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Apple’s iPad just had its first growth quarter in more than three years

iPad sales were up 15 percent year over year.

Apple reported today that iPad tablet sales passed 11.4 million during its fiscal third quarter, up 15 percent from the same period a year ago.

The last time Apple posted year-over-year iPad growth was more than three years ago — the holiday quarter of 2013, when Apple sold a record 26 million iPads.

Why the surge?

Apple launched several new iPads this year, including a refreshed iPad Pro lineup in June and a lower-priced full-size iPad in March, which seems to have been popular: The average iPad selling price last quarter was $435, down from $490 a year ago. As a result, iPad revenue was up just 2 percent year over year, a slower growth pace than unit sales.

Overall, tablets sales are declining, thanks in part to big-screen smartphones.

And the story of Apple’s iPad, which launched in 2010, has gone from runaway hit to sagging sales to this current stage, where tablets have many clear use cases but also aren’t taking over the world.

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