Apple CEO Tim Cook says despite dip, iPad sales exceeded the company’s expectations

by David Needle

April 23 2014

In an earnings report that focused heavily on booming iPhone sales, Apple sought to minimize a dip in iPad sales that it chalked up mainly to channel inventory issues. 

In an earnings call following release of its quarterly results for the second quarter, Apple CEO Tim Cook conceded that iPad sales for the quarter were below what analysts expected, but said they were higher than what Apple itself expected.

“We believe almost all of the (drop) can be attributed to channel inventory issues,” Cook said, noting that Apple ended the previous quarter with a surplus of iPad Minis, but that backlog was mostly taken care of in the just-completed quarter.

For the quarter, iPad sales were 16.35 million; well short of the 19.2 million in sales expected by Wall Street analysts. Also, the 16.35 million sold is down from 19.4 million from the same quarter a year ago.

In a Q&A with analysts, Cook said iPad "has absolutely been the fastest growing product in Apple’s history and it’s the only product that's been instantly a hit in consumer business and enterprise and education. Four years after launch it's sold over 210 million, more than anyone thought, and more than twice as many iPhones over a comparable period of time."

Cook also said he "whole-heartedly welcome Microsoft Office to the App Store" and thinks it will help with enteprise adoption. 

Going forward, Cook said Apple “continues to believe the tablet will surpass the PC [in sales] in the next few years and Apple will lead that trend.

Despite the shortfall, iPad continues to be the best-selling tablet by far.  

Apple posted quarterly revenue of $45.6 billion and quarterly net profit of $10.2 billion. In the same quarter a year ago, Apple reported revenue of $43.6 billion and net profit of $9.5 billion. Apple also increased its gross margin from a year ago at 39.3% compared to 37.5% a year ago. 

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