Annual iPad sales expected to fall for first time

“As the calendar year comes to a close, full-year Apple iPad sales are expected to decline for the first time in the tablet’s five-year history, according to a new report,” Karma Allen reports for CNBC. “ABI Research on Tuesday forecast for iPad sales to reach about 68 million in 2014, down from the 74 million units sold in 2013.”

“Along with Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Google are also expected to post year-over-year declines in branded tablet unit volume,” Allen reports. “Comparing tablet operating systems, Android continues to gain share with an expected 54 percent of branded tablets including the Google OS in 2014 while iOS falls to 41 percent and Windows 8 trails at 5 percent of shipments, the report said.”

“The research firm sees overall tablet sales growing some 16 percent year over year to 194 million in 2015,” Allen reports. “The growth trend is expected to continue over the next five years with a forecast of nearly 290 million tablet shipments in 2019.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: iPad is a victim of its own spectacular early success. 250 million iPads have been sold to date. Tablets last longer than the two-year smartphone cycle. Therefore, the “slowdown” of iPad sales is natural.

Apple doesn’t play the “market share for market share’s sake” game. Apple’s share of quality tablet customers is and will remain exceedingly high, just the same as in personal computers, personal media players, and smartphones.


  1. It is still early in the lifecycle of mobile devices to try to predict another 5 years out.

    Given the move in businesses of all types to use mobile devices, I doubt if we are going to be able to predict whether iPhone or iPhablet or iPad will make the cut.

    We get to wait and see.

  2. My wife’s iPad 2 continuing to operate well, and she bought it when they were introduced. I used my iPad “1” from the first day they were available until I passed it on to my granddaughter when I bought my current iPad (3). Indeed, iPads last much longer than phones, which makes total sense – they are more robust, have much larger batteries, and are better cared for than phones.

    There are many people who are frothing at the mouth at the thought of being able to pronounce an Apple product a failure that their thinking has gone all whackadoodle.

  3. Ya but MDN you can’t deny and you ought not to defy that Apple may have LESS volume of sales than last year and has further declining marketshare. That this is simply the product of increased competition and more viable options that consumers are opting for. Something that didn’t exist when the iPad had marketshare in the 80 percentages when it first started.

    Further, to say marketshare doesn’t matter is absurd. Example: having .001% marketshare of 200 million devices = 200,000 unit sales. Of course marketshare is important. There’s no need to obsess about what’s happening here but it does matter.

    1. It’s funny but I don’t see Android tablets as being a viable alternative to the iPad. It has nothing to do with the hardware and everything to do with the lack of good tablet specific apps. There’s only a smattering of them out there with the rest just being stretched phone apps. Android users don’t like paying for apps and developers respond by providing lackluster tablet applications. It’s the same reason developers make far more money from developing iOS software than Android software despite the fact that there is far more Android hardware in circulation.

    2. No it does not matter. For hamburger joints or potatoes, sure. But while android fans want it to matter, it does NOT translate to sales. Nor loyalty.

      So I have to ask. TOC? Troll or child?

  4. Between the iPhone 6+, market saturation and the nice fact the iPads last a lot longer then iPhones( plus the fact that iPads are rarely subsidized) it’s no surprise that people are going to hold onto them as long as possible. I upgrade my iPhone every two years but I’m keeping my iPad until it breaks.

  5. Apple Inc. have very cleverly moved the iPad Mini form factor into the two year contract renewal market, in the form of the iPhone 6 Plus.

    This is the very reason they released their products in the following configurations this year:

    1. iPhone 6/6 Plus, A8X processor, Wireless standard to 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
    2. iPad Air 2, A8X processor, Wireless standard to 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
    3. iPad Mini 3, A7 processor, Wireless standard to 802.11a/b/g/n

    Users that want high performance mobile (LTE and WIFI ac capability), purchase either the iPhone 6 or if they want an ‘all-in-one’ phone/tablet, they purchase an iPhone 6 Plus

    iPad Mini 3, with the convenient Touch ID is also available, but not as compelling for mobile as either of the iPhone 6 configurations

    Similarly, if an iPad is required with the A8X performance, plus high speed wifi, the natural choice is the new iPad Air 2!!

  6. Revenue, revenue, earnings, earnings – the rest is noise. My estimates include a decrease in iPad of around 25 percent for the quarter, but Apple is absolutely killing it on every other front. Here are my estimates for the quarter:

    iPhone – 90.9M units with an ASP of $695
    iPad – 20M units
    Macs – 24% higher than last year.
    Apps and Media – 36% higher
    Accessories and Beats – 100% higher
    iPods – 75% decrease

    Total Revenue = $89.3B which is 64% higher than last year.

      1. Remember, in 2013 TC said something like the astute observer can’t rely on the information coming out of the supply chain to estimate sales. With that said, I believe some of the 200-250 million chip order slated to be delivered starting in January got bumped-up. Why? About a week or so before Christmas lead times magically deceased and there was practically demand balance. Was this because of masterful supply chain management or a flood of new product into the channel? My guess is both.

        In addition, statements provided by some of the channel partners have indicated sales were more robust than any brand in history. Plus, last year’s mobile Christmas week numbers (from Christmas Day through New Years) was around 50M. If that number is near the same this year (a week before Christmas this time) that means about 26 million new Apple iOS devices were activated in just this one week. That’s huge. This 51.4% number is also telling me that there were/are a lot of new customers coming into the Apple ecosystem. Before this report I estimated the increase to the iPhone customer base to be relatively small, but since this report I’m estimating about 30 percent of iPhone sales were new to the ecosystem and about 3 percent were lost for a net gain of 27 percent. This means approximately 25M of the 90.9M are new to the ecosystem. Even if this is not the case, and the new customer adds are a lower percentage the activation numbers still suggest sales were well over 80M. The only possible way that sales are below 80M is if Apple lost a lot of customers. I just don’t see that happening with retention being north of 85 percent before the larger form factors were released. So, my estimated breakdown of iPhone sales for the quarter are as follows:

        1. iPhone 6/6 Plus – 63M
        2. iPhone 5s/5c – 24.5M
        3. Other – 3.4M

    1. You’re figures must be off by about 50%. Apple was down slightly more than 1% today. Does that look like a company that might make $89 billion in revenue for the year? Does that seem like a company that’s ‘killing it’ on every front? NO!!!! That video used should have shown a 6-year old child holding a sparkler.


    1. It is a great device, but it’s form factor really isn’t well suited to all types of work. It’s a great supplemental device and media device, but those really don’t require and annual purchase. Even laptops need to be attached to a workstation for many. I suspect this is really just the novelty wearing off, demand is leveling off to where it probably should be for the time being. That is all a far cry from ‘doom’ or ‘failure’.

  7. LOL. They must be selling because iPod numbers are tanking.

    My uncle, a nuclear scientist, invests in BAC. About a year ago I asked him what the P/E was. He looked at my with a perplexed look on his face and asked me what the definition of a P/E was. Other smart people tell me they only invest in stocks that are priced under $50 because that is percieved as a good bargain. Long story short, even some of the smartest people in the world are clueless when it comes to business/investing.

    And for what it’s worth, regarding my estimates from last quarter: if adding the channel decrease numbers back in, I was off by under 1 million iPhones. I was very, very close to the Mac and iPad numbers.

  8. The reason can be as simple as that apple is selling 56 different models of ipads and are confusing the customers so much that they are putting off buying the ipads.. the number of ipad models that they are selling is ridiculous. Hopefully next year they will reduce to a dozen for both the mini and the larger ipads.

  9. I think a bigger problem from the comments I am reading here are the user’s of IPAD2’s that don’t see the value of upgrading to at least an IPAD air. There needs to be a new killer function the IPADs can provide that are not provided by the larger smartphones. Also I work designing infrastructures for public schools and I can see school districts moving back to PC’s from IPADs. That to me is a key segment. I would bet a big part of the slowdown is the reduction schools are investing in IPADs. At this point in the 9-12 and higher they have stalled and shrunk and the PC is recovering. To combat this it appears Apple tried to partner with IBM but will that result anything other than niche products?

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