“Once, Apple’s tablet was its second-largest business. But it’s fallen on hard times in recent months. Last quarter, it generated less than 10% of Apple’s total revenue, and was its second-smallest segment. Apple’s management remains steadfast in its commitment to the iPad, consistently pointing to popular metrics of user engagement, consumers love their iPads, and continue to use them often,” Sam Mattera writes for The Motley Fool. “They just aren’t buying new ones.”

“To spark an upgrade cycle, Apple has worked to add attractive new features to the iPad, including the ability to multitask, and support for new accessories, notably the Apple Pencil,” Mattera writes. “But the biggest incentive may come later this year: almost half of all iPads currently in use will not be able to take advantage of Apple’s forthcoming software update, iOS 10, which could spark a major upgrade cycle.”

“Localytics found that the second-most commonly used iPad was the iPad 2, a device first released about 5 years ago. In total, the iPad 2 represented about 17% of the iPad install base. Other commonly used yet relatively old iPads include the original iPad Mini (15% of the install base) and the third-generation iPad (9%). Both were released roughly four years ago,” Mattera writes. “To date, Apple has released 12 different iPad models, of which 8 will be compatible with iOS 10. The original iPad, the iPad 2, the iPad Mini, and the third-generation iPad are not compatible. If Localytics’ findings are accurate, those four models represent a massive 42% of all the iPads currently in use.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last April:

Apple simply made and continue to make iPads too well for their own good. iPads last and last and last.

Furthermore, as we wrote in February:

Here’s the thing: The iPad saturated its addressable market so quickly and the iPads are so well made and last so damn long that unless Apple provides a really compelling reason to upgrade, most people are just not upgrading yet. We handed off our original iPads to relatives a couple years ago and they’re still being used! Yes, they lack sensors to support many modern iPad games, but they are still in use. We also have immediate family members still using perfectly working iPad 2, iPad 3, and older iPad Air and mini models. The obsolescence cycle for iPad rivals that of the Mac. It’s very long.

The iPad is not a niche product. It had unprecedented uptake and the devices have such long, useful lives that the replacement cycle still hasn’t really kicked in. When it does — and when the macroeconomy improves to the point where users can consider adding the joys of iPad to their computing lives — then we’ll see iPad unit sales growth again. In the meantime, Apple should redouble their efforts at improving iPad – adding Apple Pencil, Smart Connector, and multi-user support (to mention just three things) that will make the iPad even more appealing to buyers.

SEE ALSO:
Apple needs to scale back iOS compatibility with older devices to accelerate device replacement – May 4, 2016
iPad 2: Five years later, it keeps chugging along – April 28, 2016
When will Apple’s iPad sales finally bottom out? – February 4, 2016