Tim Cook on the State of the iPad

iPad Air 2

Last October I wrote about how I believe that the iPad is at a crossroads, facing a number of significant challenges on a number of fronts. In an analysts’ conference call yesterday, Tim Cook commented on Apple’s most recent quarterly results (summary: great) and had a few interesting comments about the state of the iPad.

When I look at the customer [satisfaction levels] on iPad it’s literally off the charts, in some cases 100 percent, which is unheard of in surveys to get these kind of customer sat ratings. When I look at the usage, the usage is six times our nearest competitor. Usage measured in web browsing is like 71 percent of total tablets. Also the commerce taking place across the iPad is enormous. Essentially over 80 percent of the commerce on tablets is taking place on iPad.

And so when I back up and look at all of these, and I believe that over the long arc of time, the iPad is a great business. I also have visibility obviously to what’s in the pipeline and feel very, very good about that. That said, I’m not projecting something very different next quarter or the next. I’m thinking over the long run.

In terms of what I think is going on, I think that the upgrade cycle is longer than an iPhone, probably between an iPhone and a PC. We haven’t been in the business long enough to say that with certainty, but that’s what we think. There’s probably some level of cannibalization that’s going on, with the Mac on one side and the phone on the other, and so you probably have a little bit of that that’s shaking out. How much, very hard to tell in the early going, particularly since we just shipped the new phones a few months ago.

And so I think there’s some things like that that are going on. On the other side, I think the partnership with IBM and the work that we have going on in the enterprise is profound. I think we’re really going to change the way people work. I’m really excited about the apps that are coming out, and how fast that partnership is getting up and running, so I think that can move the dial there. So I’m not predicting the 90 day clips, but over the long arc of time I really believe that iPad is a great space, a great product, and also coupled with the product innovation we’ve got, I think there’s a very bright future for it.

This was excerpted from Jason Snell’s excellent transcription of the call over at sixcolors.com.