iPad sales may be dropping, but at a slower pace than rivals

Posted:
in iPad edited November 2
Apple is continuing to lead the global tablet market, IDC analysts claim, but while the number of iPad sales declined in the most recent quarterly results, it isn't as much of a reduction compared to the overall marketplace's 8.6 percent decline in the third quarter.

The 2018 iPad Pro, announced on Thursday
The 2018 iPad Pro, announced on Thursday


Apple reported selling 9.7 million iPads in Thursday's quarterly results. A dip from the 10.3 million units it shipped for the third quarter of 2017. Despite the slight drop of approximately 6 percent, the number is still considerably higher than the rest of the market.

According to IDC, Apple has a market share of 26.6 percent, an improvement on the same period last year, where it made up 25.9 percent of the market. The increased market share is attributed to other declines in the market, with an estimated 36.4 million shipments 8.6 percent down from the previous year's 39.9 million in the quarter.

"The refreshed $329 iPad with Pencil support that launched in late March continued to drive volume, although it was unable to maintain the same momentum from the third quarter of 2017," writes IDC, as it was the first time in a while that Apple had released a lower-cost iPad. "iPad Pro saw year-on-year declines in anticipation of a refresh at the beginning of the fourth quarter," the firm suggests, "which bodes well for Apple through the end of the year."

The top five tablet producers for Q3 2018, compiled by IDC
The top five tablet producers for Q3 2018, compiled by IDC


Apple continues to have a considerable lead on the main rival Samsung in IDC's list, with the South Korean electronics giant achieving 5.3 million units for the third quarter of 2018 and a market share of 14.6 percent. These figures are down from the 6 million and 15 percent share for the same period last year, with Samsung seeing negative growth of minus 11.4 percent.

Samsung is considered to be seeing growth in its detachable device portfolio, but that is outweighed by continued slate category declines. The company is apparently facing pressure in low and mid-market segments, with competitors seen to be providing better value products.

"The tablet market is more like the traditional PC market than ever before," advised senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani. "Not only do these markets move in sync with each other, but the decreasing margins and overall decline, particularly in slate tablets, has led to the top five companies capturing a larger share" over smaller vendors.

"Even among the top five, it is essentially Apple and to a lesser extent Samsung that continue to invest heavily in product innovation and marketing," suggests Ubrani. "This has helped the two companies to set themselves apart from the rest."

The rest of the top five is made up of Amazon in third, maintaining its 4.4 million shipments, Huawei seeing growth from 3 million to 3.2 million year-on-year, and Lenovo dropping from 3.1 million to 2.3 million, equating to year-on-year growth of minus 24.5 percent.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,310member
    Every other garbage tablet maker would kill to have Apple’s current iPad sales.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    iPads just last so long. I got third generation new, and sold to mother-in-law for 100 bucks in March 2016 when I got Air 2. Although I still use 2009 MBP and 2006 iMac, so I'm not exactly riding the crest of the tech wave (save in mobile).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,052member
    iPads just last so long. I got third generation new, and sold to mother-in-law for 100 bucks in March 2016 when I got Air 2. Although I still use 2009 MBP and 2006 iMac, so I'm not exactly riding the crest of the tech wave (save in mobile).
    That is true. I'm still using the original iPad Air although I will be upgrading to the new 12.9" Pro. I'm sure I'll get at least 5 years of use out of the new Pro I plan to purchase this month. 
    watto_cobraking editor the grate
  • Reply 4 of 16
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,374member
    It’s very revealing of priorities.
    • Accept overall declines in volume in return for higher margins by raising prices for increased profit
    • Make products more competitive, accept slightly less margin, increase volume for increased profit

    there is the old joke about HP selling products at a loss and making it up on volume, but that isn’t what we are talking here. Apple’s margins are the largest in the business. It has a tonne of room to make its frustrated fans happy.
    The risk of going with option A ( lets call it the Burberry Strategy), as Apple is clearly doing, is that for a product like iPads, where Apple is dominant in the category, it slowly kills interests in the category completely.  These iPad pro prices exceed most laptops. People will go for better price and flexibility and stick with laptops. They won’t be buying one of each. Unless you are a filthy rich corporate executive of course.
    cropr
  • Reply 5 of 16
    This will change as more and more people stop thinking of iPads as media consumption devices and realize they really can be laptop replacements. I’m running some really powerful apps on my 1st gen iPad Pro and I’ll never go back to a laptop. Ii think Apple is trying to achieve this too. 
    redgeminipatmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    entropys said:
    It’s very revealing of priorities.
    • Accept overall declines in volume in return for higher margins by raising prices for increased profit
    • Make products more competitive, accept slightly less margin, increase volume for increased profit

    there is the old joke about HP selling products at a loss and making it up on volume, but that isn’t what we are talking here. Apple’s margins are the largest in the business. It has a tonne of room to make its frustrated fans happy.
    The risk of going with option A ( lets call it the Burberry Strategy), as Apple is clearly doing, is that for a product like iPads, where Apple is dominant in the category, it slowly kills interests in the category completely.  These iPad pro prices exceed most laptops. People will go for better price and flexibility and stick with laptops. They won’t be buying one of each. Unless you are a filthy rich corporate executive of course.
    They might not buy both a MacBook Pro and iPad Pro, but they might buy an iMac and iPad Pro. Or maybe a MacBook Pro and just a regular iPad. There are lots of combinations that work in the Apple lineup for all but the most budget-minded consumers. My current strategy is a desktop iMac for power and an iPad Pro for portability. It’s a reasonably economical combination.
    edited November 2
  • Reply 7 of 16
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,374member
    Yes I can see that. Desktop and iPad Pro. In fact I would love that.  Problem is a decent laptop would do both jobs well and cost half as much as the iMac and the iPad Pro. The gap needs to be a lot closer to make it easier for More people to do exactly what you suggest.
    Overall what I am saying is the iPad Pro isn’t quite there enough to justify laptop prices. Yet.
    where are updated iMacs btw?
    edited November 2
  • Reply 8 of 16
    thrangthrang Posts: 746member
    Amazon still sells tablets? :-)
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16

    I like Tim's approach...

    For everyday, a 10s in his pocket and an AppleWatch on his wrist.

    For work: a 27" iMac sitting on his desk. 

    For home: a 4K AppleTV. 

    For play: just the AppleWatch (Cellular)

    For driving: AppleCarPlay in his Porsche Boxster.

    For travel: an iPadPro with AirPods and the appropriate charging cables in a small backpack. 

    There! Done! We no longer have to quibble like were at a quilting club about which device is best!

    Best of both worlds! MacOS and iOS. 


    Regards.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 16
    entropys said:
    Yes I can see that. Desktop and iPad Pro. In fact I would love that.  Problem is a decent laptop would do both jobs well and cost half as much as the iMac and the iPad Pro. The gap needs to be a lot closer to make it easier for More people to do exactly what you suggest.
    Overall what I am saying is the iPad Pro isn’t quite there enough to justify laptop prices. Yet.
    where are updated iMacs btw?
    I think the part of the equation that you might not have yet considered is that a certain segment of consumers, myself included, prefer using an iPad Pro for many tasks. Your arguments are based on a fundamental assumption that there is nothing preferable about working on an iPad vs a laptop except for its portability, and therefore it is just a less effective tool. I believe that was true not too long ago, but that paradigm has started to shift due to the introduction of iOS 11 and the Apple Pencil. IOS 11 was a giant leap for iPad productivity. I now prefer to take notes in GoodNotes with Pencil. I prefer to make flowcharts with Grafio and Pencil. It actually makes both of these tasks somewhat fun and I do these two things a lot.

    Using the Canon Connect app I can walk around a trade show with our photographer and see what he is shooting on the iPad as he shoots. I can easily tell if we got the shots we need, or if they are too blurry or grainy for whatever reason and have to be reshot. I can control our cameras in the studio with the iPad much easier than with a laptop. I am really looking forward to using Photoshop and the Apple Pencil on my iPad Pro next year. That may be a killer combination for the pro imaging market. And as someone who was given a Surface 3 with Photoshop a few years back, I can tell you right now that Microsoft has no idea how to implement this combination properly. Trying to access Photoshop’s tiny menus on the Surface screen was nearly impossible, and their stylus is in no way as good as the Pencil/iPad Pro combination.
    edited November 3 StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,273member
    iPad sales will jump when Apple introduces a touchpad to its keyboard and fulfills its promise of making it a laptop killer.

    It already has the power of a new MBA (or more?), all it needs is the input device.

    Meanwhile, Apple is fleshing out its Mac line and refining and filling out the iPad.
  • Reply 12 of 16
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,248member
    firelock said:
    entropys said:
    Yes I can see that. Desktop and iPad Pro. In fact I would love that.  Problem is a decent laptop would do both jobs well and cost half as much as the iMac and the iPad Pro. The gap needs to be a lot closer to make it easier for More people to do exactly what you suggest.
    Overall what I am saying is the iPad Pro isn’t quite there enough to justify laptop prices. Yet.
    where are updated iMacs btw?
    I think the part of the equation that you might not have yet considered is that a certain segment of consumers, myself included, prefer using an iPad Pro for many tasks. Your arguments are based on a fundamental assumption that there is nothing preferable about working on an iPad vs a laptop except for its portability, and therefore it is just a less effective tool. I believe that was true not too long ago, but that paradigm has started to shift due to the introduction of iOS 11 and the Apple Pencil. IOS 11 was a giant leap for iPad productivity. I now prefer to take notes in GoodNotes with Pencil. I prefer to make flowcharts with Grafio and Pencil. It actually makes both of these tasks somewhat fun and I do these two things a lot.

    Using the Canon Connect app I can walk around a trade show with our photographer and see what he is shooting on the iPad as he shoots. I can easily tell if we got the shots we need, or if they are too blurry or grainy for whatever reason and have to be reshot. I can control our cameras in the studio with the iPad much easier than with a laptop. I am really looking forward to using Photoshop and the Apple Pencil on my iPad Pro next year. That may be a killer combination for the pro imaging market. And as someone who was given a Surface 3 with Photoshop a few years back, I can tell you right now that Microsoft has no idea how to implement this combination properly. Trying to access Photoshop’s tiny menus on the Surface screen was nearly impossible, and their stylus is in no way as good as the Pencil/iPad Pro combination.
    I'm still wondering about the level of interconnectedness that can happen between Mac's, iPad Pro's, iPhones, and various consumer devices that USB Type C brings. I have a pretty good imagination, and I imagine that there are thousands of people at Apple that have thought about this, and many of those are working to incorporate this into future products.

    My original supposition was that Apple was in transition to the new headquarters, a period of relative chaos, and now that that is out of the way, and even more space is being acquired, we should see a explosion of new product development in front of us.

    On the other hand, and no good deed goes unpunished, Apple is very conservative about adopting new technology until it is either ready for the consumer, or more importantly, until the consumer is ready for the innovation.

    The iPad Pro is on the cusp of a new paradigm, as is the Watch, providing yet more granularity to user workflow. I'm confident that we are close; maybe 2020 for Apple to enable the iPad Pro as a reasonable substitute for a laptop or desktop computer.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    danvmdanvm Posts: 693member
    firelock said:
    entropys said:
    Yes I can see that. Desktop and iPad Pro. In fact I would love that.  Problem is a decent laptop would do both jobs well and cost half as much as the iMac and the iPad Pro. The gap needs to be a lot closer to make it easier for More people to do exactly what you suggest.
    Overall what I am saying is the iPad Pro isn’t quite there enough to justify laptop prices. Yet.
    where are updated iMacs btw?
    I think the part of the equation that you might not have yet considered is that a certain segment of consumers, myself included, prefer using an iPad Pro for many tasks. Your arguments are based on a fundamental assumption that there is nothing preferable about working on an iPad vs a laptop except for its portability, and therefore it is just a less effective tool. I believe that was true not too long ago, but that paradigm has started to shift due to the introduction of iOS 11 and the Apple Pencil. IOS 11 was a giant leap for iPad productivity. I now prefer to take notes in GoodNotes with Pencil. I prefer to make flowcharts with Grafio and Pencil. It actually makes both of these tasks somewhat fun and I do these two things a lot.
    Using the Canon Connect app I can walk around a trade show with our photographer and see what he is shooting on the iPad as he shoots. I can easily tell if we got the shots we need, or if they are too blurry or grainy for whatever reason and have to be reshot. I can control our cameras in the studio with the iPad much easier than with a laptop. I am really looking forward to using Photoshop and the Apple Pencil on my iPad Pro next year. That may be a killer combination for the pro imaging market. And as someone who was given a Surface 3 with Photoshop a few years back, I can tell you right now that Microsoft has no idea how to implement this combination properly. Trying to access Photoshop’s tiny menus on the Surface screen was nearly impossible, and their stylus is in no way as good as the Pencil/iPad Pro combination.
    Maybe you should try the Surface again.  Adobe CS issues with HiDPI screens have been solved a few years ago, and the Pen is better than the Surface Pro 3 had at the time. 


  • Reply 14 of 16
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,405member

    I like Tim's approach...

    For everyday, a 10s in his pocket and an AppleWatch on his wrist.

    For work: a 27" iMac sitting on his desk. 

    For home: a 4K AppleTV. 

    For play: just the AppleWatch (Cellular)

    For driving: AppleCarPlay in his Porsche Boxster.

    For travel: an iPadPro with AirPods and the appropriate charging cables in a small backpack. 

    There! Done! We no longer have to quibble like were at a quilting club about which device is best!

    Best of both worlds! MacOS and iOS. 


    Regards.


    All otherwise extremely good products that fall short of great because of SIRI.   I guess that's why Tim returned his stereo homePods-tired of Siri on them taking over and not giving the right answer.   He probably has Echo/Alexa for that (a gift from his Partner).
  • Reply 15 of 16
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,405member
    tmay said:
    firelock said:
    entropys said:
    Yes I can see that. Desktop and iPad Pro. In fact I would love that.  Problem is a decent laptop would do both jobs well and cost half as much as the iMac and the iPad Pro. The gap needs to be a lot closer to make it easier for More people to do exactly what you suggest.
    Overall what I am saying is the iPad Pro isn’t quite there enough to justify laptop prices. Yet.
    where are updated iMacs btw?
    I think the part of the equation that you might not have yet considered is that a certain segment of consumers, myself included, prefer using an iPad Pro for many tasks. Your arguments are based on a fundamental assumption that there is nothing preferable about working on an iPad vs a laptop except for its portability, and therefore it is just a less effective tool. I believe that was true not too long ago, but that paradigm has started to shift due to the introduction of iOS 11 and the Apple Pencil. IOS 11 was a giant leap for iPad productivity. I now prefer to take notes in GoodNotes with Pencil. I prefer to make flowcharts with Grafio and Pencil. It actually makes both of these tasks somewhat fun and I do these two things a lot.

    Using the Canon Connect app I can walk around a trade show with our photographer and see what he is shooting on the iPad as he shoots. I can easily tell if we got the shots we need, or if they are too blurry or grainy for whatever reason and have to be reshot. I can control our cameras in the studio with the iPad much easier than with a laptop. I am really looking forward to using Photoshop and the Apple Pencil on my iPad Pro next year. That may be a killer combination for the pro imaging market. And as someone who was given a Surface 3 with Photoshop a few years back, I can tell you right now that Microsoft has no idea how to implement this combination properly. Trying to access Photoshop’s tiny menus on the Surface screen was nearly impossible, and their stylus is in no way as good as the Pencil/iPad Pro combination.
    I'm still wondering about the level of interconnectedness that can happen between Mac's, iPad Pro's, iPhones, and various consumer devices that USB Type C brings. I have a pretty good imagination, and I imagine that there are thousands of people at Apple that have thought about this, and many of those are working to incorporate this into future products.

    My original supposition was that Apple was in transition to the new headquarters, a period of relative chaos, and now that that is out of the way, and even more space is being acquired, we should see a explosion of new product development in front of us.

    On the other hand, and no good deed goes unpunished, Apple is very conservative about adopting new technology until it is either ready for the consumer, or more importantly, until the consumer is ready for the innovation.

    The iPad Pro is on the cusp of a new paradigm, as is the Watch, providing yet more granularity to user workflow. I'm confident that we are close; maybe 2020 for Apple to enable the iPad Pro as a reasonable substitute for a laptop or desktop computer.

    I don't think that Apple needed the new headquarters to enable more development.    They just need any space for developers and engineers.    The new headquarters is about security - its the world's most high tech prison for Apple's workers.   That's why they have the large Apple park in the center of the ring.    Its the new Pentagon.

    The iPad will be a substitute for a laptop or desktop when it supports a mouse.    I think that that will be 2021 or 2022.   This sort of development transition takes time (its not just a hardware switch but getting off of Intel will be good).    But the new Photoshop on iPad is definitely a sign that it will come someday.   

    I have a 2017 iPadPro and see no reason to upgrade just for FaceID.     Maybe when they have 4K/5K OLED screen.

  • Reply 16 of 16
    k2kw said:
    tmay said:
    firelock said:
    entropys said:
    Yes I can see that. Desktop and iPad Pro. In fact I would love that.  Problem is a decent laptop would do both jobs well and cost half as much as the iMac and the iPad Pro. The gap needs to be a lot closer to make it easier for More people to do exactly what you suggest.
    Overall what I am saying is the iPad Pro isn’t quite there enough to justify laptop prices. Yet.
    where are updated iMacs btw?
    I think the part of the equation that you might not have yet considered is that a certain segment of consumers, myself included, prefer using an iPad Pro for many tasks. Your arguments are based on a fundamental assumption that there is nothing preferable about working on an iPad vs a laptop except for its portability, and therefore it is just a less effective tool. I believe that was true not too long ago, but that paradigm has started to shift due to the introduction of iOS 11 and the Apple Pencil. IOS 11 was a giant leap for iPad productivity. I now prefer to take notes in GoodNotes with Pencil. I prefer to make flowcharts with Grafio and Pencil. It actually makes both of these tasks somewhat fun and I do these two things a lot.

    Using the Canon Connect app I can walk around a trade show with our photographer and see what he is shooting on the iPad as he shoots. I can easily tell if we got the shots we need, or if they are too blurry or grainy for whatever reason and have to be reshot. I can control our cameras in the studio with the iPad much easier than with a laptop. I am really looking forward to using Photoshop and the Apple Pencil on my iPad Pro next year. That may be a killer combination for the pro imaging market. And as someone who was given a Surface 3 with Photoshop a few years back, I can tell you right now that Microsoft has no idea how to implement this combination properly. Trying to access Photoshop’s tiny menus on the Surface screen was nearly impossible, and their stylus is in no way as good as the Pencil/iPad Pro combination.
    I'm still wondering about the level of interconnectedness that can happen between Mac's, iPad Pro's, iPhones, and various consumer devices that USB Type C brings. I have a pretty good imagination, and I imagine that there are thousands of people at Apple that have thought about this, and many of those are working to incorporate this into future products.

    My original supposition was that Apple was in transition to the new headquarters, a period of relative chaos, and now that that is out of the way, and even more space is being acquired, we should see a explosion of new product development in front of us.

    On the other hand, and no good deed goes unpunished, Apple is very conservative about adopting new technology until it is either ready for the consumer, or more importantly, until the consumer is ready for the innovation.

    The iPad Pro is on the cusp of a new paradigm, as is the Watch, providing yet more granularity to user workflow. I'm confident that we are close; maybe 2020 for Apple to enable the iPad Pro as a reasonable substitute for a laptop or desktop computer.
    The iPad will be a substitute for a laptop or desktop when it supports a mouse.    I think that that will be 2021 or 2022.   This sort of development transition takes time (its not just a hardware switch but getting off of Intel will be good).    But the new Photoshop on iPad is definitely a sign that it will come someday.   

    I have a 2017 iPadPro and see no reason to upgrade just for FaceID.     Maybe when they have 4K/5K OLED screen.

    Apple could have supported a mouse from Day 1. That they didn’t is telling. They wanted apps designed for touch, no small precise pointers. 

    There is no reason to believe you’re supposed to upgrade from a one-year old ipad for Face ID. Apple’s annual products are better and include newer, better features, but they aren’t designed to make people upgrade every single year. Some do but it’s tech enthusiasts. But when you upgrade, the years of annual improvement produce a very nice upgrade. 
    watto_cobra
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