Apple’s iPad Pro may not halt sales decline, but it leads to the future of personal computing

“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.”

Global Apple iPad sales from 3rd fiscal quarter of 2010 to 4th fiscal quarter of 2015 (in million units)
Global Apple iPad sales from 3rd fiscal quarter of 2010 to 4th fiscal quarter of 2015 (in million units)*

“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.

SEE ALSO:
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

6 Comments

  1. Got 3 generations o iPads and 3 generations of iPhone in the house. Mostly using iPhone 6 plus now. So like many others no reason to upgrade. My son’s Ipad 4 gets upgrade to Pro at his school in the fall.

  2. ” 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 the clearest expression of our vision of the future of personal computing. – Tim Cook.

  3. Took me a while to find an app that fit my needs, but discovered Notability..and realized how slick this iPad really is this weekend. For drawing, it’s a given, but for research..I had no idea. Using notability, I was simultaneously researching articles, and taking hand written notes, importing text/graphs from articles, and editing a paper, all on the same device, while sitting on my couch. At minimum, before this, I needed a notepad, laptop, and a printer/scanner to do the same thing.

    If Apple just added pen support to its own apps, and allowed you to “export” PDFs from iBooks to other apps, I’d be in heaven.

  4. For it to be considered a Pro device we need a Full, Native, file management system… And ability to run full fledged application.. Not waterdown snippets .

    Pro with the pencil is an amazing combination .. Yet the above holds it back from being a true productivity platform. Imho .

    1. I said something similar in a comment for another article and got all 1 star ratings from the herd here at MDN. Microsoft is trying to do it but Apple could do it better if they weren’t so stuck on iOS. iOS is fine for a phone and an iPod but if they want the iPad to be the future of personal computing then give it a real OS and real hardware specs. The iPad is nothing more then a large iPhone without the phone and the Pro is just a larger faster iPad that’s still short on hardware (ram and storage) if it’s suppose to be the future of personal computing.

      Why would people upgrade their iPad? I’ve got an iPad 4 and I see no reason to get an iPad Air. I’m interested in the Pro only because of the bigger screen but it’s overpriced so I’m waiting to find a used one at a good price.

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