I was wrong about Apple’s iPad

“A long time ago on a website very close to here, I made a prediction about Apple,” Evan Niu writes for The Motley Fool. “It was 2013, three years after the first iPad was launched, and at the time the new tablet was seeing adoption soar faster than any Apple product before it. Yes, even faster than the iPhone.”

“Meanwhile, I had observed that throughout Apple’s history, different products have taken turns being the primary revenue driver over the years. Every time that Apple entered a new product category, that new product category would soon become the primary sales driver. The Mac, iPod, and iPhone each took their respective turns, although the iPod’s turn was relatively short-lived. These inflection points came every few years, and I believed that the iPad was well on its way to becoming Apple’s next big revenue driver,” Niu writes. “I was wrong.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Niu’s conclusion is correct, “The iPad’s not going anywhere.”

Still, we bet Steve Jobs might be surprised at what’s happened with iPad and where it stands today.

21 Comments

    1. I was an iPad enthuasiast even before it launched. I wrote an article 5 years before iPad 1 launched with design mock ups and feature descriptions. Apple’s iPad 1 was very similar.

      After iPad 1 launch, I launched a business around tablets and the iPad. I saw the opportunity that tablets would explode. My business is associated with one of the top 5 things a person does with a tablet.

      Over the past few years, my interest and need for an iPad like device has pretty much disappeared. I’ve gone from having an office full of iPads to having zero iPads. Here’s primarily why:

      1. Smartphones got bigger. A LOT bigger. The iPhone had a tiny 4″ screen when iPad 1 launched. I now have the iPhone 6 Plus which gives me way more screen real estate. This device out-competes the iPad: I have no need for an iPad in this context;
      2. The iPad is NOT a laptop or desktop replacement. IT WAS NEVER DESIGNED TO BE. I’ve even ran experiments side by side doing tasks in software comparing point and click devices like a MacBook Pro to iPad. The results show just how much faster it is to complete tasks in software on a Mac. I tried to use iPad for productivity but in the end, Darwin won out: you’ll be left in the dust by people having real computers with real software that can actually get the job done in a tenth of the time… and for the most part, if you’re a serious professional, the iPad is a nonstarter for productivity. It has its moments, just not enough of them; and
      3. iPad is stagnent. Nothing is happening with it. You see people buy an iPad and struggle to glue, tape, and velcro keyboards, stands, lights and other stuff that was never truly designed for the product. In the end, by the time you’ve messed around with these things you have something that weighs as much as a laptop yet is devoid of the performance, multi-tasking, precision, and software capabilities of such a device. While the MS Surface has its flaws, it’s innovative. The multi angle stand that’s built in is excellent. Apple has now copied MS with the stylus…

      iPad needs to do more. As a product designer, I’m a failure if my customers need to run off and glue a bunch of stuff onto it, only to have this ugly clump of plastic and metal sitting in front of you. Apple should:

      1. Build a stand into iPad in a way only Apple could do.
      2. Brand new operating system that works on all Apple devices: a one operating system world, with the software consistency benefits that result from this.
      3. Move away from aluminum to another material. The magnesium MS uses is better in my opinion. It’s not so cold feeling and cheap looking like Apple’s pop can aluminum.

      For me, it’s iPhone 6 Plus and MacBook Pro 15″. An iPad is simply a waste with no purpose in this new world of jumbo smartphones.

      1. Interesting take. I love my MBPro too, but I don’t like reading PDFs and doing casual web surfing on it. The iPad pro is the ultimate reading and annotating tool for me (read a lot of journal articles). Also cool to watch video. I still haven’t gotten rid of my iPad air- there are times when that form factor works better. I can’t surf or read anything significant on a phone. I have a 6S which fits in a jeans pocket. No interest in a larger phone. I agree with you about aluminum- all of my devices have a case or skin that feels better than aluminum.

        1. macgadgetfreek:

          Right now I’m typing on my MacBook Pro. It’s FREEZING. I can barely use it. It was in my car. It’s -2 C out. Anyway, it’s been inside the house for half an hour and still freezing! This is one major problem with aluminum about its heat and cold conduction. While it may help with dissipating heat from the CPU, it’s horrible for usability.

          Anyway, your scenario is typical. I also don’t like reading PDFs or things like that on my MacBook Pro. However, the problem here is that you can get caught up in too many devices. Too much money spent on them. Too much jumping around. Is it really justified for most people to have a large smartphone, a PC, and an iPad/iPad Pro?

          I would say no, it’s completely not justified at this point. That the iPad has become unnecessary.

          We think of the consumer, and the limited money they have, and limited time. And this also raises the issue of the iPad Pro. This is something totally unnecessary for most people. It’s huge, heavy, and pushes the use of a stylus to help justify its existence and utility. We’re talking about an $800+ bill for this thing. And remember, it only runs iOS. And don’t buy into the MDN and media hype about it being as powerful as a MacBook Pro. It’s not.

          The iPad Pro will remain niche. Also remember that Samsung, as much as we all dislike them, has had some pretty decent tablets out, including ones that include a stylus. I’ve used them and they are very impressive. I hate Android but man, outside of the iPad, Sammy makes the best damn tablets on the planet. The fit and finish and viewing angles actually best the iPad in my books. Also, their 12″ tablet with stylus is very nice.

          My point about this is that, the iPad Pro will have a bumpy road because it’s too big, too expensive, and will face aggressive competition from the Android world that will be cheaper.

          Where the iPad Pro competes with a jumbo smartphone is screen size. This is the one draw… the one card it plays… but still, that’s not enough when it’s just not a device that’ll fit into most people’s lives.

          1. yup the iPad pro definitely “bleeding edge” and expensive as a second or third screen for many folks. Its a business expense for me, which helps. I believe in a year or two, when prices go down and features go up, this thing will be the *ultimate* device for students…read a full size book, draw, take notes, and when you need it, type. For the record, I will give up computing before I buy any samsung tablets!

  1. The idea that Apple is a cell phone company, or an iPod or iPad company is wrong. Apple is a brand, and it sells it’s overall ecosystem. It’s real value is in its intellectual property, which is now moving out into the cloud. Ultimately, Apple will probably make more money from it’s services than from its products. But making great products is the way it builds its customer base.

  2. OK, here’s the thing:

    iPads are not the cheapest devices in the market. I had 2 iPads: The iPad 2 and the iPad Air 2 (my current one). They are awesome devices. They also last a long time. They are sturdy, reliable, and it takes a while to make them obsolete.

    Thing is, while people change phones every other year and carriers have plans for it, iPads are 100% paid by the consumer. Commons sense tells you will extend the life of your device as much as possible.

    My iPad 2 is still usable. Does most of what the iPad Air 2 does really well. It would be perfect for my wife. But I’m a power user and I use it for work, so a lot of the new features iOS 9 brings are very useful for me, hence the change.

    So, most reasons iPad sales are not as strong as iPhones is:

    1. They are not subsidized
    2. They last a lot. They are not crappy devices you trash in a year.

    iPads, indeed, are the best consumer device ever made.

    1. I agree Grifterus. The iPad is not replaced every year for exactly the reasons you give. I have an iPad 1, 2 and 3 and now this year I am replacing the 2 and the 3 with new iPad air 2’s. The only reason is because they are getting a little slow. But all three of these iPads including the original still work great. iPads are replace like desktop computers, that is, when they get too slow to run the current software you get a new one. My wife and I both use our iPads every single day and there very comfortable to read on. I would never think of reading in bed at night on my macbook pro. it is just way to uncomfortable. iPads are just not going to have the turn around that iPhones do and apple understands that.

  3. What kind of fool are you, iPad Rocks? You don’t like the iPad, yet you keep on buying each iteration of the iPad, every time a new one comes out? Why do I not believe you’ve every even owned a single iPad? Because of your list of know-nothing complaints that are not even remotely true. TROLL.

  4. Meanwhile in my family, iPad has replaced the MacBook Pro which in comparison is too slow, it just sits on the shelf now. MacPro is what I use to get things done when they are too big for iPad. iPhone 5c with 16GB memory has replaced the iPhone 6plus which my wife now has, it’s seldom used but works great with Apple Watch. Since the iP6+ 16GB is always hidden in her handbag the Apple Watch with Bluetooth headphones is what she is mostly using, iP6+ comes out for the banking apps and email. iPhone cameras are hardly ever used, we have had Sony Nex cameras for that for years.

  5. Sorry for Apple I owned the very first iPad an later bought a 64 gb second generation. Though I would love to own the latest one, my iPad is still perfect. Everybody loves their iPad and hold on to them. They are all just to good

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