iPad sales dragged down by COVID-19, but rebound predicted

iPad sales dragged down by COVID-19, but rebound predicted

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The new 2019 iPad Air, with its 10.5-inch screen, works with Apple's existing Smart Keyboard.
The first quarter of 2020 wasn’t great for iPad Sales but Q2 might be much better.
Photo: Apple

Revenue from iPad sales dropped 10% during the first quarter of 2020. And shipments dropped 3%, according to a market-research firm. But analysts say that people working and studying from home during the pandemic could bring a burst of purchases this quarter.

Q1 2020 not a great quarter for iPad sales

Apple announced on Thursday that revenue from tablet sales in Q1 2020 totaled $4.3 billion, a decline from the $4.9 billion in revenue from the same quarter of 2019.

Apple iPad revenue Q2 2020
iPad generated less revenue in Apple’s financial Q2 than the same quarter of 2019.
Chart: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The company didn’t reveal how many units it sold in the January-through-March period, but Strategy Analytics estimates it was 9.6 million, down from 9.9 million in Q1 2019.

Analysts at IDC credited Apple’s decline to “the large number of shipments throughout 2019 and the closure of factories in the first quarter (due to COVID-19).”

But analysts and Apple upbeat for the future

Strategy Analytics predicts that tablet sales could see a boost in the April-through-June quarter. “There is evidence, however, that work/learn-from-home needs will benefit some vendors like Apple and Lenovo as large corporations and educational institutions seek to keep people productive while on quarantine,” said Chirag Upadhyay, Senior Research Analyst.

This may have already started. Apple is apparently seeing an uptick in demand for tablets and traditional computers. “On iPad and Mac, we expect the year-over-year revenue performance to improve in the June quarter,” said Luca Maestri, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, in a conference call with investors yesterday.