New iPhones drive record Apple results

Apple has just posted its latest earnings, and they’re a doozy. For the first quarter of the company’s 2015 fiscal year, which corresponds roughly to last year’s final quarter, Apple shattered revenue and profit records thanks to equally record-breaking iPhone shipments.

Β  Q1 FY’15 Q4 F’14 Q1 F’14
Revenue $74.6 billion $42.1 billion $57.6 billion
Net income $18.0 billion $8.5 billion $13.1 billion
Gross margin 39.9% 38.0% 37.9%

According to Reuters, Apple’s revenue soundly beat the expectations of Wall Street analysts. The average analyst forecast was $67.69 billion, the news agency says, well below the $74.6 billion Apple reported this afternoon.

Β  Q1 FY’15 Q4 F’14 Q1 F’14
iPhone 74.5 million 39.3 million 51.0 million
iPad 21.4 million 12.3 million 26.0 million
Mac 5.5 million 5.5 million 4.8 million

Apple’s iPhone shipment figures explain the revenue record. At 74.5 million, quarterly iPhone shipments were up roughly 46% from a year ago. If you scroll down to the bottom of Apple’s earnings release, you’ll see iPhone revenue was up 57% over that same time period.

Clearly, Apple made the right call by boosting screen sizes for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. (Don’t miss Scott’s review of those, by the way.) Phablets are the name of the game now; no question about it.

The strong iPhone numbers made up for weaker shipments of iPads, which declined about 18% year-on-year. Tablet sales growth has been slowing for some time, so that slump should come as no surprise. As for Mac sales, the 15% unit growth outpaced the global PC industry as a whole by a fair margin.

Apple says it expects $52-55 billion revenue and a 38.5-39.5% gross margin for the ongoing quarter. That would compare quite favorably to the $45.6 billion revenue and 39.3% gross margin the company posted for the same quarter a year ago.

Comments closed
    • Hattig
    • 5 years ago

    It just shows how great a business smartphones are.

    They’re renewed very frequently – a two year cycle is common – because their use case damages them, and because (currently) improvements are very noticeable between generations. In addition, the accepted sales model hides the cost of the phone in the monthly contract rather than having it up front.

    One day, the rate of improvements will drop, but people will still break them, or want an unblemished new phone. So it’s a perfect product to be selling, for a very long time to come.

    Watches? Pah, it’s far smaller, will have a longer refresh cycle, etc. But it’s needed as a smartphone companion device – i.e., in the future, not having the watch will reduce the sales of the phone.

    The iPad is more computer-like in its refresh cycle, so I’m not surprised it’s not seeing the same numbers.

    As for the computers, I too see a time when Apple moves to its own ARM chips. It might lose out in single threaded performance, but a lot of the technologies Apple has been introducing in its dev tools in the past ten years are to do with making multithreading easy. And Intel just isn’t putting lots of cores in its ultrabook processors, and Apple has a lot of TDP headroom for these devices compared with an iPad. I think the MacBook Air line is a perfect first candidate for transition.

    • bfar
    • 5 years ago

    Wow that’s some amount of phones sold! Amazing result, hats off to them. I guess the big screen iphone varients turned out to be very popular.

    I can’t help thinking that Apple’s competitors are handing them the market due to poor execution. The carriers aren’t helping either, loading phones with their own crap. Lately, Apple and Google are the only places you can go to get a phone that isn’t rammed to the gills with rubbish. And Apple execute consistently well on the hardware side, so it isn’t hard to see why customers see value there.

    The big downside I see is that they’re looking a little relient on one product. Also their corporate tax bill is going to normalise over the next few years as the US and Europe watch them much more closely.

    • Zizy
    • 5 years ago

    Impressive iPhone results. Mostly meh otherwise. iPad seems to face a lot of pressure. I believe iPhone 6+ hit mini hard, while the big one is squeezed between SP3 and various cheap Android/Windows tablets.

    • Suspenders
    • 5 years ago

    It’s a pity that they decided to kill the only Apple product I was interested in, the iPod Classic, but with these kinds of numbers it’s understandable. It doesn’t seem like it’s worth their trouble to make much else besides the iPhone…

      • Deanjo
      • 5 years ago

      iPads and Macs are still highly profitable and worthwhile despite iPads sales being down. Most companies would kill for Apples poorest performing line results.

        • Suspenders
        • 5 years ago

        Ohh absolutely. But one wonders how profitable something has to be for them to bother with it. I mean, the iPod classic was probably still selling around a million units a year or so going by how many 1.8″ drives Toshiba was still shipping (as I recall, something around 250 000 a quarter last year, and Apple was their only customer for those). For a modern MP3 player those are fantastic numbers, but for Apple that doesn’t even show up as a sliver on their monthly balance sheet because the iPhone just dwarfs every other product line.

          • Deanjo
          • 5 years ago

          [quote<]Ohh absolutely. But one wonders how profitable something has to be for them to bother with it.[/quote<] To the tune of billions a year. Interoperability is a HUGE part of Apples game plan and one that they do well. It is an ecosystem that feeds itself. The iPod Classic however was servicing a very small niche crowd. Most people are carrying phones that do the same job as the iPod. The need for a hard drive based player has dropped off considerably as well when Apple was able to introduce iTunes match. I used to have iPod classics but when the last one died I can't say I was really missing anything. In the vehicles I have 128 GB usb sticks that hold a huge chunk of my music collection. I haven't updated them in quite a while and I would probably just grab a second USB if I wanted to add more. Combine that with the music that is already available on the iPhone and iTunes match there is little need for a hard drive based one.

      • tipoo
      • 5 years ago

      Yeah, I still would have loved an updated classic with the 240GB drives that replaced production of the 160GB ones it used. Maybe with other niceties like wifi sync and an elongated screen, but the hard drive was the main thing. Sure, I could manage with larger smartphone storages, but they charge up the butt for those, and the battery life isn’t even close.

        • Suspenders
        • 5 years ago

        Yeah the Classic was just sort of ignored by Apple since they last updated it. I’m glad that they kept making them for as long as they did, but it could have been upgraded years ago with a larger hard drive (Toshiba made them as big as 320GB) and better format support. They kept the line stagnant too long.

        We could have had 500GB-600GB 1.8″ hard drives with areal densities where they are at right now. I would really, really love to buy something like that πŸ™‚

        • Suspenders
        • 5 years ago

        Apple single handedly kept those 1.8″ drives in production too with the CLassic, it’s kinda sad to see that technology disappear πŸ™

    • Ninjitsu
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]Phablets are the name of the game now; no question about it.[/quote<] I'd be very vary of making such sweeping generalizations, because such trends are highly context and region sensitive.

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    Good for Apple!
    But remember how having one huge cash-cow product while other products languished worked out for Microsoft in the late 90s.

    [At least Macs are going strong, it’d be a shame if Apple went all New Coke on them with underperforming ARM chips…]

      • End User
      • 5 years ago

      Why assume they will under perform? Has anyone gone out and built a desktop CPU based on ARM?

        • derFunkenstein
        • 5 years ago

        Compared to Intel, the manufacturing process leader, the features will always be larger and as a result they’ll use more power and generate more heat. Given Apple’s obsession with thinness, they’ll always underperform compared to Intel designs.

        If Intel suddenly starts producing Apple’s ARM SoCs, I guess that could conceivably change, if you think Apple can out-design Intel’s CPU cores.

          • End User
          • 5 years ago

          Apple has gone from nowhere to the A8X in 5 years. I’d be very surprised if they were not developing ARM solutions that target laptops and desktops.

            • chuckula
            • 5 years ago

            Apple bought out chip designers and still relies heavily on the same ARM IP as everyone else. Even Nvidia… a flyspeck compared to Apple… has designed a higher performance ARM core in Denver, and Denver isn’t setting the world on fire. For a company with supposedly limitless resources, Apple’s highest-end chip designs are maybe half a step ahead of the 2013 era Atom parts that are regularly dismissed as useless around here.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            It’s irrelevant as to whether or not they’re developing them. If they can’t even theoretically play on the same playing field as Intel, they will stay put, I think.

            • End User
            • 5 years ago

            It appears that, on a core per core basis, the A8X is substantially more powerful than a Celeron J1900. As the J1900 is used in PCs that run Windows 8.1 I am going to assume that the A8X can run OS X with an acceptable level of performance. If that is true then an ARM SoC developed without the constraints of a mobile platform will be substantial more powerful. I don’t see why that is so difficult to accept.

            Keep in mind that I am not suggesting that they have Xeon levels of performance ready to go at this time.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            They don’t even have Haswell dual-core ultrabook levels of performance which is the minimum you can expect in a Macbook Air replacement.

            • End User
            • 5 years ago

            Good grief!

            It is entirely possible that they do.

            • Andrew Lauritzen
            • 5 years ago

            Anything is possible, but what are you basing it on? “Competes well on single threaded performance with a few W atom” and “competes well with a 15W big core” are two completely different and unrelated things.

            Also don’t be fooled by small kernel results like geekbench. Any processor can look good when the entire workload fits in L1.

            • End User
            • 5 years ago

            [quote<]but what are you basing it on? [/quote<] I work for Apple. We have 6 core 15W desktop ARM examples in our labs that match the i7-5960X in multithreaded performance. I kid. [quote<]Competes well on single threaded performance with a few W atom" and "competes well with a 15W big core" are two completely different and unrelated things.[/quote<] More like blows apart Bay Trail (M and D). As I have said I imagine that Apple has something unique planned for laptops and desktops.

            • Andrew Lauritzen
            • 5 years ago

            > More like blows apart Bay Trail (M and D).

            Whatever you call it, you seem to think that has some relationship with performance vs. big core at higher TDPs. You do realize those are completely separate cores with different cost, performance and power targets, right?

            As I believe chuckula said roughly, it’s not exactly an accomplishment to build a faster processor than baytrail with no other constraints.

            Anyways don’t get me wrong – I totally agree that Apple *wants* to build everything in-house and as soon as its feasible would switch to their own custom silicon. I also totally agree that backwards compatibility is less of a concern for them than other operating systems as they routinely seem fine with breaking it. Few people would disagree with any of that.

            But whether or not they are near to replacing the 15W+ stuff with something with similar performance is speculation. Certainly if they are they haven’t demonstrated anything of that class yet. But hey, if it’s all just a big secret and in two months they release something better than Broadwell-U at 15W, good for them and I think the competition will be good for the industry πŸ™‚

            • blastdoor
            • 5 years ago

            [quote<]Anything is possible, but what are you basing it on?[/quote<] One of the challenges for Apple's competitors and other industry observers is exactly that difficulty in knowing what Apple is up to. When the A7 came out the rest of the ARM designers were caught with their pants down. They had no idea Apple was developing a custom 64 bit core. Apple only announces these things at the time they are announcing shipping products, and at that point it's too late for the competition to respond. This secrecy is a huge competitive advantage. So it's impossible to really know whether Apple intends to design their own CPUs or GPUs for Macs prior to Apple announcing a final product. All we can do is speculate, based on costs and benefits to Apple of doing this.

            • blastdoor
            • 5 years ago

            [quote<]Also don't be fooled by small kernel results like geekbench. Any processor can look good when the entire workload fits in L1.[/quote<] Except, not really. There's a fair bit of variation across processors in their geekbench performance. So it's manifestly untrue that "any processor can look good" in geek bench. Some look quite a bit better than others. Different benchmarks help us understand different things. A benchmark that fits in the L1 cache helps us understand the capabilities of a processor at the level of the L1 cache and below, but is pretty useless for helping understand factors that affect performance above that level. For the purposes of understanding whether Apple can build a desktop class CPU I'd say geek bench is highly relevant. Adding things like faster RAM access and a bigger, more capable L2 cache is a lot easier than designing the CPU core itself.

            • Andrew Lauritzen
            • 5 years ago

            > There’s a fair bit of variation across processors in their geekbench performance. So it’s manifestly untrue that “any processor can look good” in geek bench. Some look quite a bit better than others.

            Variation does not imply useful or predictive πŸ™‚ Basics like the frequency of the processors varies as much or more than the geekbench results, let alone other factors like support for specialized ISAs for encryption, etc. I maintain that the results are mostly meaningless as a tool for predicting performance on larger workloads… or at least they are no more useful than looking at basic frequencies and core counts and the like, and we all know how well that works.

            Look it’s not that complicated… if you want to prove a CPU is good on non-trivial kernels, run a non-trivial kernel like gcc or sometime. Basing predictions about how well an architecture can run those tasks on the throughput of its SHA instruction is roughly as silly as it sounds.

            > For the purposes of understanding whether Apple can build a desktop class CPU I’d say geek bench is highly relevant.

            It’s completely the opposite I’m afraid. “Desktop-class CPUs” do tasks with much larger working sets that are dominated more by memory and cache effects (latency especially), branch prediction and OOE stuff than small kernels which test simple stuff like ALUs.

            > Adding things like faster RAM access and a bigger, more capable L2 cache is a lot easier than designing the CPU core itself.

            Nebulous definition of “CPU core itself” aside…

            Tell that to AMD. You may have noticed that most of the improvements they are trying to make to catch up are to things like the memory paths, prefetching, branch predictors, etc. The actual logic pipeline part of a processor is the simple part these days – keeping it fed is what’s hard.

            • blastdoor
            • 5 years ago

            Here’s the point I’m trying to make:

            There’s a difference between a component benchmark and a system benchmark.

            Geekbench is a lousy system benchmark because it sits in the L1 cache.
            But it is a reasonable component benchmark of things that sit below the L1 cache.

            And there is meaningful variation in the performance of components that sit below the L1 cache. Geek bench clearly benefits from the greater IPC of cyclone, for example. That’s relevant.

            I think it’s reasonable to speculate that if cyclone were paired with desktop-caliber components above the level of the L1 cache, it would fair better on desktop workloads.

            So my bottom line is that I don’t think it’s so hard for Apple to go from where they are now to having a very competitive desktop CPU. I agree the current CPU isn’t there, but it isn’t intended to be — it’s sitting in a phone. But it has good bones.

            • Andrew Lauritzen
            • 5 years ago

            Thanks for clarifying your position – I respect that. I still think there’s a lot more complexity in memory paths beyond L1 that you’re somewhat trivializing (and it’s not a clean separation – all that stuff overlaps with requirements “in the core” too), but hey, the fun bit about this industry is we can wait and see what people come up with πŸ™‚

            • chuckula
            • 5 years ago

            Geekbench is such a joke of a benchmark that I actually use it as an inverse measurement: If you get a LOWER Geekbench score, then all other things being equal you have a better chip!

            On that note, it looks like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 might be a winner since it apparently has a lower score than the next-generation Exynos in Geekbench! ( [url<]http://vr-zone.com/articles/exynos-7420-destroys-its-competition-in-geekbench-could-be-a-snapdragon-810-beater/86051.html[/url<] )

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            It’s entirely possible I have fairy wings and fly around dousing people in pixie dust, but I don’t.

            • End User
            • 5 years ago

            So it is not possible for Apple to bring ARM into the laptop/desktop arena?

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            Not at all, but your reasoning is “but they might” and it’s stupid. It’s just…stupid. Sorry, but There’s an Underwhelming Propensity of evidence I see which would conclusively Demonstrate that this is even on their radar at the present time.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            And to be clear, your hypothesis is that “they might already have something as fast or faster than Haswell in their labs” – that’s what I’m calling BS on.

            • End User
            • 5 years ago

            Oh please, I was kidding about the 5960X.

            • blastdoor
            • 5 years ago

            I guess it depends on how you define BS.

            It’s definitely speculation. There’s no hard evidence to support it. Certainly Apple has not made any announcements of what they’re working in the way that AMD or Intel give us roadmaps that extend several years into the future.

            But I think that it is *not* BS in the following ways:

            1. Apple clearly has the resources necessary to do it
            2. There’s a decent case to be made that the benefits to Apple could outweigh the costs

            I’m sure Apple would prefer that everyone dismiss ideas like this as total BS. The more people do that, the easier it is to surprise and terrify competitors. No doubt Qualcomm execs would have dismissed the idea of Apple working on a custom 64bit ARM core as “BS”.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            I think there will be telltale signs long before it actually happens. Either Apple will (as you said elsewhere) help push their suppliers to catch Intel’s manufacturing advantage, or they will build their own fabs. I would be super impressed if they can do that with nobody watching.

            • blastdoor
            • 5 years ago

            I doubt they would build their own fabs, but pressing suppliers to catch Intel is something I assume they are doing, and I think there are tell tale signs. First and foremost — Apple was first in line for 20 nm at TSMC. That didn’t happen because TSMC execs are Apple fanboys.

            Second and second-most, there’s a continuing stream of stories about TSMC and Samsung competing for the A9 — who will have their 14/16 nm process ready first? Recent rumors say Samsung has the lead.

            These things suggest to me that Apple is giving these guys a good incentive to push their new processes forward more quickly than they would have otherwise.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            I assumed it happened because TSMC likes money and Apple was willing to pay what it took to get an 20nm chip out the door. My belief is that Apple is currently willing to give financial incentive (in the form of contracts) to get what they want. And look at the shortages the iPhone 6 and 6+ experienced for the first 3 months of availability. So then if the Mac line is all custom ARM and on the same cutting edge process it’s going to get short, too. I think that’s pretty terrible for everyone, and it’s why I think that they’re probably not in a hurry to switch it to ARM. I just happen to think that if they do it’ll be after they have their own fabs. What else are they gonna do with $180B?

            • blastdoor
            • 5 years ago

            “I assumed it happened because TSMC likes money and Apple was willing to pay what it took to get an 20nm chip out the door.”

            Well yeah, that’s kind of my point.

            Apple wants to be on the cutting edge and they are willing to pay a lot of money to be there.

            It stands to reason that Apple is therefore also willing to pay to get the cutting edge moving out faster than what it would have otherwise. That is, if Apple was willing to pay to be first in line for 20nm, I think it’s reasonable to suspect that Apple is willing to pay TSMC and Samsung to implement 14/16nm faster than they would have otherwise.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            If all it took was money, then yeah, probably so. TSMC’s history shows there’s more to it. Their canceled 32nm process, for example. That wasn’t just about money.

            edit: Maybe Samsung has better luck with it, and maybe that’s why they’re rumored to be in the lead and maybe that’s why they’ll allegedly manufacture the A9.

            • blastdoor
            • 5 years ago

            It’s not just all about money…. but add time and competition to money, and you’ve got it.

            Apple’s got two fabs competing for 10s of billions of dollars of business, and that competition started years ago.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            Sure, but it seems like neither of them is where Intel is. Now do you really want to compete with Intel for notebook and desktop CPUs?

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            What I really want to do is ask and potentially answer another question:

            Why did Apple get into the mobile SoC business in the first place? My belief is that Apple looked at what was out there and what was coming down the line soon and decided that existing designs didn’t really meet their needs. Samsung’s Hummingbird was the last totally external design they used, and I think they looked at what would come after it from both Samsung and Qualcomm (dual core Exynos and Snapdragon, or Cortex A9) and decided their choices were too power hungry, too hot, and too slow for their needs.

            Everyone else was going for “brute force” to tackle the performance issue. They already owned PA Semi, so they put them to work designing ARM SoCs a little at a time with a focus on low power usage, plus they weren’t going to be using PowerVR graphics any longer. Exynos uses Mali and Snapdragon and later Krait use Adreno. They draw stuff differently than PowerVR’s tile-based layout and there was probably at least a little bit of concern about their new phones using something else showing glitches.

            Long story way too long, I believe they produced the A4 and A5 as kind of interim designs so they could produce “something” while they waited on these new designs, and then the A6 was what Apple wanted to do. Why would they do that in notebooks and desktops, when what they want – the elegant design that puts power consumption at the forefront – already exists?

            • blastdoor
            • 5 years ago

            I think this is a great question.

            The answers you give are certainly plausible and sound like the kinds of things that Apple might say.

            But I think there is another important component to answering your question. I do not think that Apple just wants to reach some absolute level of performance and capability in their products. I think that they also want to reach a level of performance and capability that is noticeably better and/or different than the competition. That is, Apple does not exist in a vacuum – – how they compared to the competition does matter to them.

            I think that a big part of the reason that Apple switched from PowerPC to Intel was that PowerPC made their products inferior to the competition in terms of performance per watt. Switching to Intel brought them up to the level of the competition, and then they could differentiate with respect to other aspects of the product.

            I think the reason for Apple to move away from Intel now is to differentiate themselves from the competition in a positive way. The differentiation now may not be with respect to performance per watt. Now, the differentiation may be with respect to customizations they make to their SOC that they are able to take advantage of through their control of the operating system, compiler, programming language, etc.

            So the short answer to your question as I see it is that Apple wants product differentiation and control of their SOC enables that.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            I agree that PowerPC was in trouble the moment Motorola couldn’t push the PPC7400 past 450MHz and its days were finally numbered when IBM was unable to produce a PPC970 derivative that could fit into a notebook design. Intel’s focus on power consumption made it an easy choice for them to jump when they did. I don’t understand compilers well enough to know whether or not their current design makes it easier for a developer to change hardware platforms – it very well may be the case, because things are always getting better. So I’m back to the performance and whether or not Apple is really trying to chase Intel’s performance per watt, and on top of that – does it even matter at this point?

            I feel like we’ve reached a place where performance even on low-end parts is more than “good enough”. They get more than enough performance for the types of things people use Ultrabooks for in a Macbook Air. They’re offloading more and more onto the GPU in their pro applications, thanks to OpenCL, and that has a tangible performance benefit thanks to software better utilization of GPUs. Apple also differentiates themselves by top-flight storage performance (which is the real bottleneck now) and high-DPI displays. Those are differentiations that actually bring a benefit to the user.

            I know this is all kind of scattershot, but the way I see it is, even if they can make something faster, will anybody care? Is it really a differentiator that matters to the user as much as the displays and the storage performance?

            • End User
            • 5 years ago

            Apple just shipped over 100 million of their own custom ARM SoC in the past 3 months without a single fab and you think they can’t add a measly 5 million more for Macs using their current strategy?

            You are burying your head in the sand.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            No, it’s not 5 million – it’s how many more million could they have shipped?

            • End User
            • 5 years ago

            So don’t produce ARM for Mac when iPhone is hot. A ton of excesses ARM production capacity becomes available after the holiday season ends.

            [url<]http://www.statista.com/statistics/263401/global-apple-iphone-sales-since-3rd-quarter-2007/[/url<]

            • End User
            • 5 years ago

            If Apple can deliver CPU/GPU combos that comes close to x86 does it not make sense for Apple to transition away from x86? I don’t think Windows compatibility via BootCamp or a VM is really a high priority for Apple moving forward.

            I strongly believe that Apple wants to bring its Mac CPU/GPU tech in-house.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            they might want to, but they have to do it all. It makes zero sense to introduce Macs with less performance than they do now, and there’s no way they want to support 2 architectures any longer than they have to. Look at the PPC -> x86 transition, it was very fast. 6 months from the first Mac Mini to the last Mac Pro, and boom the full line was transitioned.

            So if they DON’T have something better than the Xeons in the Mac Pro, they won’t do it.

            • End User
            • 5 years ago

            Perhaps they DO.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            Man, Christians and Muslims and all the other religions could learn a thing or two about devotion to the unseen from you.

            • blastdoor
            • 5 years ago

            I agree that all else being equal, it would be best to do a full transition.

            But there are some important differences between now and the PPC -> x86 transition. The biggest difference is that Carbon is dead and gone. Another big difference is that the compiler is LLVM, which I gather makes it much easier to support different processor architectures. It might be quite a bit easier now for developers to simply recompile their existing code and end up with a fat binary that, for most applications, has acceptable performance on both CPU types.

            So I think a more gradual transition would be possible…. but I agree that a full, immediate transition would be preferable.

            • Zizy
            • 5 years ago

            If Samsung’s 16nm proves to be decent, A8x with 4C @ 2GHz (without any other change) would fit the power requirements and offer enough performance for Air. Not a lot of performance, but enough for this device. RMBP is the choice for everyone looking for better screen and performance anyway.
            But, why would Apple need to replace anything? Just add another option. Plenty would be interested in ARM Air (iPad Type maybe?) that would be even cheaper, lighter and thinner with better battery life, even if it was slower. I wouldn’t be surprised if such a device ends up bringing more profit than the whole Intel based lineup.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            Ask Microsoft how successful an OS that can’t run all the platform’s apps can be (Windows RT) and you’ll see that ARM Macs are an all-or-none proposition.

            • blastdoor
            • 5 years ago

            I don’t think Microsoft’s RT experience is a very useful guide. Microsoft doesn’t have the level of control over development tools that Apple does (if you develop for a Mac, you use Apple’s tools, period). Also, Apple has always been more ruthless about killing compatibility with old software, which has negatives but one positive is that it makes this kind of transition easier (there is no Carbon software that has to be ported to Cocoa so that it can run on ARM). Finally, Microsoft’s commitment to RT and ARM was lukewarm at best. Nobody thought that’s the future of the platform.

            • Suspenders
            • 5 years ago

            I’m sure that Apple has very capable chip designers, but they are missing one crucial part of the equation; Intels’ fabrication process technology. Without that part of the pie, it’s going to be very difficult indeed to match what Intel can do with their designs.

            • blastdoor
            • 5 years ago

            A few thoughts on that:

            1. The foundries provide their customers with the fabs that the customers are able and willing to pay for. Historically their customers have been unable or unwilling to pay for cutting-edge fabs.

            2. Apple is definitely able to pay for cutting edge fabs. Is Apple willing to do so? Only Apple knows. But I wouldn’t bet against it.

            3. Quick history of fab process used by Apple:
            A5 2011 45 nm
            A6 2012 32 nm
            A7 2013 28 nm
            A8 2014 20 nm
            and rumors are consistently pointing to—
            A9 2015 14 nm

            This history shows Apple going from trailing edge to cutting edge of fab processes offered by the foundries. The next logical step in this progression is for Apple to push the foundries’ cutting edge ahead faster than what would otherwise have happened. Intel will probably still get to 10nm before everyone else, but the lead may be unusually short lived.

            • Suspenders
            • 5 years ago

            Your point #1 isn’t entirely accurate; the foundries can only provide their customers the technology that they have available. There is plenty of demand (and money) for Intel level fabs, but the technology developed by the rest of the industry just isn’t up to Intel’s level, and won’t be anytime soon.

            You can’t just throw a bunch of money out there and build a fab that rivals Intels’ best, because it requires a lot of long nurtured expertise and a very unique skillset to be able to do something like that. Now that could change if Intel decides to open up their foundries to other players in the future, but if they don’t then no one will be using the process technology Intel has available to itself.

            • blastdoor
            • 5 years ago

            Everybody would love Intel’s fabs, but nobody other than Intel (and I speculate Apple) is able/willing to pay for it. Nvidia flat out said they didn’t think 20nm from TSMC was worth it and they have stuck with 28nm. AMD might like better fabs, but they can’t afford it.

            It’s true that you can’t decide on a whim “I’d like an Intel level fab” and pay $10 billion for expedited shipping and get it overnight. But if you decide that you want processors built at a fab that rivals Intel’s best in 5 years, and are willing to pay billions up front, then I think it does become possible.

        • chuckula
        • 5 years ago

        Apple openly brags about how the cores in the A8X are as complex as Haswell’s cores. I believe them about the complexity part… but they never said those cores have Haswell level [i<]performance[/i<] and I know for a fact that their statement-by-omission is quite true.

          • End User
          • 5 years ago

          [quote<]Apple openly brags about how the cores in the A8X are as complex as Haswell's cores.[/quote<]Apple compares the transistor count of the A8/A8X to the A7. Apple makes no comparison to Haswell.

        • notinuse
        • 5 years ago

        Yes, the first ARM CPU powered desktop was built in 1987.

          • End User
          • 5 years ago

          lol

          Lets keep it from 2014 onwards.

        • Ninjitsu
        • 5 years ago

        No,that’s the point. :p

          • blastdoor
          • 5 years ago

          Predicting that the future will look like the past means you will be right most of the time, but wrong when it counts the most.

          edit — ask Qualcomm about that regarding the A7
          Ask AMD about that regarding the Core 2 Duo.
          Ask IBM about that regarding the PC

          • End User
          • 5 years ago

          So let the past dictate the future. Good idea.

    • f0d
    • 5 years ago

    this isnt pointed to apple phones in particular but i just dont get why huge phones are getting more and more popular
    maybe its my small hands or my tiny pockets but for me they just dont fit anywhere, although it cant be just me because i see people walking in the shopping centre (i think americans call them a “mall”) with them in their hands and not in their pockets

    i dont want to have to hold a phone everywhere i go – i like to put it in my pocket with my keys and glasses and wallet and other junk im holding

    in the 90’s and early 00’s it was all about how small you could make a phone – not how big

    anyways i know im in the minority and the majority of ppl like phablets but for me they are just too damn big – gimmie a phone around 4inch’s any day of the week

      • atari030
      • 5 years ago

      I think the base reason for the popularity of huge phones is that more and more people are using them as their own personal computer equivalents. Many people today won’t fire up a full size PC to do their basic ‘internetting’ if they don’t need to…..and having a phone with a ‘big monitor’ makes a PC even less necessary to them.

      Personally, I’ll take a big honking PC with a full-sized keyboard and giant monitor, thank you.

        • f0d
        • 5 years ago

        ahh i guess that does explain it
        i use my phone as a phone, any serious reading or gaming i want to do i do on my pc

        sure, i use my phone to look up something every now and again when im out but most of the time when im out im working so i dont have to (i dont work in the tech industry so i dont need to constantly look at the net for stuff)

        i would still prefer my current 3.7″ phone (yes its tiny) over one of those monsters any day of the week though, i tried holding and using friends phones that are big (galaxys5) but it was just too awkward and diddnt fit in any of my pockets

      • blastdoor
      • 5 years ago

      I’m sympathetic….

      I bought the iPhone 6+, and the large screen certainly has advantages, but the tradeoffs are nontrivial. Sometimes I do wish that I still had a 4″ phone.

      Next time my contract is up, if Apple sells a 4″ version of the iPhone 7 (or whatever they call it) that’s just as fast and has just as good of a camera as the “plus” version, I might be tempted to get it. But it would be a hard choice — there are definitely upsides to the big screen.

    • blastdoor
    • 5 years ago

    [url<]http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/27/technology/apple-iphone-earnings/index.html[/url<] Two interesting factoids in this article: 1. Apple's quarterly profit is the highest in corporate history. The previous record was "Gazprom's $16.2 billion profit during the first quarter of 2011" 2. "the iPhone very nearly outsold the entire PC industry. Computer makers sold fewer than 84 million desktop and laptops last quarter, according to Gartner. That's every HP (HPQ, Tech30), Lenovo, Mac, Dell -- everything." which means that iDevices *did* outsell the entire PC industry.

      • ThorAxe
      • 5 years ago

      Not true.

      The PC industry is a lot bigger than just off the shelf PCs and Laptops. It includes devices such as add-in GPUs, CPUs, modems, white box sales etc..

      Should we also add Android and Windows phones and tablets since they are just mobile PCs?

      LOL….down voting doesn’t change that facts. πŸ™‚

        • End User
        • 5 years ago

        Add on all Android devices and the mobile market towers over the PC market in volume, ecosystem, and profits.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 5 years ago

      Cars also outsold PCs, so did cheap computer mice and printer cartridges. But, I don’t see the point of the comparison.

        • blastdoor
        • 5 years ago

        The point of the comparison is to provide a relevant benchmark for understanding Apple’s size.

        The benchmark is relevant because the PC has been the pre-eminent general purpose computing device for a generation. People used to make similar comparisons between Intel/Microsoft and IBM, back when the PC was replacing mainframes as the pre-eminent general purpose computing device.

        I also find the comparison interesting from the perspective of comparing different ways of structuring a company and an industry. In the PC industry the division of function (and profit) across firms is very different.

        And dude — cars absolutely did not outsell PCs. That’s absurd. Worldwide auto sales are maybe a quarter of worldwide PC sales.

          • Ninjitsu
          • 5 years ago

          Hmmm. You’re probably right about cars, should have checked that before posting!

          I wouldn’t have liked the mainframe to PC comparison either, because mainframes weren’t general purpose like PCs were.

          See, the problem is that phones aren’t really used the same way as PCs are, and they’re a very different category: their primary purpose is to make calls. Then, the PC market is far more mature than the smartphone market, and less disposable. They’re just very different sectors. Computing devices, sure, but so are calculators.

          Tablets have some overlap with PC use cases, and they’ve hit maturity much faster. Phones and tablet use cases have even more overlap, and I think you’d be better off comparing those two markets.

          iPhone sales are interesting. Most of them seem to be from first world countries. In third world countries you’ll probably find that PCs move more volume than iPhones specifically. That’s my problem with such comparisons. They’re very specific to a region.

    • End User
    • 5 years ago

    [url=http://www.petri.com/apple-sells-74-5-million-iphones-q4-2014.htm<]If you still don’t understand how big the iPhone business is, consider the following: $51.2 billion of Apple’s revenues in the quarter were attributed to this one product line. That figure is roughly double the revenues that Microsoft reported ($26.5 billion) in the same time period. All of Microsoft.[/url<] Paul Thurrott

      • tipoo
      • 5 years ago

      And their 178 billion in cash could buy out all of Intel with no incurred debt. They’re so big they make big companies look not big. They could also buy 89 AMDs. 89.

        • blastdoor
        • 5 years ago

        Somehow buying one Intel sounds a lot more impressive to me than buying 89 AMDs. It kind of seems like I ought to be able to buy at least 2 or 3 AMDs….

          • Deanjo
          • 5 years ago

          If I would have saved my $20 a month allowance as a kid, I would probably be able to buy AMD right now. πŸ˜€

    • End User
    • 5 years ago

    Factor in the iPod touch and that is roughly 100 million ARM devices in one quarter from just one company.

    Somebody should write an article comparing the ARM market to the x86 market (sofware/services/hardware/revenue/profit).

      • blastdoor
      • 5 years ago

      I think the contrast between these two can be summarized by paraphrasing Princess Leia — “The more you tighten your licensing restrictions, Intel, the more business opportunities will slip through your fingers.”

      ARM has succeeded by being the “good enough” CPU that’s easy (from a licensing standpoint) to integrate with a variety of other highly desirable chips — for example, cellular modems from Qualcomm and GPUs from Nvidia.

    • oldog
    • 5 years ago

    When cell phones become a commodity, thanks to some hefty Asian competition, then services will rule the roost.

    Apple is less well positioned here than Google and MS.

    Interestingly, this may also be true of autos, appliances and just about anything else that is an β€œaware device”.

    Still the numbers are magical for Apple right now.

      • blastdoor
      • 5 years ago

      People have been saying stuff like this for a long time, yet Apple’s sales keep going up without any decline in ASP (if anything, ASP is going higher).

      I’m beginning to think the notion of computer as commodity is just wrong. The PC has been around for over 30 years and it never really has become a commodity in the sense that real commodities are commodities (oil, corn, etc). There’s a ton of important product differentiation in computers.

      I think the myth of computers as commodities gained credibility in the 90s when people were resigned to viewing PCs as a big beige box that sits under your desk. But look at all of the innovation and product differentiation that has happened since then. That’s not what happens with commodities.

      Apple’s products are an integrated bundle of software, hardware, and services. The price tag for that bundle is connected to the purchase of the hardware. But ultimately people are paying for the full bundle, and that bundle is not a commodity (even if the hardware itself was, but clearly isn’t).

        • sweatshopking
        • 5 years ago

        I technically agree with you, but Xiaomi exists…

          • blastdoor
          • 5 years ago

          And so does Apple. Apple’s sales in China nearly doubled YOY in the last quarter. Clearly consumers — including Chinese consumers — do not view these products as undifferentiated commodities. Indeed, the very fact that both Apple and Xiaomi exist and are successful in the same country means these products are *not* commodities.

            • sweatshopking
            • 5 years ago

            I’m skeptical. I think in the long run they’ll end up marginalized, still profitable, but losing marketshare. They were basically like 10 phones in china, doubling that isn’t hard. They’re growing, and i’m fine with that, cause i vastly prefer them to android, but I’m not convinced they’ll beat the chinese onslaught.

            • blastdoor
            • 5 years ago

            [url<]http://www.cnet.com/news/iphone-snags-top-spot-in-china-for-first-time-ever-report/[/url<] More than 10.... quite a bit more, in fact.

            • sweatshopking
            • 5 years ago

            interesting.

            • oldog
            • 5 years ago

            Not yet, but the competition is fierce in this arena.

            As a user of an Android phone I would say that there is already feature OS parity with my old Apple phone. It is only a matter of time before there is hardware parity as well(with the competition being significantly cheaper).

            Apple’s strength has been incremental improvements in the iPhone that has resonated with consumers. Still I predict no significant changes in the OS from this point forward and no significant change in form factors.

            All vendors will offer a roughly 4″, 4.5″ and 5.5″ varients. The screens will be similar, as will the CPU and even the size and shape of the device.

            Apple needs the iWatch to be a hit.

            • blastdoor
            • 5 years ago

            iPhone-class smartphones are only 8 years old. I seriously doubt that we have reached the point where there is no value to improvements in OS or hardware. We haven’t even reached that point with the PC, and it’s a much older device.

            But improvements to software and hardware requires investment, and investment requires profit. The center of profit in the PC industry is Microsoft and Intel, and it’s Microsoft and Intel that drive investment and innovation in the PC (excluding Mac) industry (not Dell, HP, etc).

            The center of profit in the smartphone industry is Apple, and Apple’s profit and investment lead is expanding.

            Yes, screen sizes are similar. But you fudged when you brought in CPU. Apple’s CPU lead is big and growing — they are now leading the rest of the ARM industry in both SOC design and fab process (that wasn’t true a few years ago), and that lead is likely to continue, because who can afford to compete?

            Increasingly, the killer app for smartphones is the camera, and there’s a lot of room left to make meaningful improvements in smartphone cameras. But those improvements aren’t just about the lens or the CCD. It’s also about the SOC and the software. Apple can afford to drive these things forward in a way that Xiaomi cannot.

            So I maintain that we are far from the point where smartphones are a “commodity”. Indeed, we are far from the point where any general purpose computing device is truly a commodity. The whole idea is a myth.

            • oldog
            • 5 years ago

            I agree smartphones are not yet a “commodity”.

            I would argue that PC’s are a “commodity” and both Intel and MS know it.

            Looking at Apple’s numbers, the weakness I see is that is all about the iPhone. Services are the least profitable part of the bottom line.

            • blastdoor
            • 5 years ago

            I think there’s clearly a lot of meaningful product differentiation among PCs. I think you’re confusing the existence of a low-end of the market with the notion that PCs are commodities. It’s true that many people who buy PCs are perfectly happy with a pretty basic spec sheet. But even for people who don’t need the fastest CPU or GPU, things like build quality and battery life matter, and there’s substantial differences across vendors in those things.

            Also, I think the structure of the PC industry leads to the illusion of commoditization and a lack of useful innovation. The PC industry is structured so that most of the profit and therefore most R&D is centered in two firms that don’t actually design or sell PCs, but rather design/sell components for PCs. Microsoft and Intel are always steering from the back of the bus, and they don’t always agree on where they want the bus to go. Or to use another analogy, they are the tail wagging the dog. I think this structure has been poisonous for the PC industry.

            • oldog
            • 5 years ago

            I think we are arguing the meaning of the word “commodity”. From Webster…

            Definition of COMMODITY

            1c : a mass-produced unspecialized product <commodity chemicals> <commodity memory chips>

            or

            4: a good or service whose wide availability typically leads to smaller profit margins and diminishes the importance of factors (as brand name) other than price.

            • ratte
            • 5 years ago

            It’s not about the hardware.
            In China Apple is the premier brand, and you buy IPhone to show that you are rich and successful.
            Android is for poor people.

            • trackerben
            • 5 years ago

            So long as Apple markets just about the only smartphones worthy of the label “premium”, this social factor will continue megaboosting their sales. Microsoft/Nokia, what’s taking you so long?

    • Vergil
    • 5 years ago

    Those are some godly numbers.
    Now imagine if AMD had jumped on the custom ARM market back in 2010 and started making them custom chips for phones and tablets and even desktops rather than wasting time trying to compete with Intel for the dying X86 market. Stoopid… Them $$$
    They claim that the ARM market is saturated, but that’s not true.
    Qualcom’s chips are just raw ARM chips and their quad/octa core chips get demolished by Apple’s dual core custom A# chips lol….
    Let’s hope the Amur Tablet will be some godly SOC, so Apple would have some more competition in this “Saturated” market.

    Sincerely…

    Vergil the BAD@$$

      • Laykun
      • 5 years ago

      Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve … but didn’t.

      • blastdoor
      • 5 years ago

      In hindsight there is a case to be made that AMD should have diverted resources to ARM development 5+ years ago. But who among us could really see that back then? I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect AMD execs to be that prescient.

        • sschaem
        • 5 years ago

        ? multi billion corporation are not headed by joe six pack,
        they are supposed to be directed by visionary and industry pro.

        Thats why they get the million $ salary, the tens of million in bonuses, and all the perks…

        and at the time, ATI was full on SoC mobile, nvidia was also full on mobile SoC,
        so was qualcomm, apple, etc… the WHOLE industry saw it.

        But AMD CEO simply didn’t see that mobile was an important market, even so it was profitable for ATI. AMD wanted to focus on beating Intel in the server space, you know the ‘easy’ money…

      • sweatshopking
      • 5 years ago

      vergil, i wanna like you, i do, but there’s only one guy around here that signs his name, adi, and nobody likes it when he does.

        • blastdoor
        • 5 years ago

        SSK, I WANNA LIKE YOU, I DO, BUT PEOPLE WHO TYPE MESSAGES IN ALL CAPS SHOULDN’T THROW STONES πŸ˜‰

          • sweatshopking
          • 5 years ago

          THAT’S TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

            • blastdoor
            • 5 years ago

            Ok, I up-thumbed you.

        • adisor19
        • 5 years ago

        Hi SSK !

        Adi

    • Duct Tape Dude
    • 5 years ago

    This is what happens when you can sell out of a phone for $950 each.

      • blastdoor
      • 5 years ago

      Good way to put it. I’m guessing Apple’s iPhone ASP is higher than ASPs for PCs from any company except Apple.

        • ratte
        • 5 years ago

        ASP = $687

          • End User
          • 5 years ago

          Windows Phone ASP = $45

            • Suspenders
            • 5 years ago

            That is incredible (the difference I mean).

            • Zizy
            • 5 years ago

            Not THAT low πŸ™‚ 220, down from 280. It will probably drop to <200 in the next Q and then rebound again with release of W10 and new flagships.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 5 years ago

        Perhaps so for non-botique PC companies…but Apple itself is a boutique brand on the computer side, they just have higher volume to go along with it.

      • albundy
      • 5 years ago

      and pay chinese slaves the equivalent of two plastic buttons to make record profits.

        • End User
        • 5 years ago

        That applies to every company who relies upon Chinese based manufacturing.

          • blastdoor
          • 5 years ago

          Or Vietnamese manufacturing, or Malaysian manufacturing, etc etc.

          And the whole “slave” thing is ridiculous hyperbole. It’s hard work, and the wages are low. But it’s not like people are brought into factories at gunpoint. These are jobs that are better than the next best foregone alternative for a lot of people. And if wages for these jobs go up too much the workers will be replaced by robots.

          More broadly, I think income inequality around the world is an important issue. But it’s not the responsibility of individual consumers or individual companies to address that issue. It’s the collective responsibility of citizens and governments.

            • Suspenders
            • 5 years ago

            If we actually live in democracies (which is, frankly, debatable at this point), then it is our responsibility as both citizens and consumers of these products.

            • blastdoor
            • 5 years ago

            Researching the business practices of every company that I buy from would be physically impossible. Even if I quit my job and did it full time (thereby depriving me of the money necessary to buy stuff in the first place), I still couldn’t do it. So saying that this is the responsibility of consumers just doesn’t make sense.

            The best I can do as an individual is to vote for people who:

            (1) seem to care about this sort of thing more than other people running in elections
            and
            (2) have at least a snowball’s chance in hell of being elected.

            If you live in the US (as I do), the only people who satisfy requirement #2 are Republicans and Democrats. Given those two choices, the people who seem to care more about this sort of thing are Democrats. So that’s who I vote for (I even give them money sometimes). It’s sheer fantasy to expect people to do much more than that.

            • Suspenders
            • 5 years ago

            We can have a huge influence, much larger than people think. Just ask apartheid South Africa. It’s not really the stark choice of researching every company you buy from or of only voting on this issue, it’s about constant pressure on companies to do better and on our governments to support more ethical business and trade practices.

            It is our responsibility to be mindful of where our products in general come from and how they get to us, and to understand that our decisions do have an effect at the end of the day when we can afford to make them. I think people are becoming more and more aware of these issues, which is good. Most people, when they are aware of how things work, don’t want products that are soaked in other peoples blood (like [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Savar_building_collapse[/url<] ). Also, the democrats (and republicans) are awful and are both completely bought and paid for by monied interests. Don't waste your votes or money on them.

            • sweatshopking
            • 5 years ago

            [quote<] But it's not like people are brought into factories at gunpoint [/quote<] [url<]http://www.forbes.com/sites/russellflannery/2012/09/05/thousands-of-chinese-students-forced-to-work-on-new-iphone-5-chinese-media-reports/[/url<] collective responsibilities include personal action.

          • Suspenders
          • 5 years ago

          And? That isn’t really a rebuttal to how immoral our current industrial supply chain is.

            • End User
            • 5 years ago

            You should setup a meeting with the governments that let this happen to their own people.

            • Suspenders
            • 5 years ago

            Your position takes all responsibility off of our shoulders for the products that we buy. I am somewhat sympathetic to that argument, as the system that our elites have foisted on us can’t just be opted out of even if one wanted to and had the money to.

            However, at the end of the day we are responsible (as a society) for funding these practices. If we didn’t pay for it, it wouldn’t be happening. So fobbing off responsibility to third world elites somewhere for their countries misfortunes (ones that our societies’ have bribed or coerced into doing things our way) is disingenuous, as is throwing up our hands in the air and pretending that we have no influence over our own countries trade or industrial policies.

            • End User
            • 5 years ago

            I take it you don’t have a mobile phone of any kind.

      • Suspenders
      • 5 years ago

      And also what happens when you can sell a high margin product that has such a high replacement/churn rate.

        • sweatshopking
        • 5 years ago

        Luckily cell phones, like all electronics aren’t toxic!

          • Suspenders
          • 5 years ago

          HA!

          It’s sad though when you think of the sheer amount of electronic waste that will end up in landfills somewhere at the end of the day for all these products…very sad.

    • blastdoor
    • 5 years ago

    The iPad sales are clearly the weak link. My guess is they’ll eventually recover, but clearly that’s got to be a concern for management.

    Otherwise, an amazing quarter. Today is a dark day for Apple haters everywhere.

    edit —

    on conference call, cook pointing out first time buyer rates on iPad are very high. 50% in developed markets like US; up to 70% in China.

    So, iPad softness may be largely a story of an replacement cycle that is more PC-like than iPhone-like. Sales to new users remain strong, but replacement sales to existing users take longer. Also, some cannibalization from Mac and iPhone 6+ (but if cannibalization is to happen, better to do it to yourself).

      • sreams
      • 5 years ago

      Why would iPad sales recover? Before the release of the new iPhones, there was a huge gap between the iPhone 4/5 and the iPads in terms of usable screen space. There is much less reason now to tote around a big tablet if you have a large phone. I don’t think the tablet bubble will have good reason to re-inflate any time soon.

        • blastdoor
        • 5 years ago

        The consumer market for iPads, at least in the US, appears to have gone from zero to saturation very quickly. I don’t think that’s a bubble — my sense is that people who bought iPads continue to use them. But consumers’ needs are being met and they don’t see a compelling reason to upgrade as quickly as they do with iPhones.

        But while the consumer market for iPads may be close to saturated, the business market has a way to go. Cook pointed out that while Apple is selling iPads to almost all Fortune 500 companies, the percentage of employees that have iPads is low. So the penetration is broad but not deep. So Apple has a foot in the door in the enterprise — the opportunity for growth is to get more iPads through that door.

        I think Apple has realized that there is no single “killer app” for the iPad in business (there is no equivalent of Microsoft Office). Instead, there are hundreds of different killer apps, depending on the industry. That’s what the IBM partnership is all about.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 5 years ago

          Businesses won’t drive multi-yoy growth though…they don’t buy the newest model every year.

        • the
        • 5 years ago

        The only iPad that has been deprecated via lack of OS update is the original. Apple was still selling the iPad 2 literally a year ago. The first generation iPad Mini, which shares similar internal hardware, is still being sold today. Despite how slow it’d be, signs are pointing toward iOS 9 retaining compatibility.

        When Apple gets around to dropping support for the iPad 2 and the original iPad Mini, they’ll likely drop support for the iPad 3 simultaneously. The combination of these three devices being simultaneously dropped will spur an upgrade cycle. Perhaps something to look forward to in 2016?

      • dragmor
      • 5 years ago

      I think iPads are on a 4-5 year cycle which is a little short of the 6-8 year PC cycle.

      What they really need is multiple accounts on the iPad. They are used like PC’s not personal devices.

        • blastdoor
        • 5 years ago

        Great point regarding multiple accounts!

        I think you’re right that many families do use them that way. I can imagine that Apple might want the ultimate equilibrium to be that they become personal devices like a phone or watch, but the form factor difference may prevent that from ever really happening. Even if there are multiple iPads in a household, the more natural usage scenario might be to just pick one up and start using it, without regard to whether its “yours”. TouchID provides a convenient way to make signing in seamless.

        This could be the more natural usage scenario in businesses, too.

        Really great point….

      • derFunkenstein
      • 5 years ago

      There’s nothing “wrong” with iPad sales. They’re just not a device you replace every 2 years, and at least some of the time they’re shared where a phone is more private. In these ways they’re closer to “PCs” than they are “Mobile devices” and their sales will reflect that.

        • Ninjitsu
        • 5 years ago

        There’s also a slight issue that they’re (much?) more expensive than laptops but are generally less useful.That’s probably the only thing wrong with them.

        Maybe there’s also the fact that recent Android and Windows tablets are much cheaper, and more flexible.

          • blastdoor
          • 5 years ago

          [quote<]There's also a slight issue that they're (much?) more expensive than laptops but are generally less useful.[/quote<] Laptops are generally more expensive than desktops and are generally less useful. I guess that's why desktops are so much more popular.

            • Ninjitsu
            • 5 years ago

            Yeah, never mind the portability angle, that counts for nothing.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 5 years ago

          [citation needed]

            • Ninjitsu
            • 5 years ago

            On the price or usefulness?

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