In a new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), the research firm claims that Apple’s giant-sized tablet performed impressively over the all-important December quarter, despite its high price point.
CIRP says that the iPad Pro had a strong launch by capturing a “meaningful share” of Apple’s tablet market, with 12 percent of all iPads sold being the iPad Pro.
The December quarter also indicated another change for iPad sales, with iPad mini models taking over from the iPad Air for the first time as Apple’s top-selling category of iPad. CIRP’s figures suggest that all combined models of iPad mini made up 47 percent of iPad sales in the quarter, compared to 40 percent for iPad Air models. In the December 2014 quarter, iPad mini models made up just 32 percent of sales.
“For the first time, iPad mini format had a greater share of sales than the iPad Air format,” said Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. “iPad mini did much better in the quarter than it did a year ago, in part because of the lower price points along with holiday price promotions, and because of the different models available.”
Other CIRP findings suggest that the total share of new iPhone 6s models fell below the share of the then-new phones in 2014, while the large-format iPhone 6s Plus share of sales also dropped compared to the iPhone 6 Plus. Customers continue to choose the year-old iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and even the two-year old iPhone 5s, CIRP notes.
Of course, we won’t know exact figures until Apple releases its quarterly earnings. CIRP’s number may hint at larger macro trends, but they are still based on a relatively small survey of only 500 U.S. Apple customers, surveyed from December 26, 2015 to January 12, 2016.
Still, at least as far as the iPad Pro goes, it seems Apple may have a hit on its hands. The only question will be whether it’s enough to reverse the downward trend of Apple’s slowing iPad business.