Will Apple Set a New iPad Sales Record in Q1 2014?
There has been a lot of hype surrounding Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) newest tablet, the iPad Air, and what it will do for the company's bottom line.
First and foremost, the device appears to be selling very well, with multiple reports stating sales have improved over the previous iteration. One report claimed the iPad Air's adoption rate is five times higher than the iPad 4. Another claimed sales have been 30 percent higher than anticipated at some Apple Stores.
On Tuesday it was revealed that the iPad Air is cheaper to produce than the third-generation iPad. As a result, Apple has been able to improve its margins without raising the price. And now DigiTimes is reporting that Apple will ship as many as 20 million iPads in the December quarter, which will be Apple's fiscal 2014 first quarter.
If Apple could sell that many iPads, the company's sales would be notably higher than the September quarter, when only 14.1 million units were sold.
However, it would be a step back from the fiscal 2013 first quarter. At that time, Apple sold a record-setting 22.9 million tablets and 47.8 million iPhones.
iPhone sales have been increasing on a quarterly basis, so the company could break the 50 million threshold very soon. But if the DigiTimes' report is accurate, Apple won't be able to set a new record for iPad sales.
Apple has yet to discuss how many iPads it sold last weekend, which is a bit unexpected. The iPad Air was released in more territories at launch than any of its predecessors. This includes China, one of Apple's most important markets.
By comparison, Apple did not release the iPad 4 and iPad Mini in China until Dec. 7, 2012 -- more than a month after those devices were released in the United States and numerous other nations.
Collectively, the iPad 4 and iPad Mini sold three million units during their first three days at retail.
If the iPad Air is performing better, Apple must want the news to remain a secret.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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