New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

iPad Sales May Decline to Lowest Quarterly Level Since 2011

Apple will ship 9.8 million iPads in the first quarter of 2016, potentially its lowest quarterly tablet sales since the iPad 2 in mid 2011, according to Taiwan-based DigiTimes Research. The research note claims Apple will account for 21% of global tablet shipments, trailed by Samsung Electronics with 14% market share.

iPad-business
If the sales prediction proves to be accurate, 9.8 million iPad sales would represent a 39.1 percent quarter-over-quarter decline and around 20 percent decline compared to the year-ago quarter, based on iPad sales of 16.12 million in the most recent quarter and 12.62 million in the first calendar quarter of 2015.

Apple has sold less than 10 million tablets in a single quarter six times, but only once since June 2011. That sole time was the recent September 2015 quarter, when iPad sales totaled an uncharacteristically low 9.88 million. The overall tablet market has faced the same decline, with total shipments dropping 10.1% in 2015 over 2014.

idc_tablet_trend_4q15
iPad sales have declined for eight consecutive quarters year-over-year, partially because consumers upgrade their tablets less frequently than smartphones. Apple also skipped over releasing the iPad Air 3 last October, when it typically refreshes the 9.7-inch tablet, instead focusing its efforts on the introduction of the larger iPad Pro.

Apple is instead expected to debut the iPad Air 3 at its rumored March 15 media event, which could help combat the decline alongside the iPad Pro and iPad mini 4. Most of those sales will fall in the second quarter of 2016, however, so Apple's new tablets are unlikely to have a significant impact on the current quarter.

Related Roundup: iPad Air 2
Tag: digitimes.com
Buyer's Guide: 9.7" iPad Pro (Neutral)


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

27 weeks ago
Apple killed this device with such shortsighted and outdated price point and storage, no innovation in input method (Apple pen too little too late) and no expandability (a single lightning connector limits potential drastically), $500/16GB for 5 straight years, really?
Rating: 43 Votes
27 weeks ago
Everyone has an iPad now, so there's less need to upgrade. I "might" consider getting a new one if they all had touch ID AND could use the pencil AND had force touch. Otherwise the one I have still does what I need it to.
Rating: 24 Votes
27 weeks ago





iPad sales have declined for eight consecutive quarters year-over-year, partially because consumers upgrade their tablets less frequently than smartphones.



That is nothing but an easy excuse to explain away cratering sales. The reality is Apple has been derelict in giving consumers a compelling reason to upgrade their iPads. I am a serial iPad upgrader so I can say first hand their really isn't a whole lot of difference between the iPad 3, iPad 4, the Air, and the Air 2. Same goes with the Mini w/ Retina and the succeeding upgrades.

I realize TC keeps blathering on about how he believes the iPad line will be revived. But so far he has not shown a concrete product that will do this. I'm afraid the Air 3 is going to offer more of the same incremental iPhone leftover upgrades. If so, for the first time ever, I won't be getting a new 9.7" iPad.

I love my Air2, use it daily, travel w/ it often instead of my MBP. But I'm afraid TC and co. have abandoned the mini and Air for so long that the brand is just rotting on the vine. For media content device, consumers understand a $200 Android tablet works just as well as any iPad. If Apple wants to position the iPad as a post-PC device then the time is now or never. Otherwise its going to have the same fate as the iPod.
Rating: 17 Votes
27 weeks ago
Market saturation? I personally don't update my gadget every year.
Rating: 17 Votes
27 weeks ago
I would buy a new iPad, but Apple must find a way of convincing me. Telling me the new iPad is lighter than the last generation isn't going to make me shell out £500 for a new one.
Rating: 15 Votes
27 weeks ago
We are entering the post tablet era.
Rating: 12 Votes
27 weeks ago
No more iPads for me as long as they have a crippled OS.
Rating: 8 Votes
27 weeks ago
I can't justify a purchase of a new iPad and I'm insulted that these $500-$900+ devices don't have 2 speakers and a flash. Its just insulting, after all these years they can't spend $0.50 for an LED flash and $1.00 for speaker? I will never buy another iPad without both of these. They keep promoting how thin they are getting, how many years of people stating that they no longer care about thinness in the face of losing features until they start adding functionality and just maintain a thickness.

(more detail) I have the 32GB Cellular iPad 2. It is certainly showing its age in most categories, certain games, some web browsing, the speed and reliability of app installations (these could be related to iOS 9 issues) but for playing movies (mounted to the back of the drivers seat) for a 4 year old, and FaceTime, and email/photos it is very capable. I have configured it for my kid's use now, with her own iCloud account/email.
Rating: 7 Votes
27 weeks ago
I've been an iOS fanatic back since before it was even called iOS (first iPhone back in 2007). I loved it so much that it inspired me to get into software development which is now my full time job.

But recently I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 and it is far superior to the iPad. It is significantly cheaper ($350), thinner (believe it or not), has a much better looking display (AMOLED), and comes with 32GB storage AND a microsd slot.

Best of all, Android is so much better for power users like myself, we can do SO much in Android that we simply can't do in iOS. I can understand the security aspect, which is why I won't stress this point too much. But I can use torrent apps, the apps can get hardware level access to WiFi to show me excellent WiFi statistics, I can even program on ANY computer (unlike Xcode which only runs on OS X). All of these things simply arent possible in iOS.

I could forgive that, after all, less savvy users can have problems with malware in Android (rare but it happens) so I can forgive the walled garden. But what I can NOT and will not forgive is the fact that Apple has held back technological progress for the majority of their users because of pure and simple greed. While the rest of the industry is bringing the benefits of technological advances to their users (either by dropping prices or increasing capscity), Apple has kept the iPad at 16GB for SIX YEARS RUNNING! It would quite literally cost pennies to move to 32GB (literally, we're talking pennies now). NAND storage technology has improved dramatically over the past few years.

But somehow, the incompetent, clueless MBA executive types at Apple can't quite figure out how to keep their profit margins high without making the base model completely and utterly useless. Seriously, a 16GB tablet in the year 2016 (for $500!!!!) Isn't just wrong, it's downright inexcusable and unforgivable.

If Apple really cant understand why people arent buying this garbage they call an iPad, then they need to get their collective heads examined. The iPad Air was dead on arrival. I was sick of paying $100 extra to get a functional iPad 2 years ago. But it's the year 2016 now, and there's simply no excuse. I will not be buying an iPad for a very, very long time.
Rating: 7 Votes
27 weeks ago

I don't see the market demanding that at all, quite the opposite actually.

Dirt cheap, utter garbage Android tablets are taking the market share from Apple and increasing the size of the pie. But the Surface series, which is really quite awesome, is carving it's own piece out of the pie where none existed.

It's really hard to compete with a Kindle 5-pack for 200 dollars... or a buy one get one free QVC special for 50 dollars.

All that said, getting back to your original point - it may be best to ignore the market demands, and move towards Microsoft's model... which is definitely the most premium in both cost and capability.


I think Apple tried that with the iPad Pro......but i don't think the sales have been what they expected.
You have to admire what MS did with the Surface lineup. It took them a couple versions to get it right but the SP4 is a great device.
Rating: 7 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]