Apple’s next big thing is not a smartwatch or TV; it’s the iPad

“The iPad has always labored under the shadow of its little brother the iPhone. When Apple launched the tablet back in the spring of 2010, everyone thought it was derivative—it’s just a big iPhone! Even now, after proving itself a worthy alternative to personal computers, the iPad rarely gets its due,” Farhad Manjoo writes for Slate.

“When investors and financial analysts think about Apple’s future, they tend to focus on the iPhone, which remains the company’s cash cow. It has been estimated that Apple keeps about 50 to 60 cents in profit from ever dollar it makes on iPhone sales. This makes the iPhone the most profitable product in the world. In its 2012 fiscal year, Apple sold 125 million iPhones, generating $80 billion in revenue and probably around $35–$40 billion in profits,” Manjoo writes. “To put that in perspective, Apple likely made as much in profit from the iPhone in 2012 alone as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Samsung combined made from each and every one of their products.”

Manjoo writes, “Poor iPad. Set against the iPhone’s monster numbers, the few billion that tablet sales generate for Apple seem insubstantial. What’s more, nobody gives the iPad credit for launching Apple’s touchscreen fortunes. If only the iPad could explain to the world that it came first—that Apple’s tablet project began in 2003, long before the company started thinking about a phone, and that Apple’s multi-touch operating system was originally developed for the tablet and only then transported to the iPhone… But don’t frown, iPad. Your future looks very bright. In fact, I suspect that within a couple years, you’ll reclaim your rightful place at the top of Apple’s product hierarchy.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Anthony” for the heads up.]


  1. Tim cook did say that Apple will deliberately sacrifice margins in the short term if it serves the long term objective. Apple’s long term objectives have always been it’s MO.

  2. I think I’m ready for an iPad Maxi.

    It could be set to replace my MacBook Pro, but with optional screen-swiping so I use it only when I want.

    That’s weird… an ad for deodorants just popped up. On MDN?!

    1. Apple did improve their entire product line last year. Analcysts loudly proclaimed it wasn’t enough or good enough. Phil announced that new versions of iOS and Mac OS are being introduced at WWDC, the reaction was so what. When the new products and product categories are introduced this fall, and bets on what the analcysts reaction will be?

    2. I believe that Apple has been improving nearly all of its product lines, MacFreek. There have been a few delays or oversights – Mac Pro, iWork, etc. But the Apple product lineup is looking stronger than ever, in my opinion.

      1. And that’s the way it should be. Once Apple quits working to improve it has already lost. Apple does need to adopt newer technologies as quickly as its competitors as well.

      1. You assume that iOS development will stand still over the coming years. At some point an iPad will be a viable alternative to a laptop for many people. We are years away, but that day is coming.

  3. It can be. But Apple better make a move soon with the ATV and not a TV set. Everyone and Their brother is coming out with a streaming box. This week another new one is coming out. And right now Rolu is kinda of ahead with the Rolu 3. They need toile am SDK and enhance the box. With the iPad and a new ATV, it will be an unbeatable combination.

    1. If Apple releases an SDK for the AppleTV it will be extremely limited much, much more than the AppStore is now… Think games for the original iPods type of limitation.

      They will only allow “entertainment” titles and not apps that will turn the TV into a computer – that’s what the iPad is for. The TV is a central device for multiple people to share experiences and Apple will make sure it stays that way.

      TV’s as computers DO NOT work. Ask Windows Media Center PC, WebTV, Google TV, and all the other attempts to do just that. They’ve failed miserably.

      Dedicated “open” entertainment systems will be what finally make the push into living rooms not set-top-box-wanna-do-anything-computer-like devices.

      The direction I see Apple going is developing a more interactive experience between iOS devices – between the AppleTV and iPad – that go way beyond the Remote app and AirPlay. Why? This props up the iOS ecosystem with yet another incentive to buy a second Apple product.

  4. I love my iPad but am constantly frustrated by what it cannot do, basic things any regular computer can do and and iPad SHOULD be able to do, but can’t because of Steve Jobs stubbornness as I see it. Things like being tied to iTunes despite the BS “PC free” claim (Why TF can’t I delete pics sync’d from iTunes?!?!), a common file system or “folder” that all apps can access. Fixing the POS photo app and the camera kit. Being able to read files from a flash drive with same POS camera kit.
    Meanwhile they tout all these cool things it CAN do which are not productive, just “cool”.
    Then there;s the fact they cut off iPad1 support less than 18 months after it was EOL’d. So bitter about that it may be my last iPad. Let’s see if iPad 2 is not supported in iOS7, if so I’m done with iPads and their planned obsolescence.

  5. That might be hard. The iPhone is just so incredibly profitable. Apple sold 17 or something million iPads in their latest quarter. I mean they would have to sell like 60-80 million in a quarter if I understand right to come close to the iPhone. Right now the iPhone is 53.2% of Apple’s revenue so no wonder the street is focused on that. The iPad is only 23,3%. And the actual Macintoshes are just 14,6%. So this company has undergone an explosion in grief since Jobs introduced the iPhone. Before that it was just Macs and iPods.

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