iPad sales saw the largest year-over-year decline ever last quarter — Apple sold only 21.4 million of them, down 18% from a year ago.
Yet, during the earnings call on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook sounded pretty upbeat about the prospects of his tablet business. He’s particularly excited about its prospects in the enterprise.
Cook emphasised iPads are already being used in “essentially all of the Fortune 500 companies.” The only problem is that companies are not deploying it to enough employees.
“The issue is not a market share number, because our market share is extremely high. The issue is that enterprises, generally speaking, are only deploying iPads to a small percentage of their workforce,” he said.
To solve this, Cook said Apple — in partnership with IBM — is building more apps for specific use cases. That would include not just general work apps like word processors or spreadsheets, but also apps developed for specific industries like healthcare or energy. The idea is to give employees who might never have used a PC, or onl used a shared PC, an iPad with very specific apps for their jobs.
Last month, Apple and IBM released 10 apps for industries across banking, retail, insurance, and government. Cook said another 12 apps, in healthcare, energy, and utilities, are in the pipeline for this quarter. IBM is in talks with 130 additional companies, Cook said, which by the end of the year will result in over 100 business apps available.
“The real opportunity is to bring mobility into the enterprises and change how people work,” Cook said.
But not everyone seems to agree with Cook. KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, who accurately predicted last quarter’s 18% decline in iPad sales, wrote in a recent report that iPad sales will drop 40% on a year-over-year basis.
Here’s a graph that better illustrates iPad’s rapid decline: