Another stonking quarter for Apple as sales of iPads soar and even the established Mac market is on a roll. "It was a phenomenal quarter that exceeded our expectations all around, including the most successful product launch in Apple's history with iPhone 4," said Steve Jobs. "iPad is off to a terrific start, more people are buying Macs than ever before, and we have amazing new products still to come this year," he continued.
The 3.27m figure for iPad sales was almost expected as the device is rolled out across the world. There seems to be no slackening in interest.
But the surprising thing is that Mac sales are also forging ahead with 3.47m computers sold during the quarter – no less than 33% higher than sales in the same quarter of 2009. It proves that there is no cannibalisation of Mac sales by the new iPad; on the contrary, it confirms the "halo effect" of devices like the iPhone and iPad in bring new customers into the Apple world.
Before the iPod Apple was definitely a niche producer. The iPod brought vastly increased exposure for the brand, but it was the iPhone in 2007 that started the big conversion. People who had never before considered a Mac suddenly found that they liked the iPhone way of doing things. The iPad will only boost this trend as Apple begins to take an ever larger share of the world computer market.
Tantalisingly, Steve dropped a hint that there are "amazing new products still to come this year". So far, rumours have predicted a new 10.7in MacBook Air – something that all Mac users will welcome – and a smaller iPad with, perhaps, a 5in or 7.5in screen.
Both of these developments, if they come about, would add to Apple's success rather than cannibalising other products in the range. Many iPad users who do not use the device extensively for video or games would welcome a smaller pad which would be ideal for book reading and productivity applications. And a smaller Air will appeal to Mac users who want a more portable full-function machine with physical keyboard and faster processor.