The big takeaway quote from Apple's quarterly conference call on Monday was from CEO Tim Cook, who said, "I think it's going to be an iPad Christmas." The normally conservative (in his prognostications) Mr. Cook made that prediction after waxing poetic about the iPad Air and calling last week's iPad announcement "the largest iPad announcement ever."
Those are big words, and considering that Tim Cook is the most deliberate speaker among high profile technology execs, those words are mighty big, indeed. Apple doesn't generally offer product-specific guidance, but I took those comments to be Cook Code™ for the iPad is going to continue to dominate the tablet segment.
Apple invented the "media tablet" category with the release of the original iPad in 2010, and though Apple has lost share since then, that share appears to have stabilized at plus or minus 50 percent of the market. Apple continues to dominate tablet usage, however, as people who buy (or get) iPads actually use their devices, while Android tablet owners apparently don't.
iPad Air goes on sale November 1st (this Friday), and Mr. Cook told analysts he expects sales of the device to be "strong." He warned, however, that "It's not clear that everyone who wants one will be able to find one." The iPad mini with Retina Display goes on sale "later in November," and Mr. Cook warned that it will be supply constrained throughout the quarter, as well.
Apple appears to be quite confident on the demand side. Mr. Cook specified that he knows how many units Apple can produce, he's just not sure if that number will meet demand this quarter. Apple guided for revenues between $55 billion and $58 billion, and an "iPad Christmas" will certainly play a major role in those results.
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