iPhone 7 Remained World’s Most Popular Smartphone Model in June Quarter

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus remained the world's most popular smartphones in the second quarter, ahead of Samsung's newer Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.


Apple shipped an estimated 16.9 million iPhone 7 units and 15.1 million iPhone 7 Plus units worldwide in the quarter, which corresponds with April through June, according to the firm's latest Smartphone Model Tracker report.

"iPhone 7 remains the world's most popular smartphone model overall, due to a compelling blend of user-friendly design, extensive supporting apps, and widespread retail presence for the device," said Juha Winter, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics.

Strategy Analytics estimates Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ shipments totaled 10.2 million and 9 million respectively in the quarter. The smartphones, released in April, were the world's third and fourth most popular during the period.


"Samsung's Galaxy S8 has instantly become the world's most popular Android smartphone model, due to its attractive curved-screen design, a rich portfolio of software apps, and best-in-class retail distribution across dozens of countries," said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics.

Rounding off the top five was Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi's budget Redmi 4A handset with an estimated 5.5 million quarterly shipments.

Apple reported it sold 41 million iPhones last quarter, but it doesn't break down the number on a model-by-model basis. Apple CEO Tim Cook did note the iPhone 7 remained its most popular iPhone.
iPhone results were impressive, with especially strong demand at the high end of our lineup. iPhone 7 was our most popular iPhone, and sales of iPhone 7 Plus were up dramatically compared to 6s Plus in the June quarter of last year. The combined iPhone 7 and 7 Plus family was up strong double digits year over year. One decade after the initial iPhone launch, we have now passed 1.2 billion cumulative iPhones sold.
Android still remains the world's most widely adopted mobile operating system by a significant margin given the hundreds of smartphone models running that platform. Android accounted for 67 percent of U.S. smartphone activations in the second quarter, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

iPhone 6s was similarly the world's most popular smartphone model last year, according to market research firm IHS Markit.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Tag: Strategy Analytics

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple’s Sizable Jump in Tablet Sales Wasn’t Entirely Driven by New Lower-Priced 9.7-Inch iPad

Apple recently reported sales of 11.4 million iPads in the June quarter, an increase of 15 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. iPad revenue was also up, but only 2 percent year over year, suggesting Apple was selling a lot of new lower-priced 9.7-inch iPads, which start at just $329 in the United States.


A new report by research firm Strategy Analytics, however, argues that isn't entirely the case. Apple's average selling price for iPads remained steady at $435 in the June quarter, down only one dollar from the March quarter.

That doesn't mean the new 9.7-inch iPad, introduced in late March, isn't popular. With a faster A9 chip and brighter Retina display than the iPad Air 2 it replaced, and for less money than even an iPad mini 4, the tablet provides good value with few compromises for customers at the low end.

What it does mean is that more expensive iPad Pro models likely sold well enough to offset the addition of a lower-priced iPad in Apple's tablet lineup. Apple launched new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models at its Worldwide Developers Conference, a few weeks before the end of its June quarter.

"It's undeniable that lower pricing on the new iPad helped drive sales throughout the June quarter, but the ASPs tell a slightly different story," said Eric Smith, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, speaking with MacRumors.

"ASPs were steady from last quarter, showing that higher priced iPad Pro models also sold well, even though the new 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch models were out for less than a month in the June quarter," he added.

For historical perspective, the average selling price of iPads has typically been between roughly $415 and $450 since 2015, although it briefly rose to $490 in the year-ago quarter following the launch of the original 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

Wall Street Beat


Apple's sales of 11.4 million iPads far exceeded analyst expectations. The average Wall Street prediction was approximately 9 million iPads sold, according to Wells Fargo, with some analysts predicting as low as 7 million.

Strategy Analytics estimates that Apple took a 26 percent share of the global tablet market in the June quarter, up from 21 percent in the year-ago quarter. iPad remained the world's best selling tablet, ahead of Samsung tablets, which maintained an estimated 13 percent market share in the quarter.


Chinese company Huawei also saw explosive 42 percent growth in the quarter, with an estimated 3.2 million tablet shipments, according to Strategy Analytics. Apple, Huawei, and Amazon were the only tablet makers to experience growth in the quarter, with Samsung, Lenovo, and all other vendors facing declines.

It's worth noting that Apple doesn't disclose iPad sales on a model-by-model basis in its quarterly earnings results.

Given the new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models were released towards the end of the June quarter, the tablets should have even more of an impact on Apple's tablet sales in the fourth quarter. Apple's 15 percent increase in iPad sales marked the product category's first unit growth in nearly four years.

Also See
: IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker for June Quarter

Related Roundup: iPad (2017)
Tag: Strategy Analytics
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Neutral)

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Watch Has Now Surpassed Estimated 30 Million Shipments Since Launching in 2015

Apple shipped an estimated 2.8 million Apple Watch units in the June quarter, an increase of 56 percent from an estimated 1.8 million shipments in the year-ago quarter, according to a new report by research firm Strategy Analytics.


Strategy Analytics previously estimated Apple Watch shipments totaled 13.6 million in 2015, and 11.6 million last year, suggesting Apple shipped its 30 millionth Apple Watch at some point in the past three to four months.

Specifically, Apple Watch shipments have now reached an estimated 31.5 million units over the product's lifetime.

Despite the milestone, Strategy Analytics claims Apple trails Fitbit and Chinese company Xiaomi, estimated to be the world's largest wearables vendor, both of which sell many less expensive fitness trackers.

Xiaomi shipped an estimated 3.7 million wearables in the June quarter, according to Strategy Analytics, while Fitbit on Wednesday reported sales of 3.4 million devices in the same period, down from 5.7 million a year ago.


"Apple has for now lost its wearables leadership to Xiaomi, due to a lack of presence in the sizeable fitness band subcategory," said Cliff Raskind, Director at Strategy Analytics. "However, the rumored upcoming Watch Series 3 launch with enhanced health tracking could prove to be a popular smartwatch model and enable Apple to reclaim the top wearables spot later this year."

It's important to acknowledge these are estimated figures, and that shipments do not necessarily reflect sales.

Apple doesn't break out Apple Watch sales like it does with iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Instead, it groups the wearable under its "Other Products" category, alongside Apple TV, AirPods, Beats, iPods, and other accessories.

Apple reported "Other Products" revenue of $2.7 billion in the June quarter, up 23 percent on year.

In its post-earnings conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook once again talked up how well Apple Watch is supposedly selling.

"Sales of Apple Watch were up over 50 percent in the June quarter," said Cook. "It's the number one selling smartwatch in the world by a very wide margin."

"Apple Watch is having a positive impact on peoples' health and daily lives, and motivating them to sit less and move more," he added. "With features like built-in GPS and waterproofing, Apple Watch Series 2 is the perfect companion for hiking, running, and swimming."

Cook has made similar statements in the past. In the March quarter, he noted that sales of Apple Watch nearly doubled year over year. In the December quarter, he announced that Apple Watch had its best quarter ever.

Strategy Analytics doesn't disclose its exact methodology of calculating Apple Watch shipments for competitive reasons, but executive director Neil Mawston has told MacRumors the research firm uses "a blend of channel checks, financial analysis, and other sources" when asked in the past.

"It is the same methodology we have used for phones since the 1990s and for wearables since the modern market first emerged circa 2013," he added.

The focus now turns to the fall, when Apple is rumored to debut Apple Watch Series 3 models, potentially alongside its new lineup of iPhones.


Discuss this article in our forums

Huawei Closing in Fast on Apple in Smartphone Sales According to Latest Estimate

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei aims to become the world's largest smartphone maker by 2021, ahead of both Apple and Samsung, and the latest market share data suggests it continues to make progress towards that goal.

Huawei P10

Huawei shipped an estimated 38.4 million smartphones in the June quarter, a 20 percent increase over a year ago, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. By comparison, Apple reported it sold 41 million iPhones in the same period, up nearly 2 percent from 40.4 million iPhones in the year-ago quarter.

Huawei's market share rose to an estimated 10.7 percent in the quarter, putting the Chinese company well within striking distance of Apple's estimated 11.4 percent market share in the quarter. Samsung continued to lead the market with a 22.1 percent share of shipments, according to Strategy Analytics.


"Huawei is now closing in fast on Apple and Apple will be looking nervously over its shoulder in the next few quarters," said Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics. "Huawei is outperforming across Asia, Europe and Africa with popular Android models such as the P10 and Mate 9."

Beyond the iPhone sales numbers, officially reported by Apple, it is important to acknowledge that these are estimated figures, and shipments within distribution channels do not necessarily reflect sales to customers.

Third Place


Since 2011, the worldwide smartphone market has been dominated by Apple and Samsung. The elusive third-best spot, meanwhile, has failed to be held down by one vendor for an extended period of time, changing hands between Nokia, BlackBerry, Xiaomi, and Huawei over the past six years.

In 2014, it looked like low-priced Chinese vendor Xiaomi had firmly cemented its position as the world's third-largest smartphone maker, but due to a limited retail presence and declining popularity, Huawei is now firmly in the driver's seat.

Huawei has been making an aggressive push into several European markets, and it's even testing the North American market after launching its smartphones in Canada in June. Huawei isn't well known in the United States, however, largely because it lacks agreements with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

American customers have to resort to retailers such as Best Buy or Walmart, or Huawei's direct sales website, to purchase one of their unlocked smartphones, reducing the brand's visibility in a country where Apple and Samsung reign supreme.

If Huawei can find success in Canada, then perhaps it will consider tackling the much larger market south of the border next.

Apple's Struggles in China


Apple reported revenue of $8 billion in Greater China in the June quarter, a 10 percent decrease compared to the year-ago quarter, and some analysts believe that's partly due to the iPhone's declining popularity in the country.

iPhone market share in China fell to 9 percent in the first six months of 2017, from a peak of 14 percent in 2015, according to Counterpoint Research. iPhone was only the fifth best selling smartphone in China during the June quarter, behind other Chinese rivals like Oppo and Xiaomi, research firm Canalys said.

Apple CEO Tim Cook didn't have much to say on iPhone in China during its post-earnings conference call on Tuesday, but he did comment on the growing popularity of messaging app WeChat, developed by Tencent, in the country.

"In terms of WeChat, the way I look at this is, because iOS share is not nearly a majority of the market in China, the fact that a lot of people use that… it makes the switching opportunity even greater," said Cook. "I think that's more the case than the risk that a lot of folks have pointed out."

"I see Tencent as one of our biggest and best developers," added Cook, who remains optimistic about China. "They have done a great job of implementing iOS features into their apps, and we are looking forward to working with then even more to build even greater experiences for our mutual users in China."

The focus now shifts to the fall, when both Apple and Huawei are expected to unveil new flagship smartphones. Huawei reportedly said its upcoming Mate 10 handset will be able to compete better than ever with the so-called iPhone 8.


Discuss this article in our forums

iPhone Remained World’s Most Popular Smartphone Last Quarter

iPhone remained the world's most popular smartphone by a significant margin last quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.


iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were the two most popular models specifically, with an estimated 21.5 million and 17.4 million shipments respectively.

Chinese brand OPPO's flagship R9 smartphone trailed in third with an estimated 8.9 million shipments, while Samsung's mid-range Galaxy J3 and J5 rounded off the top five with an estimated 6.1 million and 5 million shipments respectively. Other brands combined for an estimated 294.4 million smartphone shipments.


Apple reported that it sold 50.8 million iPhones last quarter, but it does not break out sales on a model-by-model basis.

Strategy Analytics' estimates suggest the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus accounted for roughly 76.5 percent of Apple's smartphone sales last quarter, with the remaining 23.5 percent of sales derived from older models. The data also suggests a 55/45 percent sales split for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus respectively.

In late January, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the iPhone 7 Plus is the most popular Plus-sized iPhone that Apple has ever sold, topping both the iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone 6 Plus. Last week, he added that Apple significantly underestimated iPhone 7 Plus demand, resulting in a shortage of the device for several months.

iPhone was the world's most popular smartphone last year as well, according to research firm IHS Markit.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Tag: Strategy Analytics

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Named World’s Largest Wearables Vendor With an Estimated 3.5M Apple Watch Shipments in Q1 2017

Apple became the world's largest wearables vendor in the first quarter of 2017 with an estimated 3.5 million Apple Watch shipments, according to new research data shared this afternoon by Strategy Analytics.

Apple Watch shipments overtook Fitbit shipments during Q1 2017, allowing Apple to capture 15.9 percent global marketshare to become the top wearables vendor. Fitbit shipped an estimated 2.9 million wearable devices during the quarter, while Apple's closest competitor, Xiaomi, shipped an estimated 3.4 million wearable devices.

Apple's estimated 3.5 million shipments are up from an estimated 2.2 million Apple Watch shipments in the year-ago quarter. As Apple Watch shipments have grown, Fitbit shipments have dropped sharply from an estimated 4.5 million units in Q1 2016.


Xiaomi is still close to Apple at 15.5 percent global marketshare, but has seen its shipment numbers slip while Apple's have grown.
In the year-ago quarter, Xiaomi's marketshare was at 20.9 percent, while Apple's was at 12.1 percent. Fitbit, meanwhile, has dropped from 24.7 percent in Q1 2016 to 13.2 percent in Q1 2017.
Cliff Raskind, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, "Fitbit shipped 2.9 million wearables worldwide in Q1 2017, falling a huge 36 percent annually from 4.5 million in Q1 2016. Fitbit has lost its wearables leadership to Apple, due to slowing demand for its fitnessbands and a late entry to the emerging smartwatch market. Fitbit's shipments, revenue, pricing and profit are all shrinking at the moment and the company has a major fight on its hands to recover this year."
Apple does not share official Apple Watch sales numbers, instead lumping the device into its "Other Products" category that also includes the Apple TV, Beats products, iPod, and Apple-branded and third-party accessories, so Apple Watch sales numbers shared by various analytics firms are all estimates.

Revenue from "Other Products" was $2.87 billion during the second quarter of 2017 according to Apple's recently released earnings report, up from $2.19 in the year-ago quarter. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple Watch sales have nearly doubled year-over-year.

"Combine Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats and our revenue from wearable products in the last four quarters was the size of a Fortune 500 company," said Cook.


Discuss this article in our forums

CarPlay Scores 85% Customer Satisfaction Rate in Limited Study

iPhone owners are largely satisfied with Apple's CarPlay, according to a new report from market research firm Strategy Analytics.


The report is available to Strategy Analytics clients only, but author Chris Schreiner shared some of his findings with MacRumors.

31 percent of users said they were "very satisfied" with CarPlay, while 54 percent said they were "satisfied," for an overall customer satisfaction rate of 85 percent. However, the report only looked at 70 owners of 2016-2017 vehicles with CarPlay installed in the United States, which is a rather small sample size.

43 percent of those users are "very likely" to recommend CarPlay to others, while 37 percent are "likely" to recommend it, said Strategy Analytics. Those with CarPlay were likely to use it for "all or most" of their in-car infotainment needs, often in favor of their vehicle's standard system, according to the report.

70 percent of participants with both CarPlay and a built-in navigation system in their car said they choose CarPlay with Apple Maps most or all of the time over their vehicle's standard system. 59 percent of the people said they use CarPlay for audio needs most or all of the time over their vehicle's radio.

"Given Apple's continued updates to CarPlay enhancing the experience further, and car-makers' inability to do the same along with their long development times, CarPlay is poised to handle the vast majority of consumers' in-vehicle needs," said Schreiner, Director of Syndicated Research at Strategy Analytics.

While customer satisfaction with CarPlay might be strong, Apple's in-car software platform is far from perfect.

Last month, a side-by-side test of CarPlay and Android Auto showed Siri was often unable to properly interpret what the driver was saying, which in one case led Apple Maps to incorrectly navigate him to an address in Tennessee rather than Toronto. Android Auto, meanwhile, interpreted voice commands correctly.

Video courtesy of YouTube channel The Straight Pipes via Daring Fireball

CarPlay continues to improve in other areas. In iOS 10.3, for example, Apple provided drivers with a quicker and safer way to switch between apps without having to take their eyes off the road for long periods of time. Wireless CarPlay is also now available in select BMW models, or with Alpine's aftermarket system.

Apple is also rumored to be working on "enhanced" Siri capabilities for the iPhone, and those improvements would likely extend to CarPlay.

CarPlay is now available in over 200 vehicle models in the United States, enabling drivers to make and receive calls, access text messages, play music, get directions, check traffic conditions, and more with Siri voice commands and on-screen controls. The platform requires an iPhone 5 or newer.

Aftermarket systems are available from brands such as Alpine, Kenwood, and Pioneer for do-it-yourself CarPlay installations.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
Tag: Strategy Analytics

Discuss this article in our forums

Tim Cook Says ‘Exciting Things’ Coming to iPad as Tablet Sales Continue to Drop

While the iPhone 7 Plus helped Apple achieve record-breaking earnings results last quarter, iPad sales remained on a downward trend.


Apple earlier this week reported that it sold 13.1 million iPads in the first quarter, which encompasses the holiday shopping season, down from 16.1 million in the year-ago quarter. As noted by Jason Snell at Six Colors, that's nearly half as many iPads as the 26 million that Apple sold during the same period in 2013.

Apple isn't the only tablet maker suffering from declining sales. The overall category continued to shrink by between 9% and 20% worldwide compared to the same quarter a year ago, placing pressure on Samsung and other vendors, according to the latest estimates from research firms IDC and Strategy Analytics.


Price remains a "key sticking point" for consumers looking to adopt high-end tablets such as the iPad Pro, which has created room for smaller vendors to capitalize on low-priced tablets, according to Strategy Analytics. Lenovo, for example, shipped an estimated 4.2 million tablets and grew 21% year-over-year in the quarter.

"2-in-1 tablets are a hot market segment but price remains a key factor in consumer behaviors around PC and tablet replacement devices, which is evident in lower shipments of iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4 devices in the quarter," said Eric Smith, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics.

IDC said the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini, rather than the iPad Pro lineup, continued to account for the majority of Apple's tablet shipments. For every ten slate tablets shipped, Apple sold only one iPad Pro, the research firm said. Apple does not officially break out iPad sales on a model-by-model basis.

Apple said it underestimated holiday demand for the iPad quarter, and that compounded a supply issue with one of its suppliers. Apple also drew down channel inventory by 700,000 units, so its results are not as bad as they look. Last year, Apple increased channel inventory by 900,000 units as the iPad Pro launched.

Apple also said the iPad has an 85% share of the U.S. tablet market priced above $200, so the tablet is doing exceptionally well in the premium segment that the company has targeted. iPad also undoubtedly remains the world's best-selling tablet, with a comfortable lead over its rivals, based on industry estimates.

Samsung was Apple's closest competitor with an estimated 8.1 million tablets shipped in the quarter for 12.8% market share, according to Strategy Analytics. Lenovo, Huawei, and Amazon rounded off the top five with an estimated 4.2 million, 3.7 million, and 3.4 million shipments in the quarter respectively.


As always, it is important to acknowledge that these are estimated figures, and that shipments do not necessarily reflect sales. There are also significant discrepancies between the IDC and Strategy Analytics datasets—particularly as it relates to Amazon—so treat the numbers with a proverbial grain of salt.

Apple has effectively marketed the iPad Pro as a computer in the post-PC world, but the company's second annual decline in iPad sales led Apple podcaster Marco Arment to raise an interesting question: what if the iPad isn't the future of computing?
What if, like so much in technology, it’s mostly just additive, rather than largely replacing PCs and Macs, and furthermore had a cooling-fad effect as initial enthusiasm wore off and customers came to this conclusion?
One thing is for certain: consumers are not upgrading their tablets nearly as often as smartphones. In order to reignite iPad sales, Apple will have to add compelling new features that entice the large base of existing iPad owners to swap out their current "good enough" tablet for a new one.

"We've got some exciting things coming on iPad and I'm optimistic about where things are headed," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "Customer satisfaction is through the roof. iPad Pro at 99%. So I see a lot of good things and hope for better results."


Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Watch Dominated Holiday Season With Estimated 5.2 Million Shipments

Apple shipped a record-breaking 5.2 million Apple Watch units last quarter, making it by far the most popular smartwatch of the holiday shopping season, according to the latest data from research firm Strategy Analytics. Apple captured an estimated 63.4% of the worldwide smartwatch market during the quarter.


Apple's closest competitor Samsung shipped only 800,000 smartwatches in the quarter, for an estimated 9.8% market share, according to Strategy Analytics. All other smartwatch vendors, such as Garmin, Fitbit, and Huawei, combined for an estimated 2.2 million shipments and 26.8% market share.


"Demand for Apple's new Watch Series 2 as a holiday-season gift in Western markets was surprisingly strong and it enabled Apple to clear a large backlog of smartwatch inventory during the quarter," said Strategy Analytics director Cliff Raskind.

It is important to acknowledge that these are estimated figures, and that shipments do not necessarily reflect sales.

Apple does not break out Apple Watch sales like it does with iPhones, iPads, and Macs, and instead groups the device under its "Other Products" category. Given the category also includes the Apple TV, Beats products, iPods, AirPods, and other accessories, figuring out Apple Watch revenue is deliberately challenging.

Apple only elected to share that the Apple Watch set all time sales records during the first quarter of its 2017 fiscal year, with CEO Tim Cook noting holiday demand was "so strong" that Apple "couldn't make enough."

Strategy Analytics will not disclose its exact methodology for competitive reasons, but executive director Neil Mawston told us the company uses "a blend of channel checks, financial analysis, and other sources" to estimate Apple Watch shipments. "It is the same methodology we have used for phones since the 1990s and for wearables since the modern market first emerged circa 2013."

Apple saw its "Other Products" revenue drop 8% to $4.02 billion in the quarter compared to $4.35 billion in the year-ago quarter, a sizeable decline that Apple financial chief Luca Maestri attributed to declining Apple TV sales.

Strategy Analytics said the smartwatch industry is showing "tentative signs of recovery" this year, but Raskind noted there remain "several barriers to growth" that must be addressed.
Smartwatch vendors like Samsung need to launch more exciting or cheaper models, Apple must engage closer with mobile operators to stock or subsidize its popular Watch portfolio, while component makers need to develop more accurate sensors for health and fitness tracking that consumers will trust and use more.
Apple Watch shipments totaled 11.6 million units in 2016, or slightly more than half of the estimated 21.1 million smartwatches shipped by all vendors in the year, according to Strategy Analytics. The firm's data shows a slightly lower 20.8 million smartwatches were shipped globally in 2015 for comparison.


Discuss this article in our forums

Apple’s Renewed Focus on iPad Left the Mac Behind This Year

When looking at the current state of the Mac lineup, the new MacBook Pro is the only model Apple has updated over the past seven-plus months. Even the latest MacBook Pro models required a 527-day wait, which was considerably longer than the average of 320 days between previous MacBook Pro refreshes.

mac-dont-buy
A glance at our own MacRumors Buyer's Guide shows the new MacBook Pro is the only Mac currently listed with a "Buy Now" status, as all other models beyond the 12-inch MacBook have not been refreshed for significant periods of time. The longest overdue is the Mac Pro, last updated 1,084 days ago.

iMac — 420 days ago
MacBook Air — 638 days ago
Mac mini — 782 days ago
• Mac Pro — 1,084 days ago

The lack of updates can be at least partially attributed to Apple having to wait on chipmakers and suppliers such as Intel, AMD, and Nvidia, each of which follow their own product roadmaps, although that cannot be the only reason given Skylake processors are now readily available for update-deprived Macs.

A lack of meaningful updates to several Macs this year impacted Apple's bottom line, as Mac revenue has declined for four consecutive quarters year-over-year. The declines have worsened each quarter, starting with a 3% drop in Q4 2015 and progressing to a 17% drop in Q3 2016, according to Strategy Analytics.

Apple investors now await the company's first quarter earnings results to see if the new MacBook Pro models will be able to reverse that trend.

Conversely, after several down quarters, the iPad has experienced a mostly upward trajectory over the past year, thanks largely in part to the iPad Pro's higher average selling price. Apple's tablet revenue is now stable on a year-over-year basis, after dipping as low as -21% one year ago.

ipad-mac-yoy-revenue
Strategy Analytics senior analyst Eric Smith attributes the stabilizing effect to Apple's renewed focus on iPads. He said Apple entered the 2-in-1 tablet market with the iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard right in time to renew growth and capitalize on growing enterprise demand in the future.

Recognizing that Microsoft was changing the computing device market, Smith said Apple "pretty much forgot about Mac" in order to attack the 2-in-1 tablet segment with the release of iPad Pro models over the past year.
"Apple has been a master of cannibalizing its own business before other companies do so in a major way," Smith told MacRumors. "Apple let iPad slide until it became clear that Microsoft was changing the computing device market. It refocused on iPad with the Pro series and pretty much forgot about Mac to attack the 2-in-1 segment."
Apple's move was rather effective, as iPad market share has stabilized at 22% over the past two years after declining for the previous four years. But it would seem it took a change in stance to get there as, in the past, Apple essentially dismissed the idea of releasing a tablet-notebook hybrid.

ios-ipad-market-share
During a 2012 earnings call, when asked to comment on why the MacBook Air and iPad would not eventually converge, Apple CEO Tim Cook argued that combining the products would result in compromises. "You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator but those won't be pleasing to the user," he said.

By contrast, earlier this year Apple released a TV ad called "What's a Computer?" that positions the iPad Pro as a computer. "Imagine what your computer could do if your computer was an iPad Pro," the tagline concludes.


Likewise, Cook said the iPad Pro is a notebook or desktop computer replacement for many people. "They will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones," he added. "I think if you're looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?"

In the post-PC era, it is perhaps unsurprising that Apple's attention has shifted more towards the iPhone—and by extension, the iPad. But many faithful customers are hoping Apple will eventually turn its sights back to the Mac, following what some critics believe was a disappointing MacBook Pro update amid an aging lineup of Macs.

Rumors suggest Apple will launch new iMacs in the first six months of 2017, and at least one model is said to include an option for new AMD graphics chips. The roadmap for other Macs remains less clear.


Discuss this article in our forums