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Apple Says "Response to iPad Air Has Been Incredible"

iPad Air. Source: Apple.

Unlike last year, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) didn't provide opening launch-weekend sales for new iPad Air when the tablet hit the market on Nov. 1 in more than 40 countries. For the most part, investors are still subject to the guessing game when it comes to deriving a meaningful estimate of how may shipments Apple has recorded so far. But there are several indications, starting from a new statement from Apple, that suggest Apple is moving a considerable number of iPad Airs.

Apple speaks up
"The response to iPad Air has been incredible," Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Philip Schiller, said this morning in a press release announcing immediate availability of its new iPad Mini with Retina display.

But what is "incredible"?

That's a tough question. But here is what we do know. Incredible is a bold, albeit common, word in Apple's press release vocabulary. And when Apple cited "incredible demand" last year after the launch weekend of the first-generation iPad Mini and the fourth-generation iPad, Apple announced 3 million iPads sold in the first three days and went on to notch a record 22.9 million iPads sold during the quarter, compared to just 15.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Sure, Apple's iPad Air shipments during the quarter could face challenges, since many consumers may have chosen to wait for the company's iPad Mini with Retina display (which just launched today). But, on the other hand, a much faster rollout for the tablet could offset much of these headwinds. The iPad Air will initially launch in more than 40 countries while the Apple's November iPad rollout last year started in just 34 countries, excluding the massive Chinese market until January. 

Supply limited
As is typical for Apple during the initial quarter of a product launch, the iPad Air doesn't seem to be facing any demand issues. Supply constraints are clearly evident. Based on a check on Apple's online U.S. store this morning, all models currently won't ship for five to seven days if purchased today. Also, a call to my local Apple retail store today revealed there were multiple iPad Air models sold out at the store.

And in line with Apple claiming demand for the tablet is "incredible," research from app marketing service Fiksu (via MacRumors) suggests that the initial adoption of the iPad Air was unprecedented; iPad air adoption based on usage statistics could have outpaced last year's fourth-generation iPad and first-generation iPad Mini adoption by five and three times, respectively, during the two days following launch, according to Fiksu. No wonder supplies are limited.

A big quarter looks realistic
So there's incredible demand for Apple's iPad Air, and the tablet remains mostly supply limited. What does this mean for investors? It means Apple's iPad segment likely won't be dragging on the company's first-quarter guidance for bigger revenue numbers than ever before. Sure, the iPad Mini's major supply constraints may hinder the segment's potential, but this is something Apple seemed to expect. The quarter is also very dependent on Apple's massive iPhone segment -- but iPad Air sales don't look like they'll be holding Apple back from its guidance for record revenue.

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Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2013, at 7:39 PM, DanManners wrote:

    You and the rest of the media are so clueless. It is so obvious to see what happened. Oy veh.

    1. Apple is supply limited on the mini.

    2. Apple had a good supply of the ipad air (easier screen due to less dense pixels)

    3. So put the air out there which is great and could win over mini lovers. Thinner and narrower it is not has clumsy as before. So we force some mini buyers to get the ipad Air due to the risk of not being able to get a mini if in short supply.

    But what happened is the Air sold very well. The delivery time is now a few weeks longer. So they are getting very low. Now they decide to put the mini up at bat. It will now get a comparison. That will be the new Air does not feel that much bigger and is only $ 100 more. Same trick they are using with the 5C. GET IT?

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2013, at 8:44 PM, DanManners wrote:

    I see buy the number of comments the word incredible doesn't apply here.

    See you got an MBA Dan! Yeah got one also. Did you ever hear of Harvard? Well I heard of it also.

    So keep trying and one day you might do some Pulitzer Prize work. Yeah won that also.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2013, at 8:49 PM, thethreestooges wrote:

    This article is incredible!

    What's so incredible? This is not news, this is not analysis, no data to show.

    Oh, yes....wait it is so incredible...yes incredible...incredible....can we get on with this and stop writing if you don't have anything else to write?

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2013, at 9:27 PM, lakers44 wrote:

    I just dont get why the stock doesnt go up .The train will leave the station very soon .Incredible sales,China Moblie ,bigger screen phones next year ,Iwatch .

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2013, at 7:38 AM, jdmeck wrote:

    Bigger screens and iWatch... Hopefully Apple has enough wisdom to do neither.

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