iPad Pro lives up to its name with strong early sales

By

iPad Pro
The iPad Pro had an impressive launch.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

After gloomy early reviews and alleged lower-than-expected orders by Apple, it seems the iPad Pro may have struck a chord with users after all.

A research firm claims that Apple’s giant tablet performed impressively over the all-important December quarter, despite its high price point.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 13.21.48

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, or CIRP, says the iPad Pro captured a “meaningful share” of Apple’s tablet market, or 12 percent of all iPads sold.

The December quarter also indicated another change for iPad sales, with iPad mini models taking over from the iPad Air for the first time as Apple’s top-selling tablet category. CIRP’s figures suggest that all combined models of iPad mini made up 47 percent of iPad sales in the quarter, compared to 40 percent for iPad Air models. In the December 2014 quarter, iPad mini models made up just 32 percent of sales.

“For the first time, iPad mini format had a greater share of sales than the iPad Air format,” said Mike Levin, partner and co-founder of CIRP. “iPad mini did much better in the quarter than it did a year ago, in part because of the lower price points along with holiday price promotions, and because of the different models available.”

Other CIRP findings suggest that the total share of new iPhone 6s models fell below the share of the then-new iPhone 6 in 2014, while the large-format iPhone 6s Plus share of sales also dropped compared to the iPhone 6 Plus. Customers continue to choose the year-old iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and even the two-year old iPhone 5s, CIRP notes.

Of course, we won’t know exact figures until Apple releases its quarterly earnings. CIRP’s number may hint at larger macro trends, but they are still based on a relatively small survey of only 500 U.S. Apple customers, surveyed from December 26, 2015, to January 12, 2016.

Still, at least as far as the iPad Pro goes, it seems Apple may have a hit on its hands. The only question will be whether it’s enough to reverse the downward trend of Apple’s slowing iPad business.

Source: Consumer Intelligence Research Partners