No, Apple’s iPad hasn’t gone from massive to ‘meh’ in 5 short years

“After a record 26 million iPads sold at the beginning of 2014, the next three quarters saw sales drop. To be sure, Apple is still selling a ton of iPads—about 68 million in its last fiscal year,” Marcus Wohlsen writes for Wired. “The issue isn’t people don’t want iPads. It’s just that people don’t want them in increasing numbers anymore. ”

“And the reason isn’t hard to figure out. It’s basically what WIRED readers pointed out way back in 2010,” Wohlsen writes. “Smartphones and laptops pretty much already do all the stuff you would use an iPad for. Except they didn’t as much back then.”

“The most obvious change is the incredibly expanding smartphone screen,” Wohlsen reports. “Now with the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple has phone that is itself almost big enough to set in your lap. At the same time, laptops—especially Apple’s—kept getting thinner and lighter, encroaching on the iPad’s key selling points in the process.”

“The iPad is nice. You might still hang out together sometimes on the couch,” Wohlsen reports. “But when you’re done, you probably just put it down on the pile with all the magazines and mail and other stuff stacking up on the coffee table. It’s just another way to waste a little time.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wohlsen needs to keep up. The iPad is an incredibly productive machine. From IBM enterprise apps to image and video editing, the iPad is an enormously capable personal computer.

The #1 reason why iPad sales have plateaued is because Apple builds iPads so damn well. Apple iPads last for years and years. We’ve handed down gen-1 iPads to pre-schoolers, years ago, and they’re still working just fine! Thrown around, walked on, dripped on, you name it – the iPad just keeps on ticking. The upgrade cycle for iPads is simply not going to match the cycle for subsidized phones on two-year contracts and anyone who expects them to shouldn’t be writing about tech in general, much less iPads.


  1. “The #1 reason why iPad sales have plateaued is because Apple builds iPads so damn well.”

    My iPad 1 bought when they came out is still running just fine and sits on the table for email and web work and pdf reading just like when it was new.

    Will I get a new one? Yup. When? When I see a new set of features that are compelling.

  2. Wall Street prefers companies that build rapidly replaceable junk to keep sales churning. It honestly sickens me when I hear these analysts saying it’s a shame how Apple builds products that last too long. iPads are built too well, so we must downgrade the company for not building products that fall apart sooner. I’m ashamed to live a a country where people think in those terms. Screw the consumer and make investors happy. I hope Wall Street isn’t influencing other companies to think like they are. As a consumer I don’t think I’ve ever regretted owning a product that lasted a long time because I feel that makes it worth the hard-earned money I spent. Why the hell would anyone in their right mind devalue a company because they build long-lasting products?

    I’m still using a 2007 MacBook Pro on a daily basis. Same with my 2009 iMac 24″. I’m a long-term Apple shareholder who can easily buy newer machines and eventually I will when I feel my present devices aren’t serving me well enough. Do you think I’m going to suggest to Apple to build products that fail after a few years just so the share price will rise? Hell, NO! Jackasses and crooks are running Wall Street. Who are these ignorant people to impose shorter product cycles for a company?

    If demand for the iPad has fallen then that’s just how it is. People are still buying other products from Apple. Investors are simply getting too greedy. Coercing consumers to buy something they don’t really need is just plain wrong and it’s a waste of natural resources. I believe that when those people who own iPads need another tablet they will go back to Apple to buy one because they’ll believe it will be a product that will last them for another few years. When I was growing up in the 1960s we always praised companies for building solid products. I don’t know when this “worship the disposable” attitude came along.

  3. I love my iPad. Crazy thing is I had an original, and my girlfriend had an iPad 2. I used both regularly, but on my recent birthday my girlfriend bought me a new iPad mini.

    I wasn’t really into the thought of an iPad mini, from my quick previews at the Apple store. But, once I opened it and used it for a day or two, I’m looking at the larger iPads as practically obese. The mini is simply perfect in my opinion, and I was pretty much against it when they launched it.

  4. The stupidity that growth in and of itself is any measure of health or robustness never ceases to amaze. If that were true Americans would be the healthiest people on the planet, ’cause we just keep getting bigger.

    It takes more than year-over-year growth to understand a product. The math may be simple, but so are the minds that think it means much.

  5. Now that ipad 1 is out of the OS upgrade loop I wonder what proportion of the Apps in the Appstore run on it? Also since the apps shown depend on the country’s Appstore are those older iPads becoming more simple web/email access points. Are they still safe to use on the web w/o the new security updates on the more recent iOS versions.

  6. I won’t be buying a new iPad because for now my iPad Air is more than adequate for my needs as of now. As far as computing, I do about 80% of it on my iPad. My desktop is mostly just used for my photography hobby doing post production and printing.

    Since I got my iPad, my iPhone is primarily used as a phone, tracking appointments, GPS, and not much else. Though I’ll probably update it every two years anyway. Why not with the great 2 year contract offerings?

    I’m guessing to get at least 2 more years out of my current iPad before looking to see what’s available when I’m ready. I don’t like the fact that the new iPad Air II is limited to 32GB RAM. What’s up with that? Since I’m into photography, I need at least 64GB RAM.

    I guess the point I’m making, Apple made the iPad too good. No planned obsolescence. Unless you have to have the very highest performance possible, which isn’t most users, most iPads are more than adequate for their needs.

  7. And these people call themselves tech savvy? What exactly can laptops do now that they couldn’t do when the iPad was launched that it exclusively could. I hardly think whatever it was would be a massive factor in whether you buy an iPad or not as opposed to a laptop. As MDN says and we all know, there is little Impetus to replace an iPad for years and unless it’s capabilities shoot up that will remain the case.

  8. My iPad 1 is still running great (best car nav system). My iPad 2 too. I’ve had three iPad 3’s break on me, two were replaced under warranty, the third not unfortunately. I’m using my 2 for the time being. I will consider a 12″ iPad if it emerges, otherwise it will be an iPad Air 2 this year.

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