Why Apple Isn't Worried About iPad Sales Numbers

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2014-07-27 Print this article Print
iPad Sales

The lighter weight really isn't that important in an office environment. Meanwhile, I also have a Microsoft Surface tablet, which is vastly more useful for doing the work I get paid for, which is writing.

But the lack of a compelling reason to buy a new iPad is clear for most people. The way it seems most people use their tablets, the annual model changes just aren't that important. What that means is that Apple doesn't have the constant torrid stream of iPad sales that it does from iPhones because there's really no reason for most people to buy a new one if they already have an iPad.

Complicating the iPad sales situation, from looking at the sales of cheap Android tablets, is that many people don't need the horsepower of the new iPads either. The only things they want to do are to watch movies and perhaps read books. Pretty much any tablet can do those things. This helps explain why iPad has a comparatively small market share of just over a fourth of all tablets, according to some analysts.

But Apple does have some things going for it that other tablet vendors may lack. The most important is wide penetration into corporations. Apple's biggest challenge there is that while its penetration is wide, it's not deep. But that's probably going to change once IBM's partnership with Apple gets rolling, which will give large companies a way to buy and integrate the iPad into IT operations.

With the IBM deal, Apple stands to gain a great deal in depth as well as in breadth of its penetration into the enterprise. The only companies that really have a way to match that are enterprise suppliers such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell. Then, of course, there is Microsoft, which also just launched its new version of the Surface Pro 3, a tablet that's aimed directly at enterprise IT departments.

The iPad is either replacing a laptop computer or it's filling a niche that hasn't previously existed. But either way, it's not a product that people buy new every year because they don't need to. For many uses, a first-generation iPad is as good as a new one.

But even when a newer iPad is a good idea, it usually doesn't need to be the newest iPad, just one that does what the buyer needs to do. In effect, Apple created a device that does its job well enough that people are happy with what they have. It's hard to complain about that, even if it does disappoint some analysts.



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