Wednesday, June 02, 2010

“Like Three iPads a Second” or "One Every Three Seconds"?: The Most Helpful Call You Will Receive Today


The Most Helpful Call we here at NotMakingThisUp think you’ll get today is brought to you by, well, we here at NotMakingThisUp, with the assistance of a loyal, sharp-eyed reader named David.

And the call is this: read the Wall Street Journal’s “All Things Digital” interview with Steve Jobs.

The article, which was written by John Paczkowski and based on an interview conducted by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, was posted at 5:45 p.m. (PST) yesterday and it contains at least one stunner that you have not seen anywhere on the tape this morning—at least as far as we can tell.

And that stunner is this: Apple is selling something on the order of 3 iPads each second, at least according to the Wall Street Journal, which would be a remarkable piece of data—or hype, depending on whether you work in Redmond, Washington or not—if it were true.

The statement in question occurs early in the interview, in response to the inevitable question about Apple’s fight with Adobe over the iPad’s inability to use flash:

Walt: What if people demand Flash. What if they say the iPad is crippled without Flash.

“We’re just trying to make great products,” says Jobs. “We don’t think Flash makes a great product, so we’re leaving it out. Instead, we’re going to focus on technologies that are in ascendancy. If we succeed, people will buy them and if we don’t they won’t….And, so far, I have to say, people seem to be liking the iPad. We sell like three iPads a second.”

—The Wall Street Journal

Three of anything per second equals 180 per minute; 10,800 per hour; 259,200 per day; and 7,776,000 per month.

Now, 7,776,000 per month seems a bit of a stretch given that Apple just announced it has sold somewhat more than 2 million iPads in the first two months of its launch, which is why we rushed the news to print earlier this morning, only to be corrected by a sharp-eyed reader that the transcription was wrong.

And indeed, after watching the video itself, it turns out, the transcript is wrong.

What Jobs says, in fact, is:

“We’ve sold one every three seconds since we launched it.”

One every three seconds amount to 864,000 a month, roughly in line with the reported sales to date.

Nevertheless, despite the mix-up at the Wall Street Journal and the 6-fold increase in implied iPad sales by that transcription error, we still find the Journal’s interview with Steve Jobs is the most helpful call you’ll receive today.

And thanks to David V, the Journal stands corrected.


Jeff Matthews
I Am Not Making This Up

© 2010 NotMakingThisUp, LLC

The content contained in this blog represents only the opinions of Mr. Matthews, who also acts as an advisor: clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews’ recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes investment advice, and should never be relied on in making an investment decision, ever. Also, this blog is not a solicitation of business: all inquiries will be ignored. The content herein is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.


4 comments:

David V said...

Watching the video, I think he says something like "We sell an iPad like every three seconds".

babar ganesh said...

should be a factor of 9 off, not 6

Craig said...

I am more stunned by their market cap surpassing Microsoft. Twenty years ago Apple was lying face down on the canvas. Technology companies don't usually recover from such a beat-down. It's the greatest comeback of all time.

David V said...

Oh, you're welcome. Happy to help :).