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After three years, iPad sales are up again for Apple

Enlarge[1] / The 10.5-inch iPad Pro.Andrew Cunninghamreader comments 18[2]Share this story

Apple released[3] its third-quarter financials today, reporting higher-than-expected numbers almost all-around. The company’s total revenue reached £45.4 billion, up seven percent year-over-year. Apple shares increased five percent to hit above £157 after hours–the company’s record intraday high was £156.56.

While iPhone sales have increased slightly year-over-year, the most interesting numbers are for iPad.

For the first time in three years, iPad sales grew: the company sold 11.4 million iPads this quarter, gleaning £4.9 billion in revenue. That represents a 15-percent unit increase year-over-year and a two-percent revenue increase year-over-year. The growth is reportedly being attributed to strong educational and business sales, as school districts buy iPads in bulk for their students and faculty to use.

Apple released the 10.5-inch iPad Pro[4] in June, so only a portion of those sales contribute to that number. But the Pro models and the £329 iPad[5] apparently offered the right options to the right consumers this quarter. Macs are also a bright point for Apple as the company sold 4.2 million Mac products this quarter.

That’s up from 4.1 million last quarter[6], and those numbers represent a seven-percent revenue increase year-over-year. Apple continues to be vague about the sales for devices lumped into its “other products” category–this includes big things like the Apple TV, Apple Watch, and AirPods, but also miscellaneous things like Beats headphones and charging cables. However, the category continues to grow as its revenue is up 23 percent year-over-year.

The company’s revenue from its services division–which includes the App Store, Apple Music, iCloud, and the like–is also up 22 percent year-over-year. Apple’s best-selling product, the iPhone, saw a dip in sales from last quarter–but a dip still means millions of people bought iPhones. While the 41 million iPhones sold represent a small year-over-year increase, it’s down from the 50.7 million iPhones the company sold last quarter.

This isn’t unusual with the highly-anticipated release of the iPhone 8’s supposedly coming in September–consumers are waiting to buy an iPhone so they can get the latest model. However, with the rumors of iPhone 8 production delays, it’s unclear if those sales will be counted in Apple’s Q4 earnings.

Overall, Apple continues to increase its revenue yearly across the globe–except in China. The company reported £8 billion in revenue this quarter in the Greater China area, which is a 10-percent year-over-year drop.

Apple recently increased its efforts to do business in China, while complying with the law of the land. The company announced[7] it would open its first data center in the country in the southwest province of Guizhou to comply with local cybersecurity laws, while also storing data closer to customers. However, China has many laws Apple and other technology companies have to dance around–or figure out how to deal with effectively.

Apple recently removed VPN apps[8] from China’s version of the App Store because the services can be considered illegal in the country. VPN services let users bypass China’s “Great Firewall” that restricts Internet access to certain sites, and they can hide an individual’s browsing activity from ISPs. Some have accused Apple of being compliant with China’s censorship practices, and there’s no telling when those services will come back to the China App Store.

Apple CEO Tim Cook commented[9] on the earnings call that those apps will have to meet China’s regulations and get licenses before Apple will reinstate them on the app store.


  1. ^ Enlarge (cdn.arstechnica.net)
  2. ^ 18 posters participating (arstechnica.com)
  3. ^ released (www.apple.com)
  4. ^ 10.5-inch iPad Pro (arstechnica.com)
  5. ^ £329 iPad (arstechnica.com)
  6. ^ last quarter (arstechnica.com)
  7. ^ announced (www.nytimes.com)
  8. ^ removed VPN apps (www.cnbc.com)
  9. ^ commented (www.wsj.com)

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