Does Apple Have an iPad Problem?

Does Apple Have an iPad ProblemOn Wednesday, Apple punctuated a strong quarter on Wall Street with impressive earnings that mostly beat analyst expectations.

Spiking more than $40 per share in after-hours trading, Apple reported earnings of $11.62 a share on revenue of $45.6 billion.

Analysts expected earnings of $10.18 a share on $43.53 billion in revenue.

The real winner of the last quarter was Apple’s iPhone. Apple sold over 43 million iPhones for the quarter, almost 5 million more units than were projected.

The biggest disappointment, however, was the iPad, the sales of which were nothing to write home about.

“Analysts projected iPad sales would reach 19.7 million, an only marginal increase from the 19.5 million iPads sold during the same time period in 2013,” observed Christina Bonnington of Wired. “In fact, Apple sold 16.35 million iPads, a drop of roughly 16.4 percent since last year.”

In the earnings call, CEO Tim Cook attributed the apparent drop in iPad sales to two reasons: First, a reduction in channel inventory this year compared to an increase in channel inventory last year. Second, the holiday quarter last year ended with a backlog of iPad mini sales. This year, there was a supply and demand balance.

Nonetheless, Cook has much to boast about. And he didn’t shrink from an opportunity to do so on the earnings call.

“We’re very proud of our quarterly results, especially our strong iPhone sales and record revenue from services,” said Cook. “We’re eagerly looking forward to introducing more new products and services that only Apple could bring to market.”