Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Market comparison show size of future tablet market; Apple reports it sold 3.27 million iPads in Q3

Apple just released its third quarter earnings and it was a blowout again. But really so-what. As a media person I could care less how much money Apple makes and what its revenue is*. The real question is what does their report tell us about the future of mobile media and tablet publishing? A lot, of course.

Apple sold 8.4 million iPhones last quarter. Combined with the growing number of Android phones sold there is no question really about the growth of mobile media on smartphones. But then again the number of nay sayers concerning mobile media is pretty much down to a handful.
Apple also said they sold 3.27 million iPads. Here are the qualifiers on that number: the iPad first launched on April 3rd, and in the U.S. only. Eight weeks later Apple rolled out the tablet to another group of countries, and this Friday a few more will be rolled out.

As a result of the current sales trend, iSuppli has upped its estimates for total 2010 sales of the iPad, stating that it now believes Apple will ship 12.9 million tablets in 2010. (And quite a number of manufacturers have already announced plans to launch tablets -- often Android based -- by Q4, meaning the tablet market for all manufactures will blow past the initial modest estimates.)

By way of a comparison, the total number of 3D televisions that are projected to be sold worldwide (from all manufacturers) this year is 2.5 million units.

Conclusion: those that believed that tablet publishing would be a viable market soon and immediately began their experiments with the format won their bets.

* As a Mac user I'm thrilled to see Apple do well. But Mac sales, while a record, and a 33 percent increase over last year, were only a bit higher than iPad sales, 3.47 million total.