New 13-inch iPad Air will eat into iPad Pro sales

in iPad edited May 13

A new report predicts that sales of the new iPad Pro will be affected both by its higher price than before, and by the appeal for consumers of the lower-cost 13-inch iPad Air.

Apple iPad with a vibrant, abstract, orange and turquoise fluid art cover on a wooden desk next to a pink notebook.
New iPad Pro (source: Apple)

Trendforce has previously and rather obviously predicted that if Apple releases iPad Pro models with OLED screens, it would drop the previous versions that had mini LED displays. Now that Apple has done exactly this, Trendforce has released a report estimating the potential sales of the new iPad range.

The report from market research firm Trendforce is really focused on AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) screens. This is the slight but significant variant of OLED that lets the iPad Pro control every individual pixel, and also do so while consuming less power.

Trendforce's focus, then, is on how it estimates that the total number of AMOLED screens shipped in any company's devices in 2025 will be approximately 9 million. It says that this represents around 7% of the total tablet market.

For Apple in particular, though, Trendforce estimates that the company will ship between 4.5 million and 5 million of the iPad Pro in 2024. That's a combined total for the 11-inch and 13-inch models of the iPad Pro together.

Trendforce does not appear to have published any previous estimates for Apple's sales, but says its new prediction is reduced to between 4.5 million and 5 million figure is a reduction. Its analysts say they are predicting this lower figure in part because of the new iPad Air.

For the first time, there is a 13-inch version of the iPad Air and Trendforce believes this could dilute consumer interest in the iPad Pro. In their base specifications, Apple sells the 13-inch iPad Pro from $1,299, while the 13-inch iPad Air starts at $799.

As Trendforce notes, that iPad Pro price is $200 more than the previous model. It ascribes that increase entirely to the screen, and in particular how Apple has used what it's calling tandem OLED technology to avoid the burn-in and shorter life previously associated with AMOLED.

So the combination of a higher-price iPad Pro and a new 13-inch iPad Air will be responsible for lowering the sales of the Pro model. Again, though, Trendforce does not say by how much, just that it will be "only" 4.5 million to 5 million in 2024.

However, a previous estimate claimed to be from supply chain sources said that Apple has ordered 8.5 million OLED display panels for 2024.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 18
    It depends somewhat on what Apple has in store for iPadOS at WWDC.  Aside from that, maybe the ratio of pro to non-pro will be similar but more 11 Air buyers will buy a 13 instead?
  • Reply 2 of 18
    hmlongcohmlongco Posts: 552member
    Apple has probably figured this out, don't you think?

    Regardless, and as I've said many times, Apple is one of the few companies that understands that if you don't cannibalize your own sales, someone else is likely to do it for you.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,859member
    Honestly while I have no plans to upgrade my iPad Pro yet (the M1 is doing everything I need) when I do upgrade it would be to the Air. I got the M1 for the screen size and Apple Pencil. Now that I can get that in the Air there’s no reason to spend the extra.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    BuffyzDeadBuffyzDead Posts: 358member
    I estimate that Trendforce will be wrong!   

    The different iPads cater to different end-users.

    But whatever, ...Apple will sell boatloads of each, and time will reveal all.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,221member
    I think an M2 iPad Air will eat into iPad Pro sales, but not because of the 12.9 inch model. Well ok that will be a bit. The main reason is price. The difference in the 11 inch models is the Air is about 25% less for pretty much the same capability.

    btw, does anyone see the discontinuity in the iPad Air being heavier than the iPad Pro?
  • Reply 6 of 18
    kdupuis77kdupuis77 Posts: 120member
    entropys said:
    I think an M2 iPad Air will eat into iPad Pro sales, but not because of the 12.9 inch model. Well ok that will be a bit. The main reason is price. The difference in the 11 inch models is the Air is about 25% less for pretty much the same capability.

    btw, does anyone see the discontinuity in the iPad Air being heavier than the iPad Pro?
    Haha wow, I honestly didn't even think of that... Wow Apple lol.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    thttht Posts: 5,546member
    entropys said:
    I think an M2 iPad Air will eat into iPad Pro sales, but not because of the 12.9 inch model. Well ok that will be a bit. The main reason is price. The difference in the 11 inch models is the Air is about 25% less for pretty much the same capability.

    btw, does anyone see the discontinuity in the iPad Air being heavier than the iPad Pro?
    Not much of a stretch to say that the iPad Air 11 and 13 models will result in lower iPad Pro 11 and 13 models, due to both price differential and the availability of the iPA13 model. Apple totally expected it and expected it 3 years ago when they were doing product planning for these models. This report is basically a no information report, other than actually stating a unit sales number.

    And, no, not many people are thinking much about the iPad Air being heavier than the iPad Pro. It's a talking point for media and branding fans, but for regular buyers, I imagine there is hardly a thought. "Air" is just a branding name, just like the hundreds of other words, portmanteaus, misspelled homographs (?), and made up words that are used to describe products. You are going too deep if you interpret them too literally,

    However, people's eyes and sense of touch do know when a device is more premium. On average, buyers won't be confused on why the iPad Pro is better product than the iPad Air or iPad 10th gen. Thinner devices, higher precision devices, Promotion, etc, they all contribute to a sense of premium feel. As such, Apple's iPad lineup has the more expensive products having thinner frames, thinner bezels, higher precision.

    It's not the names that influences buyers, it's the actually look and feel of the devices.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,859member
    I estimate that Trendforce will be wrong!   

    The different iPads cater to different end-users.
    Yes and no. How I use my iPad hasn’t changed, if anything I’m pushing it harder than I did a few years ago. But the functionality I need that required a Pro a couple of years ago, is now available in an Air. The use case for a Pro has I suspect, gotten smaller. 
  • Reply 9 of 18
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,221member
    I think use case has always been a difficult differentiator tbh. My last two machines have been IPPs, and they would definitely be the choice for anything artistic/ design work. 
    But in my old job  the M2 Air would be better for field work from a price/robustness perspective, particularly as there is a greater risk of damage.

    I would point out that the weight difference between the IPP 11 and the heavier Air is only 20 grams, or two thirds a shot of tequila, a measure that isn’t used enough IMHO.
    edited May 8 mattinozAlex1NFileMakerFellerwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 18
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,389member
    Just as the Apple Watch is largely for people who love to exercise and work out, the iPad is made especially for creatives who like to draw with the Apple pencil.  I used to think my iPad was more of a content consumption device, where I could watch videos.  But these days, I prefer my 16" MBP for its larger screen for content consumption, AND it is a work machine too!

    iPadOS is only a tiny bit more functional and useful than iPhone's iOS, which has me turning to my Macs far more often than every before to get things done, which either can't be done on iPad or can't be done as efficiently.  As a result, our family doesn't use iPad much at all anymore, turning either to an iPhone or Mac instead.

    In light of this, whether one model iPad eats into the sales of another matters little.  It's almost laughable to even talk about that when iPad's other problems are so enormous.

    I want to love the iPad, but iPadOS and limited number of Pro apps which actually enable me to do real work cause me to use a more functional device like my Macs.  Until Apple addresses this, it makes no sense for our family to have an iPad, be that Pro or the Air.  And this isn't my feeling alone.  One of the biggest tech YouTubers out there Marques Brownlee basically said the same thing in his recent video coverage of the new iPads.  And he's not the only tech YouTube who has said that either.

    Some people love their iPads and use them even more than Macs.  More power to those people!  But to reach a wider audience, even among loyal Apple device lovers, Apple has much more work to do on the iPad.  And that goes far beyond worries over which iPad model eats into the sales of another.

  • Reply 11 of 18
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,221member
    With regard to fieldwork, what would be very attractive is the nano glass of the IPP available as an option only with the higher storage options.   
    But no work is going to pony up the $ for the TB storage options. And cost really matters if you are deploying a lot of iPads. If the non reflective glass was available as an option at lower storage/points it might make a difference in choice between the IPP and IPA,  but it isn’t. So outdoor workplaces will mostly  go the 128GB or 256GB Air option.
    edited May 8 Alex1Nwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 18
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,390member
    The iPad at each storage level is 50% more expensive, not just a fixed dollar upgrade from the Air. 
    iPad is mature tech in a mature form.

    Apple may be hoping the 13 AIr will eat the market for the 13 Pro as they probably have a higher margin on it anyway and can product in solid volumes and move more stock. 

  • Reply 13 of 18
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,686member
    Apple:doesn’t care which one you buy.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    maasjmaasj Posts: 13member
    I think of the Air models as part of the Pro lineup, kinda like the MBP 13” was in the MB “Pro” lineup in 2021 even though it was a different animal from the MBP 14”. So it’s all Pro models and profit as far as Apple is concerned, compared to the base model iPads. 
    edited May 9 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 18
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 3,097member
    eriamjh said:
    Apple:doesn’t care which one you buy.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,539member
    I think Apple is sticking with the "Air" because it now has brand recognition to a greater degree than it conveys significant attributes of the device. It provides another pricing tier to offer up to customers. Will it cannibalize iPad Pro to some degree? Probably. But it will also provide an intermediate move-up option for buyers looking for something more than the base iPad. You don't want your neighbors to find out that you or your kids are "basers." To keep your social cred intact, you must buy Airs or Pros for everyone, even your diaper clad toddler / grandpa.

    It's like the tried and true Sears, Roebuck and Co. (and others) "good-better-best" pricing/feature tiers.  For some reason I've always been, and suspect many others are also drawn to the "better" option because it conveys a feeling of getting something a bit above the "good" level at a decent enough price. Besides, the "best" option probably has a bunch of features and fanciness in it than you'll never need. But if you're seeking to build your show-off, look-at-me, I'm-special credibility within yourself or your social circle, the top-tier "best" or "pro" option is definitely the only way to go. Don't think twice. Even if you're not actually a professional who actually needs all the bells and whistles at the top tier, the warm feeling you get by surrounding yourself with "pro" labeled stuff gives you a certain sense of internal satisfaction. You may not need to keep 45,000 tabs open in Chrome, but knowing that you could leave that many open sets your mind at ease. Lay down that credit card, you deserve to be happy.

    With Apple's marketing it's open psychological warfare between your desires and your pragmatic sensibility. Your wallet may be rooting for pragmatism to win, but your heart usually wins and your wallet gets soundly defeated and left in a crumpled heap surrounded by monthly payments. Apple knows how to play the psychological warfare games of marketing better than most, well, maybe, except when they go slightly off the rails and start virtually crushing virtual renditions of stuff that is near and dear to your heart and your sense of self worth. Everyone makes mistakes, like not thrashing their credit card to its absolute breaking point.
    edited May 9 watto_cobramuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 18
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,551member
    jdw said:
    Just as the Apple Watch is largely for people who love to exercise and work out 

    I think you’ll find that whilst people into fitness certainly are interested and actively buying the Apple Watch the majority are going to regular people where exercise is not the highest priority.

    I mean just look around, everyone from the middle aged fatty at your local supermarket to busy mums doing the school run (and everyone in between) seems to be sporting an Apple Watch now adays.

    I mean, I’m 40, am not that interested in half marathons, swimming or anything else sport related. Yes, I like to hit my three rings a day, but I achieve that mostly by walking the dogs.

    For me the main features are for communications, maps, and the convenience of just leaving my iPhone at home, putting in my AirPods and enjoying a good walk without distractions.

    I wish there were more apps that were 100% independent of my iPhone. That’s the biggest drag of the platform for me personally.

    It’s a shame that the Apple Watch became so iterative so quickly. Theres not been a single feature on any of the newer watches that’s made me want to upgrade my Series 6. Still, I suppose I should thank Apple for saving me the phone with there “just do the bare minimum” updates. I suspect my eventual replacement will be an ultra version for the bigger screen and better battery.
    edited May 10
  • Reply 18 of 18
    For me, it is all about the display, as a visually-oriented person who works in the museum and art world. So Pro it is.

    Most of my actual work with images and color takes place on macOS, but I have an old Pro I use for just looking. It’s had a good run, but this new display is a “must have” from my point of view. 
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