Apple released their first quarter financial report today and for the most part the news was spectacular.
Revenues reach an all time high of $74.6 billion (up 30%) and record quarterly net profit of $18 billion (up 37%). The new record followed largely from the launch of two new iPhone phablets last quarter, which sold 74.5 million units.
Apple also reported setting a new record for revenue from iTunes, with their summary sheet showing that the company earned $4.7 billion from Apple Care as well as app, music, ebook, movie, and other licensing deals. Similarly, Apple also set a new record on revenues from Mac sales (while at the same time reporting a dip in the number of units sold).
Unfortunately for Apple, the good news does not extend to iPad sales. The 21.4 million iPads sold last quarter represents an 18% drop from the same period in the prior year.
And as you can see in the following chart (by BenedictEvans), iPad sales have started to dip while iPhone sales have continue to increase year over year:
Just to be clear, the brown line represents the number of iPads sold since it launched in 2010, and the peaks represent the quarters in which Apple has launched new models. Do you see how the peaks and valleys have started trending down and not up?
What we're looking at here is the same data that has likely already convinced Apple senior management to release an iPad Pro. After all, the last time Apple had a plateau, it shipped the iPad Mini and sales went up (the black arrow).
I would not be surprised if Apple expects the iPad Pro to have a similar effect.
At this point the iPad Pro is believed to have a 12"(ish) screen and possibly launch next quarter. Many details have been bandied about, but at this point it is still difficult to separate the leaks from the rumors and drunken speculation. (Some of the speculation, including that the iPad Pro would have an optional stylus, is rather nifty.)
If that size is correct then the iPad Pro would look about yay big in comparison to the iPad: