On Tuesday, Aug. 1, Apple reported a surprise fiscal third-quarter earnings beat with an even more surprising boost in iPad sales. The tech behemoth posted that iPad revenue increased 2% for the three months ended July 1, after plummeting 12% in the period ended in March.
Still, it doesn't appear to be the average Joe who's suddenly buying the iPad. No, Apple hinted that the turnaround can be attributed to large corporations, including Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT - Get Report) , Bank of America Corp. (BAC - Get Report) , Panera Bread Co. and Medtronic plc.
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"Our enterprise business continues to expand and our customers are transforming the way work gets done with iOS and iPad," Luca Maestri, Apple chief financial officer and senior vice president, said on a company earnings call with analysts on Tuesday.
Maestri touted Walmart, in particular, for its plans to deploy "more than 19,000 iPads for its employee-training" program. In May, Walmart announced that it would graduate 225,000 employees from its training academies by the end of the year. The academies aim to teach employees fundamental retail skills that go beyond stocking shelves and customer service, such as which items turn a profit and why.
"The iPad is the central delivery mechanism for the content of the training program," Walmart spokesman Blake Jackson told TheStreet on Wednesday, Aug. 2.
Jackson said Walmart has already begun putting the tablets to use and that the training its employees receive at the academies is "almost exclusively via the iPad." The discount retailer also uses the Apple TV for demonstration purposes at its training academies.
On the earnings call, Maestri added that Bank of America, Panera and Medtronic "tell us that they will be rolling out the iPad Pro throughout key areas of their organizations."
A Bank of America spokesman and a Panera spokeswoman declined to comment. Medtronic did not respond to a request for further information.
Apple shares fell 0.8% to $155.91 early Wednesday afternoon.
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