» Excuses, excuses

Electronista details Tim Cook’s explanations for why iPad sales were down.

Cook, however, said that at the time Apple was fulfilling a backlog of iPad orders and thus sold a lot of units to “the channel” — resellers and distributors — which pumped up sales figures. This year, sell-in inventory (to partners) went way down, while sales remained basically the same, making it look like Apple had sold far fewer iPads than it did.

Sell-through to end users — a figure that Apple is alone in the industry in reporting — was actually 17.5 million units, down about three percent from the year-ago quarter. The difference means that iPad sales were actually at the high end of what Apple was expecting, rather than “a miss” as some analysts had expected.

Cook has reasonable explanations for why it’s not as bad as it looks and I believe the iPad business is still solid. But it’s something to keep an eye on for upcoming quarters.

Like we weren’t going to watch iPad sales in upcoming quarters.