertical where the iPad is finding "tremendous momentum."

"While interest in the new iPad was high, sales of the reduced price iPad 2 in the K-12 markets were particularly strong, and even though €¦ we achieved all-time record Mac sales to U.S. education institutions during the quarter, we sold more than twice as many iPads as Macs to U.S. education institutions," said Oppenheimer.

The Mansfield, Texas, Independent School District, for example, purchased 11,000 iPads, with the intention that every student and teacher will receive one.

€œSome teachers will use a flipped-classroom concept, putting their lessons and resources online where students can access them anytime with their iPads,€ said Oppenheimer. €œAs a result, students take responsibility for their own learning, and teachers are able to increase their interaction and personalized content time.€

Apple estimates, said Oppenheimer, the number of iPads in Fortune 500 companies has more than tripled in the past year. They€™re being adopted by large businesses€”British Airways, for example, is using iPads for everything from check-in to cabin services€”and (for now) smaller ones. A builder in Japan called Dialogue House is building €œsmart homes€ that will be controlled by iPads.

While the smartphone market has moved beyond iPhone-dominance, Pund-IT principal analyst Charles King told eWEEK, €œthe tablet market is mostly about the iPad just now.€

Good Technology, which released a report on the mobile device activations of its customers during the second quarter, found the same thing to be true.

€œApple€™s iPads dominated tablet activations, with 94.5 percent of total activations for the quarter (down from 97.3 percent in Q1 2012) led by the new iPad 3,€ stated the report.

Good, however, was optimistic that a better mix was coming soon.

€œAndroid tablets still make up a small percentage of tablet activations, at 5.5 percent, but this is a major increase from 2.7 percent last quarter,€ according to the Good report. The greatest contributor to this rise, it found, was the Samsung Galaxy Note, which entered into the No. 10 slot on its list of top-10 devices.

Apple devices took the top four positions, and six slots overall. While the iPhone 4S led, the iPad 3 was second and the iPad 2 the fourth most-deployed device during the quarter.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, during the earnings call, noted that the iPad 2€™s drop in price to $399 has helped with sales, particularly in classrooms from kindergarten through high school.

€œWe have been very aggressive in the [K-12] space, and I don€™t see that changing in terms of competition,€ said Cook. €œWe€™ve all seen €¦ hundreds of tablets come to market over the last few years, and I have yet to see any of them really gain what I would call any level of traction at all.€