There has to be a tipping point for iOS devices, right? A point where people stop needing to buy the new, new iPad, and instead hold onto them just a little bit longer. At some point, the sale of iOS devices needs to slow down a little bit, right?
Not so, according to Apple, who announced during their financial call this morning that the new iPad just had a record weekend. Tim Cook, answering a question from Gene Munster during a financial call today, spilled the beans on the big new iPad release: “We had a record weekend, and we’re thrilled with it, but this call isn’t to discuss the current business, as you know.”
While CEO Tim Cook didn’t elaborate on the numbers, AT&T independantly confirmed the explosion in sales, telling us that a new single-day record for iPad sales and activations occurecd on Friday, the new iPad release day.
All early indicators have the new iPad being a success; however, by eye alone, I’m a little bit surprised by the news. Having been at every iPad release since the company announced the first one, year after year the lines seem to shrink at my local Apple Store. This time, arriving at 8am, there was less than a dozen people in line at the Apple Store.
Now, that being said, two things could have happened: first, the Apple team could have absolutely killed it, getting people in and out of the lineup faster than they have in the past; second, more people could be heading online to purchase the new iPad, hoping to avoid the chaos that is an Apple release day. Both of these things are possible, but that being said, my gut told me at the time that people were starting to hold onto their iPads just a little bit longer.
Being relatively new to the market, tablets, and more specifically the iPad, seem to still be finding their way into first-time customers’ hands still. That could easily explain the explosion in sales year after year after year. I have no doubt that Apple is selling these things faster than they have in the past, but the real question here is whether or not the pace is sustainable. Will the iPad, like the PC before it, find itself in the hands of consumers a little bit longer in the future? Do customers feel the need to upgrade their iPads at the same rate as they do their iPhone or other smartphone? Again, after seeing the line at my local Apple Store last Friday, my gut says things are about to slow down, but it’s Apple we’re talking about here, and if anyone can shirk the norm, it’s them. The iPhone hasn’t slowed down yet, and it has a two generation head start on the iPad. That’s what makes the news from Tim Cook and AT&T so amazing. Apple just keeps kicking ass and taking names, despite everyone’s guess that the growth just can’t be maintained over the long run.
Logic says this has to stop at some point, but Apple flipped the bird to logic long ago. Logic doesn’t apply to Apple sales, apparently. I just need to stop second guessing the company, because iPad after iPad, and iPhone after iPhone, the company just keeps dominating sales. That alone is amazing. Simply amazing.