Apple still can’t keep up with iPad demand


Brydge 11 Max+ keyboard case is built for hardcore iPad Pro users
There's plenty of demand for tablets as low-cost alternatives to traditional computers.
Photo: Brydge

iPad shipments declined modestly in the Q2 2022, but not because people don’t want Apple tablets. iPad is still suffering from component shortages that slow production.

This was the second quarter in a row that Apple couldn’t make enough iPadOS units to meet demand.

Apple struggles to meet iPad demand in Q2 2022

Over the years, iPad has grown enormously both in capabilities and in its contribution to Apple’s revenue. It made up 9% of the company’s total revenue last quarter, rivaling Mac’s contribution.

That said, Apple reported Thursday that iPad revenue in Q2 2022 dropped 2% year over year to $7.2 billion.

Cupertino doesn’t reveal how many tablet units it ships each quarter, so it’s up to analysts to make estimates. And Strategy Analytics says Apple shipped 7% fewer units for a total of 14.8 million. That indicates the analysts think people are buying fewer, more expensive models.

But iPadOS did far better than Android tablets, which saw total shipments drop 21% year over year. All of the top Android makers saw double-digit declines. Samsung quarterly shipment dropped 13%, Lenovo went down 25% and Amazon took a 19% hit.

“Apple benefitted from a wealthier customer base than Android, but supply issues kept them from reaching even more demand than they did during the quarter,” said Chirag Upadhyay from Strategy Analytics.

The same thing happened in the first quarter of 2022, when iPad shipments dropped 4.6% because of the global chip shortage prevented Apple from making enough devices to meet demand.

Down slightly after going way, way up

Although Q2 iPad shipments are down from the same quarter of 2021, they are still well above where they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The June quarter total of 14.6 million beats every quarterly total before 2020. That includes the busy holiday shopping seasons in 2019, 2018 and 2017.

Strategy Analytics quarterly iPad shipments Q2 2022
Strategy Analytics’ data shows Q2 2022 iPad shipments are above pre-pandemic levels.
Chart: Strategy Analytics/Cult of Mac

“Inflation has gripped household budgets and consumer sentiment is on the decline, yet mobile computing demand persists as user behaviors favor hybrid work, and tablet shipments continue to outpace pre-pandemic levels,” said Strategy Analytics. Much of the demand is for premium and detachable tablets, to the benefit of iPad, Windows tablets and high-end Samsung models.


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