During its earnings announcement for its fiscal third quarter of 2013, Apple revealed that it sold 31.2 million iPhones and 14.6 million iPads. According to those figures, the company’s iPhone sales were up 20 percent year-over-year while its iPad sales were down 14.1 percent year-over-year.

Last quarter, Apple sold 37.4 million iPhones and 19.5 million iPads, but the only worthy comparison is year-over-year. In Q3 2012, Apple sold fewer phones but more tablets than this quarter: 26 million iPhones and 17 million iPads.

Q3 2013 industry estimates for iPhones ranged between 26.57 million and 27.89 million while estimates for iPads ranged between 17.62 million and 18.64 million. Apple thus easily beat estimates for iPhones but failed to do the same for iPads.

Apple managed to beat both the institutional consensus and the independent one when it comes to its hottest gadget, but its tablets sales just couldn’t keep up. This is certainly a mixed result: the iPhone is definitely more important than the iPad for the company, but with Mac sales slipping steadily, there is a big expectation for the iPad to keep selling.

Nevertheless, this was a good quarter overall. It’s impressive to see Apple is still selling more iPhones than the comparable quarter last year, despite the fact that the iPhone 5’s successor is widely expected to be coming soon.

As always, Apple didn’t offer numbers for specific types of devices, but it certainly looks as if the company’s iPad mini isn’t able to handle the growing number of competitors. This shouldn’t be too surprising: the cheaper alternatives, most of which are running Android, are getting very good. We’ll be looking closely to see if this quarter was a blip in terms of iPad expectations or the start of a declining trend.

See also – iPad mini review roundup: An impressive mid-size tablet that comes at a price and Second-generation Nexus 7 will launch in July, says an ASUS staffer who also leaked the specs

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