All iPads What's your opinion on declining iPad sales?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Ghost31, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. Ghost31 macrumors 68000

    Ghost31

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    #1
    Some are saying it's the longer upgrade cycle. Some are saying there is a clear lack of innovation in this space. Others are saying tablets were a fad and now it's over. That people want laptops and their big screened phones as their mobile devices

    My current opinion (and it may change over time) is that it's a mix of different factors. I think there is a market saturation there where most people that want an iPad already bought one. The people currently buying the new models are people that are either upgrading from older devices like iPad 2, or that are the constant upgraders. People with lots of disposable income and that just like the newest tech in their iPads every year (this has been me since iPad 4) There is an increasing market where businesses are buying iPads for use in enterprise and others who are buying iPads for use as transaction points, but I wouldn't attribute a very large percentage of new sales to those.

    There's also the very real issue of durability. The past couple years the most exciting thing to look forward to that's iPad related has been...the next version of iOS. I know people that have an iPad 2 that are still happy and aren't buying a new one until it dies. And when I go out and talk to clients (and just general people out in the world) they aren't as gung ho as I am about upgrading for some small feature every year like a thinner profile or Touch ID or...whatever. You know? They buy it like they buy their home pc's. They put up the money for a product they'll use mostly at home...then they consider themselves "set". Until something happens to render that iPad unusable...They're not even thinking about the next iPad. Not even looking at keynotes. Watching for new features in upcoming iPads. Nothing. There's no "I can't wait until X feature gets added" because the iPad is already a pretty mature product. The only thing it's lacking in are certain parts of software that can be improved and that's given as a free update every year!

    I think there was this explosion in sales the first few years of iPad because it's an entirely new category and everybody wanted one. Now? My girlfriend works at Verizon and gives out free tablets when people sign up for a 2 year contract. THATS how accessible tablets are. I think she said the actual retail price of whatever crap tablet she was giving away was only $250 anyway.

    I think iPad has a bright future and a long road ahead of it, but I think we need to change our perception of what iPad sales SHOULD be. It's like when you convince all these people they get a free phone if they sign a 2 year contract. They don't understand the phone isn't really "free". It's included in the price of their phone bill for the next couple years or if they leave, they get an ETF. But because it's sold as "free", there's no nuance to it. People have the false perception that phones don't actually cost anything and that it's an easy product to make. Same for iPad sales I say. People THINK iPads are supposed to sell 20 million or more a quarter to be successful, but that was really just during its launch into the market. Now it's settling down and at some point we can probably expect it to level off at around 8 mill a quarter and stay around there. And that will still make it a successful product
     
  2. Smeaton1724 macrumors 6502a

    Smeaton1724

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    Sep 14, 2011
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    Leeds, UK
    #2
    People are getting way too hung up on the 'decline of the iPad'. The iPad is the best tablet on the market, it is supported for a very long time (iPad 2 and Mini 1st Gen still have iOS 9 support!) and when people upgrade they will buy another iPad, probably after 3-4 years. It is a solid category of product, long life and support, good value and solid profit for Apple.

    Contrast this to Amazon who sell tablets at £40 (GBP) they are the unsustainable ones, where is the profit? Where do they go long term? Amazon services? They keep devaluing everything bundling everything with Prime and the quest for cheaper hardware, app experience is poor and the hardware quality is reflected in price.

    The iPad fits in the gap between low quality tablets and cheap laptops, throw in things like smart connectors, pencils, increased storage etc and it will still be king.
     
  3. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    #3
    I will let Apple do the worry thing as I enjoy my iPads.
     
  4. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #4
    Pretty much.

    Besides, did people think that sales could continue to increase or even stay the same forever? At some point there's market saturation and sales slow down.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
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    Boston
    #5
    My opinion is that once someone has an iPad, there's really no reason to upgrade the next year. I've said this before, I'm on a second gen mini, my wife and kids are on first gen minis. None of us feel that we ought to upgrade.
     
  6. sjleworthy macrumors 65816

    sjleworthy

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    Penarth, Wales, UK
    #6
    my opinion of declining ipad sales - not bothered in the slightest. (unless i was a share holder. which im not). why do i think it's happening? again, don't know, not bothered. leave the conjuncture to the analysts. i havent the slightest interest.

    i upgraded from ipad2 to Pro. not because i couldn't afford it previously, but because i was more than happy with my ipad2. my Pro will last me another 5 or 6 years now.

    i know, whatever the outcome, Apple will always have an awesome item of tech for me whenever i choose to purchase it. that's good enough for me :)
     
  7. sartrekid macrumors 6502

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    Oct 30, 2014
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    Germany
    #7
    The rise of phablet-sized phones definitely is something you have to factor in, too.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    Agreed, I too am not bothered by it. I'll let Tim Cook stay away at night worried about that, I'm not. I have my own problems ;)
     
  9. Beavix macrumors 6502a

    Beavix

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    Dec 1, 2010
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    Romania
    #9
    Me and two other people I know gave up using iPads during the last three years mainly because of the stagnating iOS ecosystem. In my case buying the iPhone 6+ was the last nail in the coffin for my iPad.

    (Now I'm back using an iPad Pro but only because of the Pencil).

    The decline of the sales is bad for everybody. Less sales = less incentives for developers to write better apps = stagnation.
     
  10. Mystro, Feb 18, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016

    Mystro macrumors 6502

    Mystro

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    #10
    Bingo...... What about all the 100's of millions that already own a iPad and are happily using them? Not every one feels the need to buy a new tablet every year. Specially considering the quality build of the iPad where it isnt a requirement and the tablet is still viable for years after the initial sale.

     
  11. Jukens macrumors regular

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    Jun 13, 2013
    #11
    I feel its a lack of innovation. Literally until iOS 9 there was nothing differentiating the OS on the iPhones from the iPads, so it was still just a phone with a larger screen. And until the Pro nothing major has changed on the iPads, I wouldn't even call the Pro changes major. If you don't give customers a good reason to replace their devices each year then they wont. Also you can't really compare the upgrade cycle of a phone to a tablet due to until just recently almost all carriers sold the phones at a subsidized price. I really feel that they were riding on the ARM CPU fabrication train for the iPads, really giving you nothing but increased performance each year. Now that we are to a point that ARM processors are capable of handling just about anything we should see major OS design innovation to take advantage of that power. I don't feel that they need to do anything huge with the physical design as much as I think they need to tailor the OS for the iPad as an iPad OS, not a slightly modified iPhone OS. They need to push the iPad as something more than just a media consumption device.
     
  12. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #12
    It had high initial sales because it was a new category that people were interested in. Most people won't feel the need to upgrade annually, as well as some will have decided that tablets aren't for them. Both of those will lead to lower numbers of people upgrading.
     
  13. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #13
    iPads and tablets in general are facing the same issues that PC have been facing for a number of years now (remember when PC sales first started declining and everyone said tablets would replace them in a post-PC world?). Pretty much everyone who wants or needs a tablet already has one, and tablets have reached a point where much like PCs, they are overpowered for most people's needs, so there's no reason to replace them frequently.
     
  14. spamking macrumors newbie

    spamking

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    Feb 18, 2016
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    Oklahoma
    #14
    Got a good deal on an iPad mini 2 from AT&T yesterday . . . $99 with $10/month for data. More deals like that might help improve sales.
     
  15. oldmacs macrumors 68040

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    Australia
    #15
    I couldn't give a damn. Its probably a good thing, as it means iPads are being well supported software wise - which is good for me given I'm on an iPad 2.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #16
    The issues are definitely intertwined.

    For years, people kept upgrading their PCs as the jump up in performance was usually fairly large, or that a new feature was fairly profound. At some point (around the time of netbooks), it was becoming evident that most people, barely scratched the surface of what their PCs could do. There was less reason to spend 1 or 2k. Basically the netbooks unleased the dirty little secret that most people don't need that much computing power.

    The iPad came just as people were realizing this, now a few years later, people fully understand that there's really no reason to upgrade their old tablet as it works fine for reading, facebook, and/or streaming movies.

    Apple introduction of the Mini and the iPad Pro were both successful because they represented different form factors, where the original size worked, but not well enough for some consumers. Many people wanted a smaller tablet, hence hte mini. Likewise, a larger form factor was shown to be popular, i.e., Surface Pro.

    This momentary spike and popularity will only mask the issue, in that people who have them now (whether an iPad air, mini or now the IPP) will not really feel compelled or tempted to upgrade, since their current model works well
     
  17. masotime macrumors 68000

    masotime

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    Jun 24, 2012
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #17
    It's not obvious, but the root cause is a lack of really powerful software for the iPad.

    Software developers are willing to develop on the iPhone with "free" apps because many of the apps make money largely via advertising (or simply by enabling on-the-go shopping / Uber / etc.). You carry your iPhone with you everywhere, and people tend to check it frequently, so it becomes a potential continual source of "passive" on / off revenue.

    In contrast, the iPad tends to be used more at home, or when you want to engage in some kind of static, sustained activity. On this front, you'll find that it becomes much more difficult to work on a "free" model to earn revenue, unless you're developing an app that works on subscriptions for sustained activity, e.g. Netflix, etc.

    Initially this didn't matter because the iPad was an enormous novelty. I myself didn't believe it would work because it didn't have "a real OS". Actually using it made a huge difference. But now it is perfectly commonplace and you probably already have an old one whose novelty has long worn off.

    iPad needs to change the conditioning that consumers have that they should only buy free / 99 cent apps and expect free upgrades forever. If consumers are willing to spend $10 and more on iPad apps, and to engage in e.g. a yearly upgrade cycle for iPad software, iOS developers are more likely to spend the time to develop fully functional iPad iOS apps.

    The iPad Pro has proven the hardware is there - it's now just a matter of creating the fully featured software and mindset to spend more and more frequently on paid apps. This will automatically drive customers to get more powerful iPads to run better software.

    This is somewhat of a chicken and egg problem however. Apple has done the first step of creating the iPad Pro and adding native support for external accessories such as the Pencil and Smart Keyboard. They now need to somehow drive better iOS apps and more importantly, more willingness to spend regularly on iOS apps.
     
  18. Marco123 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 14, 2012
    #18
    For me my biggest issue is the lack of apps being updated for the pro.
    It's a shame that the iPhone is apples biggest seller because that's great if you're just an iPhone user but I own a 6S, Apple Watch and iPad pro and their ecosystem works great just for the Apple apps, waiting for eBay etc. To take advantage of the iPad pro screen sucks.
    My next device won't be an iPad pro, it'll be a Windows laptop because then I have the luxury of everything Windows offers and not waiting for devs to see how well the iPad pro sells before they update their apps for it.
    Chicken & egg scenario.
     
  19. Michael Goff macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

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    #19
    As long as they're making enough money to continue making them, I'm happy.
     
  20. MartyCan macrumors 65816

    MartyCan

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    #20
    An awful lot of "deep thoughts" about something pretty simple.

    Not very long ago tablets did not exist.

    Now most people who want or can afford a tablet already have one.

    Sales are declining? Go figure. Most people can't/won't bother to update over what essentially are somewhat limited upgrades. Maybe some are a big deal to geeks like me but for most people they'll make do.
     
  21. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #21
    Honestly I don't think its a big deal. iPads are incredibly reliable and last for years and years. Its just not something people buy new every year. My Mini from a few years ago still acts like I did when I bought it on day 1 even with the newest OS.
     
  22. Robnsn2015 macrumors regular

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    Jul 12, 2015
    #22
    If you look at data from the Android side (which is more detailed than Apple's data), one can conclude that larger phones are eating into sales of smaller tablets. I'll assume (since Apple won't release sales of individual models) that iPad Mini sales are dropping more than Air or Pro sales.

    Also, since iPads are a relatively new product, no one knows for sure what the replacement cycle is. In the USA, the average replacement cycle for phones is about 2 years, but the average replacement cycle for televisions is 7 years. Maybe the iPad replacement cycle is more like a TV.
     
  23. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    #23
    I think we will be seeing them for a long time. Looking forward to the Air 3 as "others" in my family are already taking dibs on my two Air 2 units! I told them not to touch my iPad Pro and they hid it from me. I simply hid the only remote that will start the entertainment center and it was returned promptly!:p
     
  24. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #24
    Actually, I just happened to come across this today: http://appleinsider.com/articles/16...d-pro-jumps-in-at-12-percent-survey-data-says

    Apparently the Mini line is the one segment of the iPad market that isn't declining, probably because the Mini 2 is the least expensive iPad you can get, and the Mini 4 is the newest iPad aside from the prohibitively expensive Pro which is more of a niche device at the moment.
     
  25. sjleworthy macrumors 65816

    sjleworthy

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    #25
    Agreed. They'll be updating ipads year in year out as long as there's a viable profit in them, which, even though they predict a drop, the profit margin is still huge. I can see Apple pulling ipads off the production line in a long long time.

    If and when they do, im sure we'll all be drooling over the next lines of products by then to even be bothered.
     

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