Analyst: Apple’s new iPads will be a hard sell

“Apple unveiled its latest iPads Thursday, but they may not be exciting enough to boost flagging sales,” Quentin Fottrell reports for MarketWatch.

“New elements are ‘really not enough to convince the average consumer to think that they need to buy them,’ says Louis Ramirez, senior editor at DealNews.com,” Fottrell reports. “‘Without a significant price drop, the new features aren’t worth it.’ Earlier this year, Apple reported third-quarter revenue of $37.4 billion — 53% of which was attributed to iPhone sales. iPad sales hit $5.9 billion in the latest quarter (accounting for 16% of sales), iMacs, iPods and iTunes, plus other accessories and services made up the rest. Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones in the quarter, up nearly 13% on the year, but iPad sales fell 9% to 13.3 million.”

“Some consumers are caught between an iPad and an iPhone 6 Plus. ‘Apple and all other tablet makers are now competing with their own larger big-screen phones or phablets,’ says Mark Spoonauer, editor in chief of Laptop Mag. ‘What can you do with an eight-inch or 10-inch slate that you can’t do with a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus?’ While a faster processor may sway some consumers to upgrade, it will take a bigger push to differentiate tablets from phablets,” Fottrell reports. “It will be tough to drum up excitement for these iPads, experts say. ‘Recent iPad sales growth has been underwhelming, as customers appear to be holding on to their iPads for longer than expected,’ says Brian Colello, analyst at Morningstar.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
Apple unveils iPad Air 2 – the thinnest, most powerful iPad ever – and iPad mini 3, both with Touch ID – October 16, 2014

60 Comments

  1. Apple would prefer people buy the iPhone 6 plus over the iPad. Great margined and phones are on a much more frequent upgrade cycle. That is one reason the mini stayed where it is this year. Declining iPad sales are fine as long as it is because of booming 6 plus sales, as is apparently the case.

    1. Many people forget that this is not for users that have last years iPad. If you still have the 1st gen or 2nd gen, then this upgrade makes sense.

      Wait a minute, what about users that don’t have an iPad?
      That’s a target also.

      1. I agree. I’m totally satisfied with my 1st generation iPad Air. Performance is fine, and having the Touch ID isn’t important to me. So we’re looking at switchers, first time tablet purchasers, and people ready to update their 1st and 2nd generation iPads. It will be interesting to see how the new iPads sell.

      2. Exactly. I have an iPad Air 1 and nothing they could have added to the 2 would have made me jump. Now, if by the 4th or 5th generation, it’s as thin as paper and does the same stuff as my device now (hardware-wise), I’m not upgrading. lol

    2. This guy is an idiot. People don’t upgrade their iPads in the same time frames as they upgrade their iPhones. First, very few people have a subsidized iPad, so getting a deal with a new contract isn’t a factor.

      I’m on my iPad 2 and it’s really feeling long in the tooth. But I look at iPads much more like Macs; I expect to have them for 2-4 years before I upgrade, and my old one will be handed down to my kids (possibly sold, but I’d only get a little over $100, so it’s may be more valuable to keep it).

      1. My iPad 3 is still going strong, but that one is used more by my son, so I got myself the Air. There’s no need to upgrade every year. It’s no different than the minimal bumps in laptops or anything else.

        The phone market is a bit different. That seems to need stuff… because people want stuff.

    3. No, Apple would prefer people buy both. Which is exactly what they were doing a very rapid clip up until about a year ago. What the iPad needs isn’t a price drop or a new processor. It needs some new killer apps that differentiate it from the iPhone 6 Plus and a MacBook Air in such a way that you feel you have to have one to run them.

      I use my iPad Air everyday. It’s by far my favorite device. However, even though we have a retina iPad mini and an iPad Air in the house, my wife and oldest son never touch them. They use their iPhones exclusively. Apple needs some killer software to change this.

  2. I’ve been waiting months for this update. As soon as i saw that the iPad mini 3 still had the A7 chip in it and only thing new is touch ID, all the excitement just left my body.

    I’m not sure i want to buy anything now. I don’t want the larger iPad air even though it has A8X, and I can’t bare to spend good money on a year old A7 chip, that I could have had bought and been using the past few months.

    I was also considering buying a new iPod touch, but the entire iPod line wasn’t even mentioned. I wonder if it will get its on apple event.

    I’m really bummed right now. Maybe I’ll buy the iPad mini 2, if I can get a sweet deal somewhere else like ebay.

    1. You really should get the mini with TouchID. Once you use TouchID, you could never go back. It’s something that improves literally every interaction you have with your tablet…unless of course you don’t passcode-lock your tablet at all to begin with.

    2. Well, it looks like Apple is still offering the iPad Mini 2 at reduced prices, in the 16GB and 32GB configurations.

      I agree, though, I’m disappointed that the iPad Mini got such a minor update. Then again, I would be just fine if the iPad lines sorta started following the Macbook lines in that they get minor bumps here and there, but only get major overhauls every so often. Does the iPad really NEED much else? What are the competitors offering besides higher pixel densities and lower prices to compel people to buy them? Unless Apple comes up with a MAJOR change to the iPad line (i.e. developing completely new use cases), this is pretty much all we’re going to get for a while.

      Don’t get me wrong, I WANT Apple to come up with some new use cases and compelling features. But I’m done expecting that with any sort of regularity/reliability for the iPad line.

      The biggest disappointment, for me, was the lack of TV talk. But you’re right, it’s a shame they’ve basically given up on iPods. Even though it’s not where the explosive growth is anymore, it’s still an important “gateway device” to the Apple ecosystem. They could use to be given at least a slight specs bump or a camera update or something.

      And last tangential thought: here’s hoping that once the Watch is out on the market and they can divert some time and attention from that, we’ll see more substantive updates to other product lines. I can’t imagine the amount of resources that device is taking up right now, and rightfully so.

      1. Would you say that H/W won’t be the differentiator as it was going for forward now? Hard to say. The more skilled competitors seem to catch up pretty quick, but never quite have that extra polish that AAPL imparts.

        So I suppose S/W, integration & services will be the real differentiators between the platforms and products.

        Not sure I’d agree that AAPL has necessarily abandoned the iPod line. It has certainly faded in prominence in their line up, and they’ve largely got a mature product now (feature complete, at this point). There will always be special use cases for these things, but I would expect they’ll increasingly begin to merge or be subsumed into the wearable devices line now. The Apple Watch is physically about the same size as some of their iPods used for workouts, but with more functionality, and most everyone uses an iPhone or iPad of some flavor for the games/etc. that appear on the iPod Touch.

    3. Many years ago with the Mac, I never got “last years” chip when a newer chip was available. I agree with you! Settling for last year’s chip cuts 18 months to 2 years off of support life. This works for cost concious purchases but not for app upgrade longevity!

      Disappointing to me also. I use a MBAir and am considering an iPad Mini, but not last years chips. I can wait.

    1. A8x and M8 processing along with much higher speed; you can put me down for an iPad air2…..
      Dont think the ipad mini will do to well against iPhone 6/+ but the ipad air2 is going to be smoking fast and touch id is awesome!!!

      iCal the analyst too…..!!

    1. Or Macs instead of an iPads. Tim did say Mac sales are up 18 percent this year. The average ASP of a Mac is around $1250 while the ASP of an iPad is around $447.

    2. Apple has a long-term plan. Unlike some companies. Apple’s plans don’t always work out but they don’t miss very often. They were late to the game with a larger iPhone. Clearly that was a misstep. But you can bet that they are working on new things in their R & D labs. Apple understands that iPad sales can’t continue to grow quarter after quarter without some fantastic new features. It’s no surprise to Apple that iPad sales have slowed in the last year. They know how to read the market also. Unlike the iPod I doubt that the iPad will ever go away. But it’s success will depend on new features we aren’t even thinking about and will also be affected by new products from Apple in the future. Perhaps something will replace the iPad some day? It certainly won’t be from Microsoft.

  3. In a business sense, one product doesn’t matter. Apple is showing double digit growth while all other PC makers continue the slippery slope down — and we get this drivel!!!

  4. What “experts” are there out there, especially when it comes to predicting how consumers will respond to Apple products?

    Most analysts have been wrong time and time again. But they have no shame, and continue to voice their baseless opinions. They are not being paid to be right, they are being paid to write stuff that attacks clicks.

    1. Exactly. The lights have not even been switched off after the presentation and these characters are already writing obituaries. Or to be more precise, dusting down and reheating the same old obituaries.

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