Mobile // Mobile Devices
Commentary
3/20/2012
08:15 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Apple Sells 3 Million iPads: What It Means

Apple sold more iPads in four days than RIM has sold PlayBooks and Motorola has sold Xooms--combined--in the last year.

New iPad Teardown: Inside Apple's New Tablet
New iPad Teardown: Inside Apple's New Tablet
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Apple revealed late Monday that it sold more than three million iPads worldwide between Friday, March 16 and Monday, March 19. The new iPad went on sale in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"The new iPad is a blockbuster with three million sold--the strongest iPad launch yet," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior VP of worldwide marketing. "Customers are loving the incredible new features of iPad, including the stunning Retina display, and we can't wait to get it into the hands of even more customers around the world this Friday."

Three million new iPads in four days is no doubt impressive. Apple said that the new iPad had a record weekend, and now we have the numbers to back that claim up. AT&T also said that it saw a record number of new iPad activations on its network.

[ Should you upgrade or join the tablet generation? See New iPad: Hands-On First Impressions. ]

Let's try to put "three million" into a bit of perspective.

During the last quarter of 2011, Apple sold 15.4 million iPads. That's 15.4 million over a 90-day period, including the vital holiday shopping season. Apple sold 11.12 million iPads during the previous quarter, and more than 40 million for the 2011 calendar year. There's always been a healthy appetite for iPads, and it appears as though the new iPad's Retina display and LTE 4G drew in first-time tablet buyers.

New data released recently by Strategy Analytics shows that the iPad owns 57.6% of the global tablet market. That's down markedly from the previous year's 69%. Where did Apple's lead go? Straight to Android. Android's share of the global smartphone market swelled from 29% is 2010 to 39.1% in 2011. If Android tablets make similar gains in 2012, Apple and Google will be neck-and-neck in the tablet space before we know it.

But no single tablet maker is doing nearly as well as Apple.

Research In Motion, for example, has sold somewhere between 1 million and 1.25 million PlayBook tablets. Many of them were sold for less than the original $499 price. In fact, the PlayBook's price has been closer to $199 since September. Motorola has sold about 1 million Xoom tablets, based on its 2011 full-year financial statement. Add RIM and Motorola together, and the two combined might have moved 2.25 to 2.5 million tablets over the course of an entire year.

Samsung is believed to have sold more than one million of its Galaxy Tab tablets. Samsung admitted, however, that it is flailing with its spate of slates. "Honestly, we're not doing very well in the tablet market," Hankil Yoon, a Samsung executive, told a group of reporters last month.

Other tablet makers, including HTC, LG, Sony, Asus, and others, haven't been very forthcoming in their tablet sales data. However, Andy Rubin, Google's Android chief, said that there are about 12 million Android tablets in circulation. That's 12 million Android tablets in a year's time (the Xoom first went on sale in February 2011) compared to the iPad's 40 million.

The new iPad is set to go on sale in an additional 24 countries March 23. Based on the numbers for its opening weekend, the expansion will likely see another surge in iPad sales. It is conceivable that Apple will move between 7 and 10 million new iPads in the March 16-26 period.

What do we know with certainty? The iPad market--not the tablet market--is huge and growing.

In this interactive virtual event from Dr. Dobb's, Developing With HTML5, top business technologists, experts, and solution providers will discuss the present and future of HTML5 as a Web- and mobile-development platform. When you register, you will gain access to live webcast presentations and virtual booths packed with free resources. It happens April 12. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
herman_munster
50%
50%
herman_munster,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/3/2012 | 8:51:49 PM
re: Apple Sells 3 Million iPads: What It Means
I own both iPads and an Android tablet. The Android tablet I own more or less makes my iPads look like a joke when you look at them superficially. However, they do different things. My Android tablet has replaced my pc in many cases while my iPad has replaced paper - books, magazines, notepads, etc.

lhinek935
50%
50%
lhinek935,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/20/2012 | 10:06:08 PM
re: Apple Sells 3 Million iPads: What It Means
How much does Google make on each Android tablet sold?
jbelkin
50%
50%
jbelkin,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/20/2012 | 6:04:15 PM
re: Apple Sells 3 Million iPads: What It Means
In an effort to protect and not embarrass their client base, android tablets are SHIPPED numbers NOT sold numbers. Even at discounted or prices, RIM announced much lower sales f you add their last two quarter announcements, something around 360,000 sales at a loss over 6 months! What's more telling is that the iPod has about 96% Internet usage of all tablets! The REAL and actual market share. After all, if android tablets were really sold and being used, what usage involves NOT being on the Internet?
imenyc100
50%
50%
imenyc100,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/20/2012 | 6:03:46 PM
re: Apple Sells 3 Million iPads: What It Means
Sorry but 12 million Android tablets were not sold but shipped, which means that in reality Apple's share of the tablet market is higher than the stated percentage. Plus, how many of those Android tablets are gathering dust after being bought?
toothie007
50%
50%
toothie007,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/20/2012 | 2:44:51 PM
re: Apple Sells 3 Million iPads: What It Means
It doesn't mean a thing without some additional information. For like I stated on a couple other sites, I believe the ipad 2 was released in only three countries during its first weekend. On the other hand, the new ipad was released in ten. If that is the case you cannot simply look at the numbers and say that the new ipad had a record breaking weekend. You will need to compare the sales numbers for the new ipad during its first weekend to those of the ipad 2 during its first week, in just the three countries in which the ipad 2 was released during its first weekend. Otherwise, we are looking at apples and oranges.
JimMNH
50%
50%
JimMNH,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/20/2012 | 2:33:13 PM
re: Apple Sells 3 Million iPads: What It Means
What is amazing is the level of pontificating iPad owners are apparently doing as "news". Apple sold 40 million iPads in a one year period. Impressive .. yes. During that same period some 12 million Android tablets were sold. Impressive .. yes. Let's face it, 12 million of anything is not a small number. The fact that executives missed their corporate bonus cause they were unable to sell 40 million Android tablets for their company doesn't diminish the realization that Android is catching up in a market that Apple started years earlier. Fact is this is far from over .. in fact .. the race is just starting. Where this goes, especially with some good competition, should be good for consumers.
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest September 18, 2014
Enterprise social network success starts and ends with integration. Here's how to finally make collaboration click.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
The weekly wrap-up of the top stories from InformationWeek.com this week.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.