Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad release is looking like a masterstroke

Apple has announced iPad sales have returned to growth for the first time in almost four years.

In the headline announcement from its quarterly earnings call, Apple says iPad sales grew 15% year on year since the same period last year. Sales are up 28% compared to the last quarter.

Sales hit 11.5 million compared to just under 10 million in 2016. That year-on-year growth hasn’t happened 2013.

The sales have been buoyed by the launch of the 9.7-inch ‘New’ iPad in March this year.

The replacement for the iPad Air 2 arrived with a budget friendly price tag of £339/$329, while packing a host of improvements.

It features a Retina display, A9 processor, all-day battery life and compatibility with the newest versions of iOS.

At that attractive price point it’s seen as a perfect update for Apple fans who’ve been plodding on with an iPad 2, for example.

Meanwhile, the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is available from £619/$629, alongside the 12.9-inch model.

Related: iPhone 8

Elsewhere, Apple announced stunning quarterly earnings of $45.4 billion, which represents 7% growth year-on-year, and profits of $8.7 billion.

It sold 41 million iPhones up from 40.4 million at this point last year. Mac sales also rose a tad to 4.29 million, perhaps boosted by refreshes across the board over the last 12 months.

“With revenue up 7 percent year-over-year, we’re happy to report our third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth and an all-time quarterly record for Services revenue,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

“We hosted an incredibly successful Worldwide Developers Conference in June, and we’re very excited about the advances in iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS coming this fall.”

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