Kuo is telling his clients to expect a drop of 20% to 25% in second quarter Apple iPad shipments compared to the first quarter. On a year-over-year basis, the drop off will amount to 10% to 15%. The analyst is basing his numbers on estimated sell-through which he expects to be 14 to 15 million for the second quarter. The drop off in comparisons is due to two factors. One is the large number of cheap 7 inch Android tablets that have been flooding the market. The other is that last year saw strong sales in the iPad as Apple introduced the third iteration of its slate, making the bar too high to top this year.
The Apple iPad mini is also part of the problem. Sequential shipments in the second quarter for the 7.9 inch device are seen declining 40% according to Kuo. The analyst also calculates iPad sales to retail partners coming in at 12.7 million units in the quarter with the Apple iPad mini responsible for 4.5 million of those units, the fourth-generation iPad representing 6.2 million, and the Apple iPad 2 coming in at 2 million.
The analyst sees growth returning in the third quarter to the level of shipments seen in Q1. Part of the growth will be seasonality, but the rest of it will depend on how well consumers take to the fifth-generation iPad that is expected to launch in the third quarter.