One of the questions I am asked most often by publishers and other media executives is what is the total number of iPads in the market – many in Europe want to know what the penetration of the iPad is in their country, a much harder question to answer.
Well, for those keeping score, Apple has now reached the 55 million mark.
Apple began selling (or more accurately, shipping the iPad since they accept pre-orders) in April of 2010. April represents the first month of Apple's third quarter.
Apple managed to sell 3.2 million iPads that first quarter, a number that shocked a lot of people. But this is the lowest month for sales the iPad has experienced. Here are the numbers according to Apple's own earnings reports:
2010 Q3 3,270,000One can expect that sale for the iPad will dip sharply in Apple Q2 of 2012 – this is the first quarter of 2012, after holiday sales and before the introduction of the iPad 3. This occurred last year, as well.
2010 Q4 4,188,000
2011 Q1 7,331,000
2011 Q2 4,694,000
2011 Q3 9,246,000
2011 Q4 11,123,000
2012 Q1 15,434,000
Total units = 55,286,000
The only thing that would boost sales would be an early introduction of the new iPad, and I would be surprised if Apple would do this. But one can expect that Apple will reach the 60 million mark in Q2 and will be able to announce that they have reached the 100 million mark by this time next year.
The iPad revenue, which includes according to Apple includes "revenue from sales of iPad, iPad services, and Apple-branded and third-party iPad accessories," reached 9.15 billion in this quarter, which is about 28 percent more than the total revenue the company generated from Mac sales. When you combine this with the iPhone and iPod, you see that Apple's iOS business now is 80 percent of Apple's hardware business.
The biggest question on the minds of publishers concerning the iPad has always been "at what point is the market big enough that I should invest in a tablet edition?" These numbers should calrify things for quite a number of them.