Although iPad sales were below analyst projections for a second straight quarter, Apple CEO Tim Cook says that the tablet can continue to grow, particularly if Apple can increase sales to businesses.
Cook noted that while Apple has 76 percent market share in the commercial sector, tablets are still far less used inside businesses than laptops.
“We have to do some more things to get the business side of things moving in a faster trajectory,” Cook said.
Of course, Cook pointed to Apple’s recent IBM deal as the chance to gain share inside corporations, noting both IBM’s sales force and its ability to create business applications designed for the iPad.
Sales of the iPad have continued to be strong in emerging markets — growing at greater than 50 percent last quarter in China, India and the Middle East — but have slowed in more mature markets.
“In the developed countries like the U.S., the market is clearly weaker,” Cook said.
Apple sold 13.3 million iPads last quarter, a drop of 9 percent from a year ago and 19 percent from the prior quarter — already a weak quarter for iPad sales.
Last quarter’s sales were in line with Apple’s expectations, but Cook acknowledged they were again less than some analysts had forecast.
Even with some slowing growth, Cook noted that the tablet market remains on track to become larger than the PC market in the coming years.
“We still feel the category as a whole is in its early days and there is significant innovation that can be brought to the iPad and we plan on doing that,” Cook said.