Apple CEO Tim Cook laughs as Lana Del Rey (with iPad) takes a photo during a launch event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on October 30, 2018 in New York City.
Stephanie Keith | Getty Images
Apple reported another blowout quarter on Wednesday that saw revenue grow 54% and approved a staggering $ 90 billion share buyback.
While we usually talk about the performance of Apple’s iPhone and Services segments every quarter, it’s impossible to ignore the insane growth the company has reported for Mac computers and iPads.
Apple is not just in the middle of a new iPhone super cycle. It’s in the middle of a super cycle for everything.
Take a look at how Apple’s Mac and iPad segments performed in Q2:
- Mac earnings: $ 9.10 billion, up 70.1% year over year
- iPad revenue: $ 7.80 billion, up 78.9% year over year
These are just wild numbers for two product categories that have weakened in recent years. Before 2020, the story behind the Mac was that Apple had pushed its PC development into the background to focus on its profit engine: the iPhone.
That changed last year, however, with the perfect storm for Apple’s Mac and iPad sales growth: the introduction of Apple’s proprietary M1 computer chip, and increasing demand for devices that allow people to work from home.
While the pandemic part of the equation is obvious, Apple also said the M1 played a role in the sales boom. In the company’s winning bid on Wednesday, CEO Tim Cook credited the M1 chip as the engine of growth, especially after Apple proved the chip can do as or better than the Intel chips previously used in computers.
Apple just added the M1 to its new iPad Pro model, which hits stores on Friday and ships in May. This gives the iPad the same performance as the Mac. Apple executives told TechCrunch this week that they hope adding all that power to the iPad will spark a new wave of software development to make the device far more useful for productivity tasks. If that works, the iPad Pro is a viable alternative for people who want to use a tablet instead of a traditional laptop.
And there are more reasons to be optimistic about the Mac when Apple is reportedly redesigning its Mac laptops and potentially using the next version of its M-series chip.
All this optimism about the Mac and iPad has only one caveat: the lack of chips.
Cook and his team admitted Wednesday’s earnings call that there might be delivery restrictions on some components needed for Apple’s gadgets. But they sounded optimistic that they can solve the problems.
And don’t forget: Cook has made a name for himself in the business world as a supply chain and logistics genius.