The results suggest that iPad revenues are a better "predictor" for Apple's share price, with a 68% correlation. That's higher than the 62% correlation with iPhone revenue, as well as the 40% correlation with Mac revenue. Turning to unit sales, the figures imply that iPhone unit sales remain quite important by boasting a 77% correlation. On the other hand, iPad units have a 68% correlation.
Unfortunately, this information provides long-term investors with no value, since it's a classic case of data mining and searching for correlations that lack causality. Just because you can theoretically connect random dots doesn't mean there's a meaningful relationship. That's especially true for Apple, considering that it tends to be a sentiment stock driven by emotion, and shares are prone to extremely volatility at times.
Eventually, Apple will probably hit an inflection point when the iPad business truly does become more important than the iPhone, but that day is still years away.
In this segment of Tech Teardown, Erin Kennedy discusses the "study" with Evan Niu, CFA.
What's next for Apple?
Apple has a history of cranking out revolutionary products -- and then creatively destroying them with something better. Read about the future of Apple in the free report, "Apple Will Destroy Its Greatest Product." Can Apple really disrupt its own iPhones and iPads? Find out by clicking here.