Apple reported solid earnings last night, beating expectations on the top and bottom line.
There were three things that stood out in the report: iPhone sales were great, iPad sales were not great, and Mac sales were surprisingly good.
We’ve already talked about the iPhone, so let’s focus on the the iPad and Mac. In this chart from BI Intelligence, you can see the astounding rise and fall of the iPad as well as the slow but steady performance of the Mac.
Two years ago, this chart would have been unthinkable. Pundits believed the Mac was on its way out. It was doomed to a future of flat sales while the iPad shot to the moon. Instead, the iPad has come back to earth, and the Mac had its best ever quarter.
What does this mean for the future of Apple? Who knows! It would be silly to say the iPad is doomed. And it would be hard to argue that the Mac is the future of the company.
Apple CEO Tim Cook thinks the iPad has a bright future. On last night’s earnings call he said, “I’m very bullish on where we can take iPad over time.”
He also said, “I’m sure that some people looked at the Mac and iPad and decided on a Mac… I am sure that some people will look at an iPad and an iPhone and decide just to get an iPhone and I’m fine with that as well.”
This is the important thing for Apple in the long run. As long as people continue to choose two of those three options, it should be fine.
And, for another perspective, here’s the Mac versus iPad on a trailing twelve month basis. The iPad is comfortably ahead of the Mac for now, but the trend doesn’t look good.