iPad sales have slumped. Sales dropped in the fourth quarter of 2013 and now in the third quarter of 2014 sales are approximately a million units behind last year’s fourth quarter. Putting on a smiley face, CEO of Apple, Inc., Tim Cook explained the partnership with IBM will strengthen its market as the device enters an IBM atmosphere and workplace. It could be Apple’s iPad computing unit, and other tablet makers are running on empty, and running out of innovative concepts or ideas.
When first introduced, snide remarks about the name of the tablet ricocheted all over the place, even as Apple, Inc. laughed all the way to every bank in town stuffing money in vaults from skyrocketing sales. It was an actually momentous device that once again changed the computing industry in an unforseen way.
However, not many people remember the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) Newton, introduced by Apple in 1987 and discontinued in 1998. The Newton, another product idea ahead of its time, was the inspiration for the iPad. When Newton’s decades later replacement was introduced and sales reached beyond the atmosphere of reality, experts of the computer industry took it upon themselves to announce the end of the PC and Mac computers.
Now the death knell for PC’s and Macs is starting to subside, four years later. PCs and Macs sales are either on the rise or at least stabilizing. Apple’s tablet computing platform, however, is not faring so well. Maybe it is time to announce the death of the iPad and tablet computers. Maybe not.
Tablets, either Apple based or PC based, are not exactly replacement devices for computers. They are more an adjunct computing platform, having a separate function and purpose. It is a niche device, one example of that is its current use for young children, and those in the lower grades in elementary schools across the world. Children are never running on empty and may always be a market standard for the iPad and other tablets.
Perhaps in looking at the sales of tablets as a whole, one might just watch the market for a while longer. Apple’s tablet owners are satisfied customers, and its sales still hold a dominant place in the market of tablet sales, despite the stiff competition from other tablet competitors like Microsoft, Samsung, and Amazon.
Another factor to consider in the sales not reaching the clouds scenario is the durability of this ever-present unique computing device. As a recent commercial demonstrated, an iPad might be used as a cutting board, and washed off before putting it in the dishwasher drying rack after dinner. It’s meant to show the durability of Apple’s tablet. People aren’t replacing them because they are lasting for such a long time, and their owners are happy with them.
A shift in the use of Apple’s unique computing platform and other types of tablets is probably going to be the next trend in a business market. It may very well be the current business shift is for companies to replace many of their laptop executive computers with tablet devices containing more processing power and business oriented programs. Of course, to compete in this market, the Apple’s versatile tablet either needs a new model or a less expensive one.
Apple has not come out with a new device, transforming product, or other sales smashing idea for a long time. Perhaps all the rumors, speculation, and lack of new product is over. Perhaps Apple is hiding a surprise that will spin everyone around with some astounding innovation once again. Running on empty is not a slogan Apple has ever embraced, and the iPad will probably always be ahead of other tablets in the innovation arena. It is not everyday, however, that a Steve Jobs appears on the scene, and changes technology in ways no one envisioned.
By Andy Towle