The juggernaut that was the Apple iPad unit is losing some of its shine. According to ABI Research on Tuesday, unless Apple can pull 32 million units out of a hat this quarter, iPad sales will see their first yearly decline since inception.
iPad sales for the full-year are estimated at 68 million, down from 74 million in 2013. Jeff Orr, senior practice director at ABI explained how Apple calculates numbers.
“Historically, Apple has counted approximately 35 percent of its iPad sales in the last calendar quarter of the year. Unless Apple can pull off a 32-plus million-unit quarter, sales for CY2014 will be down for the first year since the iPad launched.”
Apple is not alone in the declines. Amazon, Google and Barnes & Noble are all expected to post year-over-year declines. At this point, Barnes & Noble should just give up on the Nook.
It’s not all terrible news in the tablet space. Samsung is expecting to post growth, as is Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG and Microsoft. Samsung is enjoying the biggest increase, with estimates of 43 million, up from 38 million in 2013.
Why Are iPad Sales Declining?
Two major factors are at play. One, the rise of the iPhone 6 line. The screen size increase has effectively cannibalized some iPad sales. Why buy an iPad Mini when the iPhone 6 Plus is close in screen size and performance?
Next is price. Sales that are increasing are in tablet units that have attractive price points. Also, those same units do not move anywhere near the units Apple was and is still moving. The closest is Samsung, which is still 25 million units off Apple’s pace.
Can Apple recover it’s tablet mojo? Of course. 2015 is a new year and if the iPhone is any indication, it’s best not to count the company down. Rumors of a larger, enterprise iPad are swirling, and Apple has regained its status symbol charm.
We will see if the drop is just a blip, or a trend in 2015.
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