In the spirit of noblesse oblige, SI is providing two informative tables providing total unit sales and their dollar value for the iPhone and the iPad from their launch dates.
The data has been collected off Apple’s quarterly and annual filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Except the stones the caveman used to ward off dangers and to light a fire, never in human history has a consumer product been so successful in so short a time.
Apple has launched six generations of iPhones since 2007 – iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.
Apple invented the tablet category.
Before the iPad debuts, tablet sales worldwide probably numbered in the hundreds or, at most, a few thousands. Whatever be the numbers in the pre-iPad era, tablets were used only for esoteric applications and not a consumer device.
Apple has put five versions of the iPad since the tablets came out in 2010 – iPad, iPad 2, iPad (3rd generation), iPad (4th generation) and the iPad Mini.
The 7.9-inch iPad Mini, Apple’s latest tablet model, debuted in November 2012.
Both the iPhone and iPad drive several billions of dollars in sales for Apple’s iTunes entertainment content store, App Store and the Mac App Store. We have not included those numbers here.
Android & iOS Future
While Google’s Android platform is now making considerable headway against Apple’s iOS mobile platform powering the iPhones and iPads, it’s important to bear in mind that Android unit sales and net sales are spread across multiple vendors including Samsung, Google, Acer, Asus, Sony, Barnes & Noble, Lenovo etc.
It’s hard to say if Apple can drive the same momentum for the iPhone and the iPad in the years ahead but history will record the extraordinary success of the iPhone and iPad from 2007-2013 as a milestone in human accomplishment.
For all those who thought the 7.9-inch iPad Mini was not good enough (one complaint – no HD display) or that rivals were stealing a march on the larger 9.7-inch iPads, consumers gave a fitting response by snapping up three million units of the new iPads in just three days.
Since tablet sales are a zero sum game, any iPad sales can only mean a big loss to the already struggling rivals.
The three million iPads sold over the weekend include both iPad Minis and the fourth generation 9.7-inch display iPads.
iPad minis and the fourth generation iPads are currently available only in 34 countries including the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and the UK.
No news on when the new iPads will ship in India.
Apple said Demand for iPad mini exceeded the initial supply and while many pre-orders have been shipped to customers, some are set to ship later this month.
iPad Mini with WiFi costs $329 (16GB), $429 (32GB) and $529 (64GB).
WiFi version of iPad (4th Gen) costs $499 (16GB), $599 (32GB) and $699 (64GB).
The WiFi + Cellular version for both iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad is scheduled to ship in a few weeks in the US.
As the wise SI has said time and again, the tablet game is Apple’s to lose, not for rivals to win.
Apple must make horrendous mistakes for it to lose tablet market share.
And given the glowing reviews for the latest iPads that is not going to happen any time soon.
Rival tablet vendors will have to write off massive losses running into hundreds of millions of dollars.
Now, don’t ask. I’m not buying the iPad Mini or the 4th Gen iPad.
Today Microsoft launched a Windows Tablet broadside called Surface in hopes of reaping some of the glory and revenues that Apple has cornered all for itself with the wildly successful iPad tablet.
Surface Tablets – Basic Specs
* Screen – 10.6-inch HD display; 16:9 Aspect Ratio
* Two models – Surface for Windows RT running on ARM processor and Surface for Windows 8 Pro running on Intel chips
* Operating System – Windows RT, Windows 8 Pro
* Touchscreen and digital pen input
* Integrated 3mm Touch Cover that doubles as a keyboard
* USB 2, microSD, Micro HD video
* Front and rear video cameras
* Built-in stand
* Thickness – 9.3mm for Surface Windows RT and 13.5mm for Windows 8 Pro version
* Weight – 676gms for Windows RT version and 903gms for Windows 8 Pro model
* Storage – 32GB and 64GB for Windows RT and 64GB and 128GB for Windows 8 Pro
Surface Pricing and Availability
Microsoft said Surface for Windows RT’s price would be comparable to other tablets that used an ARM processor but did not provide details.
Apple charges $499 for the 16GB version, $599 for the 32GB version and $699 for the 64GB version (all pricing is for WiFi only models) for its newest generation iPad tablets.
Microsoft did not mention exact ship date too but said Surface for Windows RT would be available when its Windows 8 operating system launches.
The Windows 8 Pro tablet should ship three months after that.
Since Windows 8 is expected to be completed in late July, we can expect Surface for Windows RT to ship sometime in the late third quarter and Windows 8 Pro models to ship in late 2012 or early 2013.
It’s safe to assume that at least the Windows RT model will be available for the busy holiday shopping season in December.
Applications for Surface Tablet
Surface for Windows RT will not run existing Windows applications.
It will run only applications included with the tablet (including Office Home and Student 2013 RT) and those offered via in the Windows Update or the Windows Store.
Surface for Windows 8 Pro will run existing Windows 7 applications.
Microsoft demo’d Netflix movie streaming application on the Surface launch event today.
But there’s no word on how many applications will be available for Surface for RT when it ships.
Surface Tablets – The Real Deal
Surface looks cool in videos but a slick presentation does not often translate into great products.
Apart from the Xbox and peripherals like mouse or keyboards, Microsoft has only limited experience in designing and selling its own hardware. The company’s traditional business model has been to license its software to multiple hardware vendors like Samsung, Dell, Acer, Asus, HP and Sony among others.
Surface’s success will ultimately depend on whether Microsoft can deliver a bug-free product at a compelling price and on the number of applications available for the device.
Should software giant Microsoft fail to announce a major move on the tablet front tomorrow, you can expect a thousand technology bloggers to collectively commit harakiri and the company’s stock to hit the bottom of the Mariana trench.
By all accounts, Microsoft will unveil a Windows Tablet in Los Angeles tomorrow.
The tablet is expected to be a Microsoft branded device running Windows RT, a version of Windows 8 operating system, on top of a chip from ARM.
Media tablets have been one of the remarkable success stories of the Internet era.
Market researcher IDC has estimated worldwide shipments of media tablets in 2011 at 69.6 million units, up from 19.4 million in the previous year.
Prior to 2010, there was no consumer tablet market to speak of.
In one of the most successful product launches in computing history, it took Apple less than three years to create a market for tablets and then lucratively capture most of that market for itself.
Ever since Steve Jobs walked up to the stage in San Francisco on January 27, 2010 and launched Apple’s first generation iPad to oohs and aahs, the world has never been the same again for digital media aficionados who thrive on hot new gadgets.
To be sure, neither Jobs nor Apple invented the tablet.
As a product category, tablets preceded the iPad but failed miserably with consumers.
Old fogies will recollect that Microsoft showed off a Tablet PC as early as the 2000 Comdex Fall 2000. But the digital-pen based Windows XP Tablet PC devices that followed a couple of years later were not even a niche product. They turned out to be a dud.
In the pre-Pad era, the most popular small form factor computing devices were not tablets but the Palm Pilot, netbooks and the iPhone.
Today, the Palm Pilot is history and the netbook is pretty far along the road to becoming history.
Apple’s First Generation iPad
Riding on the success of its iPod and the iPhone, a rejuvenated Apple under the inspiring leadership of its co-founder Steve Jobs polished and refined the concept of tablets to launch a touchscreen device that worked incredibly well.
Not only did it put the company’s core ‘Apple fanboys’ on a new high but it also brought a new group of delighted consumers into the Apple fold.
Apple’s 9.7-inch touchscreen iPad tablet created history, rivaled in consumers’ ardor for the device only by the iPhone.
With a tablet in their hand, people could browse the web, check e-mail, read e-books, watch videos and listen to their vast trove of music without squinting their eyes as they did while using the phone as an e-book reader or watching video.
It was not long before Netflix launched an app and consumers including yours truly were streaming Hollywood and Bollywood movies on the iPad.
The biggest advantage the iPad had at launch was that most of the 140,000 applications built for the iPhone could run on the iPad too.
Stunned by the success of the iPad, developers quickly started building native iPad apps boosting their number to 225,000 by June 2012.
Apple’s extraordinary success with the iPad prompted several technology companies including Samsung, Motorola, Acer, Asus and Sony to jump into the tablet fray using the Android software from Google.
Alas, none of the vendors could make headway in the tablet arena.
Android tablets lacked the finesse and the applications that were to be the iPad’s trump card.
Only when the prices were slashed to sub-$100 levels did iPad rivals gain any traction.
HP TouchPad (running not Android but WebOS) sold out when the company slashed the price to $99 to get rid of unsold inventory.
Android tablet vendors had few takers even when they cut prices to below iPad levels.
American Consumers whose unceasing clamor for cheap had driven most manufacturing out of the country to China were now happily paying Apple ridiculous prices.
The global economic downturn has had little impact on the growth of the tablet market.
On Thursday, market researcher IDC raised its media tablet shipment forecast for 2012 to 107.4 million units (from its earlier projection of 106.1 million) and predicted that the share of iPad tablets would grow in 2012 to 62.5%, up from 58.2% in 2011.
Windows Tablet – Low Odds of Success
Given the phenomenal success of the iPad, it’s hardly surprising that Microsoft would fling its hat in the tablet ring for a share of the tablet pie.
But a Windows tablet would suffer from several challenges, some of which laid waste to Android tablets.
First, the issue of applications will crop up on day one itself. Unless the Windows tablet debuts with hundreds of quality apps in diverse categories, it’s hard to see consumer enthusiasm building up for the device.
Unless Microsoft has found a way to get existing Windows apps for the desktop/laptop to run on the tablet, and that’s a big If, it’s going to take an herculean effort and billions of dollars to get developer commitment for the Windows tablet.
Second, like all the Android tablet vendors Microsoft’s Windows tablet too suffers from the handicap of being perceived as a me-too player looking to belatedly cash in the consumers’ robust appetite for tablets (albeit of the iPad kind).
Third, iPad rivals with the exception of Amazon.com have come in at a price-point higher than or equal to the iPad in an unmistakable death wish.
It’d be hard for Microsoft to make headway with consumers with a price tag of more than $299 for a 16GB 10-inch model. Even if the device is made in china, as it will be, hitting the $299 price point will prove a hard slog.
Finally, Microsoft has to grapple with a big question of whether it’ll be the sole peddler of Windows Tablets or will the company license its software to other manufacturers, effectively putting itself in competition with its partners/ customers like Samsung or Dell.
Traditionally, Microsoft has licensed its software to multiple hardware vendors letting them duke it out in the market place for wafer thin margins (like it did in the PC business). Its record as a seller of Microsoft-branded consumer devices has not been one of unalloyed success. Microsoft’s Zune music player turned out to be a disaster but the Xbox game console appears to be doing well lately.
Bottom line, in Microsoft’s belated re-entry into the tablet market the road ahead is daunting with the odds of success on the lower side.
Hey, the cheap-loving Indian cheap asses are not completely dumb after all.
Despite the endless din of how India will take over the tablet market with their cheap tablets and how the days of the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab were numbered blah blah blah, nothing of that sort has happened.
Of course, my wise predecessor (old SI) at the fabulous SearchIndia.com blog correctly predicted the dismal fate of cheap Indian tablets on countless occasions and maintained that the only tablet worth buying was the iPad.
Chutiyas aka Indians may be able to type a few lines of garbled code but in a million years those idiots can’t design a tablet (class and Indians are antipodes).
At least, not one that works well.
And no way are those junk tablet peddlers going to convince Indians to buy their gadgets.
Apple iPad – King of Indian Tablet Heap
A recently released survey of tablet shipments in India in 2011 puts the combined market share of Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy and Blackberry Playbook at 85.4%.Continue reading »