October 2012
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Day October 27, 2012

iPad sales grew 44 percent in Q3

The iPad grew shipments at 26% y/y but “sales” as measured by sell-through were up 44%. Detail from Tim Cook’s discussion:

“The June to September [sequential change] was 17 million to 14 million…   as we had talked about in the July call, the June quarter contained 1.2 million increase in channel inventory and so … the comparison looks very different than our reported [shipment] numbers do… On a year-over-year basis, because of the year ago quarter having also a channel inventory build as we stock the channel to the [proper] level, the sell through year-over-year actually grew 44% and so the underlying sell through was extremely strong.”

Sell-through, (or “sales” vs. “shipments”) is a much better indicator of demand, obviously. Also see transcript for explanation of sequential decline (educational buying).

44% is not spectacular but it places the growth far more comfortably in the “high” bracket than the 26% units and 9% revenue growth that shipments data would indicate.