It looks like the iPad is taking a bite out of more than the Windows PC market.

Apple’s quarterly results, released a short time ago, show sales of the company’s tablet climbing again in the fourth quarter, to a record 22.9 million units, up from 15.4 million a year ago.  The results include numbers from the launch of the iPad mini in November.

For context, the figure for the iPad in the recent quarter was the equivalent of 25 percent of shipments in the traditional PC market in the same period.

The ongoing rise of the iPad is more evidence that many people are opting for the Apple tablet rather than low-end Windows notebooks. It’s particularly notable that the new record came despite the launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8, with its new tablet-friendly touch-oriented interface, in October.

At the same time, Apple reported that sales of Macs fell during the quarter, dropping to 4.1 million units, compared with 5.2 million units in the same quarter a year earlier.

Meanwhile, unit sales of the iPhone hit a record, reaching 47.8 million in the quarter, up from 37 million a year ago.

Apple overall beat missed analysts’ expectations with revenue of $54.5 billion for the quarter (compared to the consensus expectation of $54.7 billion among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters), and beat expectations with earnings of $13.81 per share (consensus was $13.47 per share).

Post corrected above to reflect revenue miss. Thanks to Joe in the comments below.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • Joe McGrath

    To clarify, they missed analysts’ expecation on revenue.
    And the stock continues to sink like the titanic.

    • Todd Bishop

      Thanks, I misread the consensus data from Thomson Reuters. Correction made and noted above. Appreciate the help.

  • Guest

    The key here is that Apple had foresight and made a strategic decision so that they would be the ones cutting into their PC/Mac sales.

    Microsoft is still trying to keep time from moving forward and hold on to the PC.

    With the news recently of the abysmal sales of Windows RT Surfaces, the dropping of Windows RT by several OEMs, Surface Pro (running WIndows 8) announced at PC/Laptop rather than tablet prices and the lack of any other Windows 8 tablets all spell one thing:

    Microsoft has officially missed the tablet boat yet again with Windows 8. By design and inability, MIcrosoft is STILL a PC company. They lacked the fortitude to do what Apple could.

    Gates lived in fear of the “one big mistake” that would doom Microsoft. He doesn’t have to worry about it: we know what it is, they’ve done it.

  • davidgeller

    Thursday morning looks like huge BUY time for AAPL.

    • Gues

      And sell for MSFT. Their earnings are after close on Thursday.

      Generally the idea is to get to the exits before the stampede so you can get out.

Job Listings on GeekWork