“Apple did it again and surprised everyone with yet another stellar financial performance during the recent holiday quarter. More revenue, more iPhones, more Macs and Watches, and just a hair under as much profit as the record set a year ago,” Wil Gomez writes for Mac360. “Everything is coming up rose gold at Apple.”

“Except for the iPad. What Steve Jobs’ heralded as the device to usher in the post-PC era has fallen on hard times,” Gomez writes. “A year ago the iPad sold three times the number of Macs and had greater revenue. This year it barely doubled Mac sales and revenue was almost $2-billion less than the Mac. What’s wrong with the iPad?”

“iPad sales have dropped for about three years straight,” Gomez writes. “As of now, the iPad is not a compelling device to spur new sales. Upgrades come every couple of years, while iPhone gets the complete makeover every year… All iPads should come with Pencil, regardless of size. The idea here is to make iPad a compelling enough device to buy alongside an iPhone and a Mac. That’s what it was in 2010, that’s what it’s missing now.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote over a year ago in December 2015:

Imagine an “iOS Pro” mode.

Turn on iOS Pro on your iPad Pro
1. Tap Settings > General, and make sure iOS Pro is turned on.
2. There is no step two.

Hey, we can dream, can’t we?

Shouldn’t such a thing already exist? Where would iPad sales be if it did?

Also, as we wrote last March:

When on the road, we want the ultimate in portability (hence why we’re still carrying 11-inch MBAs until the next-gen 12-inch MacBook arrives) — but we want the 4GB RAM packed into the bigger iPad Pro vs. the reported 2GB in the smaller iPad Pro. Screen redraws due to a lack of RAM have been the stumbling block for us really using iPad in the field since its inception. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro finally has enough RAM.

And, as we wrote last 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.