iPad Pro gives Apple another quarter of strong tablet growth

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Any USB-C hub will work with your iPad Pro, but they all have really short cables.
The 2018 iPad Pro spurred sales of iOS tablets.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple saw strong demand for its most recent iPad Pro models last quarter, boosting global shipments of all iOS tablets by 9 percent, according to a market research firm.

Revenue from iPad sales was up even more strongly.

“Apple iOS shipments (sell-in) grew 9% year-on-year to 9.9 million units in Q1 2019, pushing its worldwide market share to 27% of the Tablet market,” noted Eric Smith from Strategy Analytics. “Apple added 3 percentage points to its market share year-over-year.”

iPad shipments also saw double-digit growth in the previous quarter, the first since the debut of the new Pro models.

“Blockbuster” revenue growth from iPad Pro

Strong sales of the company’s premium tablets pushed up the average selling price during the first three months of this year. “The new iPad Pro portfolio had momentum this quarter, boosting ASPs to $490 this quarter from $451 in Q1 2018,” said Smith.

Apple has seen significantly increased revenue from its tablets, going from $4.0 billion in Q1 of last year to $4.9 billion last quarter. CEO Tim Cook said “We had a blockbuster quarter for iPad, with revenue up 22% from a year ago. This is our highest iPad revenue growth rate in six years.”

Revenue from iPad sales including Q2 2019
Apple’s 2019 financial Q2 was was the best it had been this quarter in years.
Chart: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Android and Windows still in there swinging

While Apple shipped more than twice as many tablets last quarter as its next nearest competitor, shipments of competing tablets combined still dwarf iOS ones.

Samsung saw its shipments drop 9%, but other companies making Android slates are doing well. “Amazon had an excellent post-holiday quarter on the back of several promotional discounts, pushing shipments 21% higher than a year ago,” said Smith. “Huawei is still eating the lunch of its Android competitors, particularly in EMEA and China, growing 8% globally year-on-year.“

And Microsoft’s Surface line has carved out a niche. “Microsoft fully owns the leadership position in Windows Detachable 2-in-1s with the release of the lower cost Surface Go and a refreshed Surface Pro 6 all in the last half of 2018,” said Chirag Upadhyay, another analyst with Strategy Analytics. “This is the fifth straight quarter of year-on-year shipment and revenue gains for Microsoft.”

Android makes up 58.9 percent of the global tablet market, while Windows is at 13.6 percent, according to Strategy Analytics. Most Windows models are premium devices, which these analysts say are struggling to compete with the iPad Pro. That’s why this operating system’s global share of the tablet market dropped in Q1.