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Mac revenue tops iPad as Apple sells record 5.5M computers

Gregg Keizer | Oct. 23, 2014
Mac revenue outpaces iPad's by 25 percent; 'Obvious cannibalisation' of the iPad, says CEO Tim Cook.

The Mac's increase in sales may have come, at least in part, from customers choosing a traditional personal computer, particularly the light, thin MacBook Air notebook, rather than an iPad.

Apple posted iPad sales of 12.3 million, down 12.5% year-over-year and off 7% from the June quarter, for the third consecutive quarter of unit declines.

In fact, the Mac beat the iPad in both revenue and percentage of revenue for the first time since the March quarter of 2011, a time when the iPad 2 had been on sale for only weeks.

Mac revenue was 25% higher than the iPad's during the September quarter. A year ago, the roles were reversed, when the iPad recorded 10% higher revenue than the Mac.

But Cook wasn't concerned: He was fine with cannibalization as long as Apple ate itself. "There are obvious cannibalization things that are occurring. I'm sure that some people looked at a Mac and an iPad and decided on a Mac," Cook said. "And I'm fine with that, by the way. I'm sure that some people will look at an iPad and an iPhone and decide just to get an iPhone, and I'm fine with that as well."

And iPad revenue should jump past the Mac in 2014's final quarter. The tablet is much more seasonally sensitive than the Mac and posts its biggest numbers during holiday quarters. Last year, for example, fourth-quarter sales of the iPad jumped 85% from the previous period, while Mac sales increased by just 6% sequentially.

Last week, Apple introduced new iPads, including the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3, while also dropping the price of previous-generation models by $100. The lowest-priced iPad -- 2012's non-Retina iPad Mini -- now lists for $249, an all-time low for the line.

 

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