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Summary:

Is it a sign that people are holding back on upgrading to the new iPad? Or a measure of the success the discounted iPad 2 is seeing here in the U.S.? Schools purchasing iPads were a key driver of Apple’s record-breaking iPad sales last quarter.

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Though the new iPad continues to break tablet sales records for Apple, some new data from Chitika Insights shows that here in the U.S., last year’s iPad model remains incredibly popular. In a report shared with GigaOM on Friday, Chitika says that based on data gathered from its extensive ad network in the U.S., web traffic coming from the new iPad accounts for about 18 percent of all iPad traffic, while 60 percent still comes from the iPad 2.

Chitika think that’s a sign that people are holding back on upgrading to the new iPad, and points to “the perceived minute differences between the iPad 2 and iPad 3, discouraging users of older iPads to upgrade.”

But, Apple sold 17 million iPads this past quarter, a record for the company, and Apple CEO Tim Cook specifically said that the most popular iPad sold was the lastest, third-generation iPad. There is a data discrepancy here, however: Chitika is talking about web traffic from iPads in the U.S. only, and Cook is talking about global sales.

I think this can also be explained by how important the iPad 2’s discount, starting in March, has been to that model’s success here in the U.S. Discounting the iPad 2 by $100 to $399 was smart for a couple of reasons. Yes, it put the iPad in the hands of more consumers who weren’t excited about spending $500 on an iPad, but it’s also opened the floodgates for schools to be able to buy them for students. (And that coincided with a bigger push from Apple in general toward education apps and books.)

Apple said last week that between April and June this year, it sold 1 million iPads to schools — a quarterly record for the company. It has had a record-breaking quarter for Mac sales to schools, yet it sold twice as many iPads as it did Macs.

On the company’s earnings call with investors, Cook said pricing was a big part of the iPad 2’s success last quarter: “We priced the iPad 2  to $399 and did very well but, the most popular iPad is the new iPad. But iPad 2 was key in the K-12 area. We have been very aggressive in this space and I don’t see changing that.”

Apple’s very savvy about how it prices its products and simultaneously squeezes profits out of them. Its success with the iPad 2 even since the introduction of the brand new iPad shows that. That’s why this fall is going to be so very interesting in the tablet world. With Google, Microsoft and Amazon undercutting or trying to undercut the iPad on price with smaller but compelling tablets, Apple’s decision on how to price the still-rumored smaller iPad is going to have a significant impact. Not only on its competitors, but on its own profits as well.

  1. John S. Wilson Friday, August 3, 2012

    IPad mini will be even more aggressive. Should be a blockbuster year.

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    1. Assuming there is an iPad Mini.

      Don’t we go through the multiple times a year.

      What about Apple TV or iTV or whatever it was called before WWDC 2012. What about the iPhone 5 last year.

      There is always some hype and rumor associated with Apple, many of which are not true.

      The iPad Mini may just be many in a long series of disappointments for Apple Disciples.

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  2. Sounds like a merry Apple Christmas 2012, the AppleTV has doubled the number of units sold in comparison 2011 which is very good for a hobby. Strong word of mouth?

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  3. Steffen Jobbs Sunday, August 5, 2012

    It amazing how ignorant those people were who when the iPad was first announced said that it wouldn’t be a success because it lacked all the key hardware necessary to make a computing device useful. No keyboard and no USB ports would make the iPad an instant failure to consumers. They said that the Windows netbook would make the perfect road companion thanks to its low cost and its ability to run all the major software of the Wintel platform.

    Those same people are still insisting that the iPad is merely a fad and that the ZunePad and ZunePad Pro will be the perfect tablets for consumers and businesses alike. Even Wall Street ignores the impact of the iPad because despite selling so many more iPads YOY the past quarter, Apple’s shares were sold off due to the weakness of iPhone units sold. Unusually high iPad sales meant nothing to Wall Street. Apple just can’t catch a break.

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