After a great initial few years, iPad sales are starting to slow down, as evident from Apple’s last few quarterly earnings.
In Q2 2014, iPad sales fell 16 percent year-over-year, from 19.4 million units in 2013 to 16.4 million units in 2014. PC and Mac sales, however saw an increase year-over-year, in sharp contrast to the narrative that was going around a few years ago, when the iPad was said to start the Post-PC era, and spell doom for PC manufacturers.
Many blamed the slowdown in sales due to the lack of pro features and enterprise focused apps, some pointed out that the average life of an iPad is much longer than an iPhone, due to which existing customers aren’t rushing to buy new models, and some said that people had very high expectations from the iPad, which it wasn’t designed to deliver on.
Tim Cook, however, says the slump is sales is just a speed bump that every product category goes through. The Apple CEO spoke to Re/code for an article titled “In Defense of Tablets”:
In a brief interview about tablets I had this week with Apple CEO Tim Cook, he said, “We couldn’t be happier with how we’ve done with the first four years of the iPad,” and added that, “I’d call what’s going on recently a speed bump, and I’ve seen that in every category.”
Tim Cook of course knows the numbers better than anybody, and it is possible that Apple will see improvements in sales in the next few quarters thanks to its IBM partnership to increase enterprise adoption, Microsoft Office for iPad, as well as the introduction of a next-generation iPad Air and iPad mini models.
In the Re/code article, well-known technology journalist Walt Mossberg argues that the iPad is still better than the laptop for certain tasks:
Whether I want to check business or personal email, respond to a message, browse the Web, check the news or watch a video, I find it quicker and more satisfying to do on a slender iPad Air than even on the best laptop on the market, the MacBook Air.
If I need to edit or annotate or review a document, I also find that easy on a tablet, especially now that a brilliant new truly touch-based version of Microsoft Office has been released for the iPad.
What are your thoughts on the recent slowdown of iPad sales? Let us know in the comments below.