10 Reasons Why Apple iPad Sales Continue to Sag

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2017-02-03
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - 10 Reasons Why Apple iPad Sales Continue to Sag
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    10 Reasons Why Apple iPad Sales Continue to Sag

    Apple iPad sales have been in retreat for several quarters with no indication of a turnaround anytime soon. There are many reasons why iPad sales are stuck in reverse.
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    2 - Model Updates Are Few and Far Between
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    Model Updates Are Few and Far Between

    Part of the reason Apple’s iPad numbers have tumbled in recent memory is a general lack of updates. Apple’s iPad Air 2, for example, hasn’t been updated for more than two years. The Pad Mini 4, the company’s smallest tablet, was released in September 2015. Even the 12.9-inch iPad Pro has been available more than a year without an upgrade.
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    3 - Upgrades Are Unimpressive
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    Upgrades Are Unimpressive

    Over the last few years, Apple’s iPad feature updates have been disappointing. For instance, last year Apple announced the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, a device that complements the larger 12.9-inch version. It received a tepid reaction from customers and critics who had hoped for something more substantial. Buyers want major upgrades, but they haven't gotten them.
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    4 - The Entire Tablet Market Is in Retreat
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    The Entire Tablet Market Is in Retreat

    Apple also is subject to macro problems. The tablet industry, for instance, is seeing a broader downturn in shipments as customers increasingly turn to other device types for mobile computing. That has negatively affected Apple. And, unfortunately for the company, most market researchers believe the downward trend will continue for the foreseeable future.
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    5 - Apple Buyers Are Picking Macs
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    Apple Buyers Are Picking Macs

    Apple has tried to position the iPad and MacBooks as separate devices with different focuses. But while customers are actively buying up new Macs, they’re bypassing iPads. Apple’s decision to put the iPad Pro in direct competition with lightweight notebooks might have hurt its tablet more than it imagined. For many customers, a MacBook or MacBook Pro is simply a better option.
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    6 - The Price Isn’t Right
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    The Price Isn’t Right

    Pricing matters greatly in today’s tablet business, but once again, Apple appears to be off the mark. One of the most successful tablets on Amazon.com right now is Amazon’s Fire, a slate that starts at $50. For many consumers, paying more than $1,000 for certain iPad versions just isn’t a worthwhile endeavor. And Apple has no response to that.
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    7 - Hybrids Are Still Appealing
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    Hybrids Are Still Appealing

    Hybrids PCs are selling extraordinarily well right now and that’s also hurting tablets. Consumers and corporate customers apparently like the idea of buying one device that can double both as a tablet and notebook, so they’re buying hybrids in large numbers and leaving the tablets on store shelves.
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    8 - Tablet Owners Aren't in a Rush to Upgrade
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    Tablet Owners Aren't in a Rush to Upgrade

    According to several market analysts and researchers, tablet owners are not refreshing their tablets as often as the manufacturers might like. Not unlike PC owners, consumers and businesses are holding on to their tablets for longer than anticipated and then passing them down to others when it’s time to buy a new tablet. That cuts into sales volume.
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    9 - The Competition Is Fierce
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    The Competition Is Fierce

    Apple isn’t the only tablet vendor competing for more market share. Samsung, for example, is planning to unveil a high-end tablet at Mobile World Congress this month. Meanwhile, Apple needs to contend with cheap alternatives from Amazon as well as competition from smaller vendors around the world. It’s not easy to fire up tablet sales, even if you’re the company with the most market share.
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    10 - Competition Is Intense in Education, Business Markets
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    Competition Is Intense in Education, Business Markets

    Apple has said the corporate and education markets are critical to iPad’s adoption. But competition is fierce there, too. Apple is facing off with companies such as Panasonic that make rugged devices or Samsung, which is actively addressing corporate security concerns. Plus, now there’s talk that tablets based on Chrome OS, which is particularly popular among educators, are in the works.
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    11 - Real International Concerns
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    Real International Concerns

    Apple noted that Chinese iPad sales were strong in the fourth quarter, and that’s just one of many international markets that could prove critical in the coming years. However, iPads are generally far more expensive in international markets than competitors' models, and that makes Apple's tablets a tough sell in certain developing countries.
 

In a record-setting fourth quarter that saw Apple generate $78.4 billion in revenue, there was one downbeat note—the iPad. While the iPhone, Mac and Apple Watch all set new quarterly revenue records in the fourth quarter, Apple’s iPad sales tumbled 22 percent compared to the same period in 2015. Unit sales were down 19 percent year over year in what can only be described as a disappointing quarter for Apple tablet sales. But it’s not the first. In fact, iPad sales have been sinking for the past several quarters. Despite attempts by CEO Tim Cook to allay fears about the future of Apple tablets, there are no signs of a tablet sales turnaround anytime soon. Market researchers are quick to point out that the iPad is still the world's top-selling tablet. Thus, Apple still believes the iPad, which generates billions of dollars in revenue each quarter, is a good business. But clearly there are problems. In this slide show, eWEEK will explain why Apple’s iPad, once a mobile device sales star for the company, is no longer a hot item in Apple's product line. Read on to learn more.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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