“The year-over-year unit sales declines in iPad that began in calendar Q1 of 2014 have continued relentlessly up to calendar 2015 Q3, when unit sales suffered a 20% y/y decline,” Mark Hibben writes for Seeking Alpha. “For the December quarter, the limited availability of iPad Pro probably means no return to growth for the iPad line. However, Apple is clearly positioning the Pro and future offshoots as its personal computing platform of the future.”
“The most important feature is the Apple A9X custom system on chip (SOC), which is a graphics-enhanced version of the processor in the iPhone 6s,” Hibben writes. “I’ve speculated in the past that this would motivate Apple to port Mac OS X to its ARM SOCs. In fact, I doubt that Apple wants to manage such a transition, mainly because the Mac OS platform is not nearly as lucrative as iOS. Instead, what Apple wants to do is grow iOS to the point where it supplants Mac OS X for most usage scenarios. iPad Pro is an important step in this direction.”
“Because of the competitive pressures of Intel contra-revenue and Core series 2-in-1s, iPad Pro isn’t going to work miracles for iPad sales this quarter. iPad sales also were hurt by the lack of an iPad Air refresh, which was probably necessitated by the short supply of A9 processors used in the iPhone 6s/6s Plus. I expect sales of non-Pro iPads to suffer a y/y decline of about 20% to approximately 17 million units. I expect sales of iPad Pro to be about 4 million units, for a total of 21 million. This represents a slight y/y decline of 2%. I really don’t expect iPad sales to resume growing until Intel gives up on contra revenue tablet subsidies,” Hibben writes. “Apple certainly has the financial wherewithal to weather this storm, no matter how long it takes. Consequently, I view the decline in iPad sales as a transitory effect.”
Much more in the full article – recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: iPad Pro certainly feels like a vision of the future, in a misty, somewhat foggy, transitory way.
What to look for in Apple’s earnings report tomorrow – January 25, 2016
Apple to release Q116 earnings, webcast live conference call on January 26th – January 22, 2016