CEO Tim Cook made his case for the iPad’s long-term success on a call with analysts on Tuesday.
Cook said he didn’t think iPad sales would see “miraculous improvement” in the short-term but stressed high first-time buyer rates, especially abroad.
About 50% of iPad buyers last quarter in the US, UK, and Japan were buying an iPad for the first time, Cook said.
In China, the first-time buyer rate was even higher, around 70%.
Cook argued that those high first-time buyer rates mean the iPad market is far from saturated.
The Apple CEO also said 80% of tablet commerce is taking place on iPads and that Apple’s partnership with IBM to sell iPads to businesses could “move the dial” on sales.
The iPad has a long replacement cycle. People can buy one and not need to upgrade for years.
If Apple wants to turn around the iPad’s slumping sales it will have to either unveil a brand new stunning device — like the rumoured larger “iPad Pro” — or consistently add new features to its current tablet lineup that make people want to buy the latest model.
Don’t expect any big innovations anytime soon, though. Cook said Apple wasn’t “projecting something very different in near quarters.” And he would know.