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Newsletter Issue #788: Apple’s 2014 Sales: Has Apple TV Returned to Hobby Status?

If early indications hold true, the iPhone did extremely well during the recently-ended holiday season. While actual sales won’t be known till Apple releases the quarterly numbers, it’s very likely there was a fairly substantial increase. Apple clearly did the right thing in deciding to build larger iPhones. The real question is whether the legacy iPhone 5s did well, and whether a new smaller iPhone will be in the offing for later this year.

It’s very likely Macs did quite well too. The new iMac 5K, costly by PC standards, was in short supply for a while, and I’ve heard from lots of people who opted to buy one. This is the sort of computer that serves both pros and consumers quite well for specific needs that might formerly have been met by a Mac Pro. It doesn’t kill the Mac Pro, but lessens the need to have one for many users at a huge cost savings.

The iPad is the question mark. Reports of tablet activations were down substantially, and one estimate had Apple selling roughly 10% fewer units for 2014. It’s still a substantial number, but it’s clear the iPad has confronted headwinds, and it’s an open question how Apple plans to deal with the situation. Will the marketing deal with IBM deliver far more iPads into the enterprise to compensate? Will Apple devise more features to push them into the hands of consumers? Is the longer replacement cycle a large part of the problem?

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