Supply chain issues killed iPad sales in the first quarter of 2021

iPadOS 14
iPadOS 14 (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

What you need to know

  • iPad sales decreased by 14% year over year in the first quarter of 2021.
  • Apple says that the drop in sales performance is due to supply constraints.
  • Install base on iPad reached a new high despite the issue.

The iPad seems to have been hit the hardest by the supply chain shortages over the pandemic.

On today's Q1 2022 earnings call, Apple announced that iPad revenue was down 14% year over year due to heavy supply constraints in the company's supply chain. Despite the problems with getting components, install base for the iPad hit a new record.

iPad generated 7.2 billion in revenue, down 14% year over year due to very significant supply constraints, but customer demand was very strong across all models. Despite the supply shortages, our installed base of iPads reached a new all time high during the quarter, thanks to a high number of customers that are new to iPad. In fact, around half of the customers purchasing an iPad during the quarter were new to the product.

When asked when iPad supply might recover, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company has seen an improvement over the last quarter and do expect constraints to decrease going forward.

Yeah, the issue with iPad and it was a very significant constraint in the December quarter was very much on these legacy nodes that I had talked about. Virtually all the problem was in that area and so overall, we're not guiding by product constraints by product level, but overall we do see an improvement in the March quarter in terms of the constraints going down versus what they were in the December quarter.

Despite the drop in iPad performance, Apple posted a record quarter with $124 billion in revenue and a new record active install base of 1.2 billion devices.

You can read the entire transcript from the call on our website now.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.