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Apple Q3 results: the tablet tide is turning

Apple Q3 results: the tablet tide is turning

It’s Apple results time again.

And while reports for the early summer months, and indeed the quarter we’re currently in, always show a slight decline in key areas, the last three months’ iPad sales, especially, make for grim reading.

Apple shifted 14.6 million iPads, full-sized and mini, between April and June.

That’s down from 17 million in the same period last year and 19.5 million in the supposedly quiet January to March quarter.

That’s some drop and shows that the time when Apple slayed all before it in the table space is coming to an end.

Just as Samsung has leapfrogged it and now dominates the smartphone sector, Apple is staring down the barrel of a slate-market takeover.

Amazon and Google’s budget tablet efforts, allied with higher Apple pricing, are ensuring that it is losing ground to rival tablet makers.

Apple iPad mini vs Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs Google Nexus 7 side by side

This is backed up by recent IDC data, which showed that Apple’s tablet market share had slid from a massive 65.3% in the first quarter of 2012 to 39.6% in the same period this year.

Samsung is surging forward, its relentless marketing drive snaring ever more customers.

Slackening demand for the iPad is also reflected in the fact that while Apple’s revenues are up, profits are very much down.

Last year Apple made $8.8 billion from April to June. This year that’s down to $6.9 billion.

Of course, these aren’t atrocious figures, but it shows that the overwhelming lust for Apple products that dominated the end of the last decade is waning.

Rival mobile and tablet-makers have given Apple competition it simply never had in the first years following the iPhone’s launch.

The only ray of light in these latest stats is that iPhone sales are up, Apple having its best ever April-June quarter with the device.

iPhone 5 Lightning dock connector cable

31.2 million phones were sold, compared to 26 million last year. That’s impressive and shows the iPhone still has cachet.

But it’ll be telling to see how these numbers pan out in the July-September quarter, when it was initially expected Apple would launch the successor to the iPhone 5.

Despite burgeoning iPhone demand, though, what’s clear from all this is that Apple is being squeezed on all sides.

Consumers know that they can get products of similar quality for a lower price and at a time of economic uncertainty, that’s very alluring.

Throw in the fact that Apple hasn’t released a truly revolutionary new mobile device since the first iPad, and it’s no wonder its profits have dropped.

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