Apple is doing terrific these days, breaking a new record in its market capitalization. But while everything seems to be great, there's a big problem that the company is facing - declining iPad sales. Of course, this isn't just Apple's problem, as the entire tablet market is seeing a gradual decrease in shipments.
Apple is said to ship 64.9 million iPad tablets in 2014, which represents a decline of 12.7% on the total number of shipments a year ago. The overall tablet market will see shipments of 235.7 million units, which repreesnts a growth of 7.2% over 2013.
A growth of 7.2% over 2013 is not that big as you could think. Between 2012 and 2013, tablet shipments grew by 52.5%, so we can see that's quite a steep drop in growth. But this is also a sign that the industry has reached its maturity and will see minor increase in the future from now on.
Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers., said the following:
"The tablet market continues to be impacted by a few major trends happening in relevant markets. In the early stages of the tablet market, device lifecycles were expected to resemble those of smartphones, with replacement occurring every 2-3 years. What has played out instead is that many tablet owners are holding onto their devices for more than 3 years and in some instances more than 4 years. We believe the two major drivers for longer than expected tablet lifecycles are legacy software support for older products, especially within iOS, and the increased use of smartphones for a variety of computing tasks."
Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director for Tablets, also shared his input:
"We need to look at how the tablet ecosystem is answering these challenges, and right now we see a lot of pressure on tablet prices and an influx of entry-level products, which ultimately serves Android really well. But we also see tablet manufacturers trying to offset this price pressure by focusing on larger screens and cellular-enabled tablets. The next six months should be really interesting."
Apple is said to be working on a bigger sized iPad Pro, so it will be interesting to see whether this will have an impact on resurrecting sales.