Apple device sales: iPhone soars, iPad slips, Watch data unclear

A look at just-announced Apple sales, including a graph smoothed for seasonal spikes

iPhone 6 Plus
Ken Mingis

Many charts and graphs of Apple device sales focus on the actual quarterly numbers, but I decided to once again look at that data smoothed for seasonal spikes, since holiday and back-to-school purchase bursts can obscure longer term movement. The results? Key trends continue: iPhone sales are soaring, iPads are slowly declining and Macs -- while overall a small number -- continue to grow.

These numbers come from averaging the prior four quarters of unit sales (not revenue). While overall revenue lets you know how important various product lines are for a company, unit sales can be a better measure of waxing and waning popularity.

Using data from Bare Figures, the graph below shows what moving averages look like for iPad, iPhone and Mac unit sales. Note that quarters are labeled as calendar-year quarters, not Apple fiscal-year quarters.

You can click (or tap on mobile) on device names in the legend to turn them on and off -- you'll need to turn off iPad and iPhone data in order to see the trend for Macs, since unit sales are so much lower. Mouse over (or tap on mobile) points to see underlying data.

Computerworld calculated moving averages; data from Bare Figures and Apple.

Below is unsmoothed data for "other" Apple products, which as of this quarter should include the Apple Watch as well as iPod, Apple TV, Beats Electronics and Apple accessories. Since there is only one quarter of Watch data, a rolling four-quarter average would somewhat hide its effect.

While there's obviously a large year-over-year increase -- $2.64 million in this most recent quarter versus $1.69 million a year ago -- it's not clear how much of that might be attributable to the Apple Watch. Note that unit sales are not available in this category, so the graph below shows revenue. In this case, typically lower Q2 revenue just about matches seasonally high Q4 sales from 2015. It's likely that much of that extra revenue came from wearables.

Source: Bare Figures and Apple

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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