Exactly how well is the new iPad selling?

Exactly how well is the new iPad selling?
There was almost unprecedented hoopla leading up to the announcement of the new iPad. Yet as soon as they went on sale questions started to appear about the sales performance of Apple’s newest slate. Why didn’t they sell out everywhere opening weekend? Is Foxconn reducing production due to disappointing sales volume? Thankfully, numbers published by Chitika allow us to provide a more complete answer to this question.

According to Chitika’s numbers, the new iPad now accounts for over 10% of all iPad traffic in the U.S. The 5% mark was within the first 4 days (three million sold), and the new iPad has been making steady gains ever since. In general that’s what we’d expect - most tech products show a front-loaded burst of sales followed by a gradual descent to a sustainable daily sales floor. But are those numbers good?

To know that we'd have to assume that the new iPad's U.S. market share is fairly close to the market share is has in the rest of the world. That would imply that the 3 million new iPads sold the first weekend were 5% of iPads everywhere, and some simple math says in mid-March there would have been around 60 million iPads in the wild. That number matches up well with the 50 million reported a couple months earlier in January, since iPads continued to sell for two and a half months after that. Even if it's slightly high it would probably be less than 5%, which is good enough for our purposes.

Flash forward to today and new iPad market share has doubled. Of course that doesn’t mean a strict doubling of the initial three million, because the new iPads are also adding to the total number of iPads out there. A bit of just-slightly-more-complex math yields an estimated 3.6 million more iPads sold, bringing the total new iPad market share to roughly 6.6 million units sold out of 63.6 million total iPads on the market.

Breaking down the numbers a bit more shows that Apple is averaging a bit over 170,000 units a day for the last 21 days, and according to the Chitka numbers sales have been very consistent since the opening weekend. If we assume U.S. customers are replacing their iPads somewhat more rapidly than elsewhere, we're still looking at 160,000 units a day.

But are those good sales numbers???

Extrapolating those sales into the future, Apple is selling around 5 million units a month. Assuming sales remain fairly steady, Apple would just about perfectly hit the 48-50 million units mark that analysts were predicting in January. To put that into perspective, in 2012 the number of iPads sold ever sold would double, almost entirely due to the new iPad.

We are hard pressed to call these sales numbers “disappointing”. Certainly any Android or Windows 8 vendor would be thrilled with moving 5 million tablets a month. RIM would be over the moon.  Apple’s own internal predictions may well have been higher; street estimates of close to 50 million were considered “conservative” by some analysts, and Apple prides itself on conveying numbers it thinks it can beat.

So what is going on? The new iPad is widely regarded as the best tablet out there; even users of other operating systems cast an envious eye at its Retina Display. But most reviews have agreed that the case for iPad 2 users to upgrade is somewhat weaker, especially if you don’t need LTE. The new screen is fantastic, but $400+ for a new screen is pretty steep, no matter how nice it is. We may simply be running into a temporary ceiling for the rate at which people are entering the top tier of the post-PC era. Amazon and others supply low-priced tablets, after all, and larger economic trends aren’t really helping to fuel new purchases, even if things look somewhat better now than last year.

Regardless of whether the new iPad is meeting Apple’s own expectations, objective analysis makes it difficult to refer to current sales as anything but a success. Apple should sell 40-50 million of them in 2012, possibly more if either macroeconomics or a “killer app” helps speed up tablet adoption. Longer term Apple probably does have to worry about price pressure from lower-priced tablets, especially with Google’s Nexus Tablet expected this summer.

But in the meantime it’s clear that the new iPad is selling in droves.

sources: Apple, Chitika

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39 Comments

37. Xennex1170

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

"That would imply that the 3 million new iPads sold the first weekend were 5% of iPads everywhere, and some simple math says in mid-March there would have been around 60 million iPads in the wild." Does that 60 million include iPads that have been replaced due to damage or manufacturing defect, may no longer be in use (e.g. iPad 1), and iPads 1, 2, 'new' shipped but not yet sold via 3rd party vendors? Still an impressive number though. I think there are a lot of factors this time around that prevent the sales of 'new' iPad from being as high as some would expect. The factors that I see are 1) Selling the iPad2 which is not that much worse than the new 'iPad' at the same time will eat into potential new iPad sales. 2) Current iPad2 owners seeing no reason to update yet, especially in Countries outside of U.S. and Canada where their 4G LTE is not compatible with the 'new' iPad. 3) Many alternative tablets some better, some worse than the iPad family at more reasonable cost for what users will actually use them for. 4) Trademark problems in China that may in the worst case possibly end up with the Trademark Agreement becoming void and Apple having to do one or more of change the device name, pay 'damages', face import/export restrictions in China.

33. phonemonkey

Posts: 168; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

One year you see a tick One year you see a tock This was not meant to persuade every iPad 2 user to upgrade It was simply a "tock" on the cycle Bolstering the iPad reputation with a break through in screen size and speed. Persuading android tablet users to quit wasting their money on android products and purchase something that isn't cheap and flimsy and going to break. We have never replaced an iPad charge port Cant tell you how many android tablet users want to repair their product, yet we apologize and explain to them that they wasted their money once again for being cheap

26. ZetanAlaz

Posts: 14; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

sorry.. but iClicked just for the Smeagol...

19. xtian1103

Posts: 364; Member since: Feb 11, 2012

well it's just normal for apple to sell 5 million new ipad units a month. it's the analysts' higher expectations that causes news for a dismal sales! this shouldn't be news at all! now if android tablets are selling those kind of numbers then it's news worthy cause it never happened before

38. Xennex1170

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Assuming the 60 million to date for all iPads is correct, that would mean averaging slightly under 2.5 million a month over 25 months.

17. GoodFella

Posts: 112; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

In know in my store, we had a lot more in stock at the initial release than we did during the iPad 2 release... we didn't sell out the first day, yet there was a longer line.

16. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Some people finally realize nothing really change since the 2nd gen. all they do is add a higher resolution

15. kcombs

Posts: 275; Member since: Dec 15, 2010

If you own an iPad 2 there is no reason to upgrade. Not much of a real difference in the 3, aside from the screen. The only reason I purchased the 3 is simple, this is my first iPad. I agree with everyone, not many people are upgrading from the 2; it's mainly the iPad 1 and people new to the iPad.

11. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

Nice pic!!! That's the best depiction of an iSh**p so far...lmao!!!

7. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

It was obvious that the new iPad is selling well. That other article was just a guess and nothing official.

10. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

if selling 5+million tablets a month means not selling well lol then you need to create a new word for how terrible all the other tablets are doing

18. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Haha, I love how you 2 iFans are trapped talking in your own fantasy world here.

22. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

iPad sold 5 million in one month. Tell me how exactly am I in a fantasy world.

32. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

and it still lost marketshare to android. you inuts need to get off single device sales and realize 1) its about OS proliferation, not the device. Developers dont get a rats butt about the device as long as it can run well in the OS version. AKA, 4.0+ iOS compatibility, 2.2+ android compatibility. 2) if there were 20 ipad options available like there are with android, sales would be spread out more. Counting high iOS sales is a farce because if you want the latest and greatest you have NO choice in the matter. With android there are lots of choices, hence lower sales per choice, yet higher over all sales for the OS. but hey, hold on to that sales mantra if thats all you have. I dont know why you cling to it so tightly, its not like your getting paid per ipad sale. lol

6. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

i would sure hope ipad 2 owners are not upgrading... there is not a need too-- apple products last a long time.. i dont think they are really targeting for a year-after-year refresh cycle eitherr

8. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

True I'm sticking with my iPad 2

9. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

i think many new comers and ipad 1 owners are the majority buyers of the ipad ''3''...the ipad2 is still a great tablet and for them the ipad ''3'' is not a big enough difference...if i was an ipad2 owner i would probably not upgrade as the ipad 2 has more than enough legs to last another year if not longer...will say the new screen does look awesome...personally dont need a tablet,as i would use it for just browsing and nothing beats browsing on a tablet but thats not worth shelling out £400+. if the rumoured nexus tablet does come at £200 or below then i might go for it but anymore than i will just stick to browsing on my s2(s3 when available)

3. jove39

Posts: 2154; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Those numbers are way better than any other tablet out there. And if Apple want people to cross shop...just install os x on iPad and I might consider buying it!

2. joey18

Posts: 698; Member since: Jul 20, 2010

I think the ipad is nice but is overpriced my ipad cost me 800 and i still paying my credict card so if i get ipad my choice will be the galaxy note is phone and table 2. Things at the time

12. nark_59

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 09, 2012

If you think it's overpriced then why did you buy it..Its hardly rational to buy something that you do not need (argue this all you like but its a fact..no one needs an ipad it's a luxury product) when you think its overpriced and don't even have the money so you use credit. This is exactly what apple do to you, it's like the steve jobs "reality distortion field" has been instilled into the very essence of apple and you are caught right in it.

21. Scott_H

Posts: 167; Member since: Oct 28, 2011

Eh, a lot of people have gotten rich by selling people things they don't need. No reason to call a consumer out over it.

23. nark_59

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 09, 2012

that's not the point i was making. Everyone who buys an iPad is buying something they don't need. The point i was making is that he bought it on credit and is still paying it back yet complains that it was overpriced... how does that make any rational sense. I might like a new TV even though I don't need one, but if I have to borrow the money and pay back with interest I can't then complain about the price of the thing..I shouldn't have bought it.

25. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i do agree its ridiculous to buy something you dont really need and obviously cant afford if your throwing it on credit and then whining about it. There is a reason we are in a credit crunch.....

27. greathero1

Posts: 584; Member since: Jun 13, 2008

So this only happens for people buying Apple products? Lol, I hope you are not serious because this happens across all electronic devices, furniture, or any other consumer good. Most of the things we buy, we don't need. My addiction to new phones led me to buy about 3 phones per year for the past 3 years. They were all Android phones so I guess I am in "Andy Rubin's reality distorted field?" GTFOH lol!

31. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

no, it definitely happens with everything. we all want more than we have. we are told to do that from birth with all the advertisements as well as personal jealousy about what others have that you dont.

35. nark_59

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 09, 2012

Where did I say it only happens to people buying apple products? Obviously it happens to everyone in different sectors. But if you read steve jobs autobiography you would know what I'm taking about.. no-one does marketing like a apple does, and no-one is as effective as apple is at it partly due to product but a lot of it is to do with the "magical illusion" they create around all of their products. People are not buying 3 android phones a year en mass - that's just YOU. However a lot of people would buy 2 iphones a year if their old one became outdated just because it's apple and its new. I know people who have had an iphone 4 on contract for a few months and we actually so desperate for the 4s that they were prepared to pay off their entire two year contract.. android has the market share but it doesn't have the same kind of effect on the general public - that's not a good or bad thing its just an observation

1. toaster

Posts: 114; Member since: Sep 13, 2011

This conflicts with the article posted earlier today, as I thought it would. I didn't think that the new iPad would become stagnant so fast, as the earlier article stated.

4. JeffdaBeat unregistered

I kind of figured the same thing as well. Not only because it's a rumor not ascribed to any solid source, but because we saw this earlier. The rumor was the iPad wasn't selling well because the lines at the store were short and iPads were readily available. Everyone jumped on, only to find out the iPad had record sales. I feel like the same thing will result with this one. Especially since Apple started selling it to even more countries on March 23. Apple rumors suck because anyone can start them. Convince enough bloggers that the iPhone will have a 5in screen and you've got yourself your own rumor to be proud of. And I wonder if this should make us even more cautious. I love me some Apple rumors, but you have that human desire to be famous. What if someone just cooked up this hoax to see what reaction they got. Remember that rumor that Steve Jobs died? That effected the stock market. We have to be careful about the rumors we listen to. This could definitely be true or false. We won't know until we get Apple's quarterly results. But one thing I wish folks would do is stock cherry picking their rumors. That last rumor got a ton of negative posts without folks even questioning authenticity. Apple does well...where is the proof? Apple does terrible...GOSPEL no matter the source.

5. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I know I was one of those who questioned just how accurate that chart was in that article. The article in general. One thing I do know....most other manufactures would kill to have what some consider sluggish Apple sales... Love me some Android....but I try to look at the whole picture.

13. Scott_H

Posts: 167; Member since: Oct 28, 2011

To be fair, I don't think this really contradicts this morning's article (which I referenced); It appears that Apple and Foxconn may have geared up for even bigger sales numbers, so Foxconn probably is shifting production elsewhere. I just wanted to look at hard numbers and then discuss "disappointing" against "still good". If you won the lottery but found out that after taxes your $10 million is really only about $6 million, you might be disappointed, but your friends would still be happy to point out what a lucky bastard you really are.

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