Normally iPads debuted in March. Today, Apple CEO Tim Cook offered some insight as to why during the Q4 earnings call. Apparently K-12 makes their purchases for the next school year around June. Higher education can and does buy later.
Cook stated that he believed the newly refreshed iPad would be selling well in the upcoming holiday season. Rumors about the autumn event did affect sales. iPad sales slowed down in August and September in part because of rumors about the upcoming release. It's unclear whether the iPad has made a permanent shift on sales dates.
Cook and Peter Oppenheimer were forthcoming with quite a lot of iPad-design philosophy. The gross margin for the mini is significantly below other products, Oppenheimer pointed out. Apple refused to compromise on product design and quality, justifying its higher price compared to the competition.
"We didn't set out to sell a cheap device. We wanted the full iPad experience, the device is much better... 35 percent larger display than the 7" devices out there, two cameras, shipping fastest communication, A5 chip and fit and finish of the unibody aluminum enclosure."
Cook didn't worry about product canibalization, stating that customers would decide whether they wanted an iPad touch, iPhone, iPad mini and/or iPad. They are welcome to buy them all, or pick and choose -- just like they've done in the past.
"We want people to love their products for years," Cook said, adding that over 90 percent of web traffic from tablets is from iPads. This stat, he added, tells Apple that people want a quality device.