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.

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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.

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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
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

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59 months 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Apple killed this device with such shortsighted and outdated price point and storage, no innovation in input method (Apple pen too little too late) and no expandability (a single lightning connector limits potential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?
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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59 months 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.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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59 months ago
Market saturation? I personally don't update my gadget every year.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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59 months 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.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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59 months 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.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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59 months ago
We are entering the post tablet era.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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