“Many observers have been waiting for a while now for the iPad to find its level—for sales to flatten back out and reveal what size Apple’s iPad business will really be going forward. It’s clear that the heady days where Apple sold 80 million iPads in a year are gone, and won’t be coming back for quite a while. But as sales continue to decline, it’s worth asking when it will all stop.
At this point, Apple’s selling iPads at a rate of approximately 48 million iPads per year—roughly the rate it was selling them in 2011, at the very start of the iPad’s lifespan, just before iPad sales kicked into gear. So is this the bottom? Or will it get worse before it gets better?”
Jason Snell ponders the future of the iPad. He particularly looks at four points that may have contributed to its fall in sales, but none of them answer the problem entirely. I think the iPad solved a problem that many people didn’t know they had, but that most people simply don’t need or want one.
As tech writers, we tend to assume that everyone has a computer (or used to), and needs a computing device. More and more people make do with their smartphones – hence the success of phablets – and don’t need anything else. I know lots of people who love the iPad, and use it as their “computer,” not owning a device with a keyboard and display. But maybe there aren’t that many who really need such a device. And those who do, maybe they don’t feel the need to upgrade. I’m sure Apple is trying to figure this out, and, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that their solution – the iPad Pro – is the right one. Maybe they’ll finally have to compete on price.