2nd February 2017

What does the future hold for the iPad?

On Tuesday evening Apple released their financial figures for the last quarter of 2016. Records were broken for revenues, cash reserves, service revenues, sales of watches and the value of Macs.

The iPad however saw a significant fall, not only in terms of sales but in the average selling price. Considering that the financial figures Apple released are for the Christmas period and that the last new iPad was the 9.7” version that was launched in March, then perhaps it is not surprising that the iPad wasn’t at the top of people’s Christmas list.

We can’t help but wonder if the problem for the iPad is that they just don’t go wrong. We do get excited when a new one comes out and there is a sense of wanting the latest and greatest but at home we still use our trusty iPad 2. More so, as our phones have got bigger and better we now use them more frequently to FaceTime or on the go to watch iPlayer. In our house that used to be the premise of the iPad.

Now obviously, the iPad Pro range is aimed at a more professional user. The whole relationship between Apple and IBM is targeted at improving the iPad’s exposure to the commercial and education sectors. Apple are clearly spending a lot of time and resource in promoting the iPad range but as a sector and product you have to admit it is on the decline.

So what does this all mean for the future of the iPad? The initial reports are that Apple is still looking to refresh the iPad range in March. It is thought that we will see an iPad Pro 2 12.9” with refreshed specifications and an Apple Pencil 2.

In addition, it is believed that Apple will also launch a 10.5” iPad Pro. The reasoning behind this is that a iPad 10.5” model is thought to be the ideal size for both commercial and education sectors. It would leave the iPad12.9” model as the one for pro users and everybody else would be steered towards the newer size.

So what does this mean for the iPad 9.7” version? Arguably this is the best iPad in Apple’s current line-up. Having been released after the 12.9” it certainly has a more powerful specification. Well it is believed that the smaller iPad Pro will replace the iPad Air. We will lose the Air brand completely and potentially even the iPad mini.

If Apple are going to improve the average cost of sale for the iPad removing the older and cheaper models would surely be one way to increase this.

As for the Apple Pencil 2 there is not much to go on. The only specification change that we have read about is that it may come with an inbuilt magnet that will allow it to connect to the side of the iPad.

The iPad has certainly been on a crazy journey. It’s gone from ground breaking product to falling sales. It is still the market leader in tablets over £200 and it still sells in relatively large volumes but it doesn’t carry the same excitement that it once did. We hope that whatever Apple brings to the table next month that it truly excites.