Positive effect from Apple's new iPads will be short lived

Positive effect from Apple's new iPads will be short lived
Even though Apple just reported that iPad revenue for its fiscal second quarter had the highest growth rate in six years, the truth is that tablet shipments have been in a free-fall for some years now. The increasing size of smartphone screens is one of the reasons behind the drop in tablet demand. Digitimes Research says that global shipments of these devices will drop 8.7% year-over-year during the second quarter, which runs from April through June. The decline in deliveries will measure 8.9% sequentially from the first quarter, according to the forecast.

For the first quarter, 37.15 million tablets were shipped. While that was down 12.8% from the fourth quarter of 2018, the number of tablets shipped in Q1 actually rose 13.8% over the prior year. The first quarter is usually a seasonally slow period for tablets, but this year the category got a boost from the two new iPads that Apple released in March. Those models included the 10.5-inch iPad Air (2019) and the iPad mini (2019). Also helping a bit was the release of the Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro.

While the iPad remains the top tablet in terms of shipments, during the quarter Huawei took over second place from Samsung. For the current three month period, the same manufacturers are expected to remain numbers one, two and three in terms of shipments. And to fight back against larger phone screens, tablet displays are on the rise too. 67% of new slates delivered during the first quarter carried screens of 10.x inches. This was up 11 percentage points from the previous quarter. For the first time, tablets with screens measuring 10-inches and higher (including 11-inch screens and up) made up more than 50% of the total number of tablets shipped. That figure should rise this quarter with lower demand for Apple's 9.7-inch iPad models.d

The Apple Ax SoC powered the largest number of tablets shipped in the first quarter. That was due to the dominance of the iPad. Meanwhile, Qualcomm took over second place from MediaTek. The latter's shipments declined sharply during the first three months of the year, and MediaTek chipsets are found mostly in Amazon's 7-inch and 8-inch slates. Shipments of these Fire Tablets declined during the first quarter.

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10 Comments

1. vgking9699

Posts: 84; Member since: Mar 01, 2019

Now after next months Apple event and we get iOS 13, iPad sales will skyrocket back up again

2. blingblingthing

Posts: 834; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Skyrocket? No. As phones are getting bigger, what use is a tablet that is marginally bigger? First it was desktops that declined due to notebooks, then notebooks to phones, phones opened the tablets scene which they later cannibalised as phones grew bigger in size.

3. iloveapps

Posts: 374; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Apple distinguished ipad from phones. They have multitasking feature, split view and pnp. They’re really good to artists on the go leaving their macs at home.

4. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2248; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Even the regular iPad at 9.7 inches 4:3 aspect ratio is more than “marginally bigger” than any phone on the market. The new iPad Air is 10.5 inches. Perhaps you are referring to the iPad mini being cannibalized by larger phones?

5. dnomadic

Posts: 371; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Heck, I wouldn’t even say would fall in to realm of marginally bigger. For reading video watching and almost anything else, my iPad mini offers a better experience. My opinion

6. SyCo87

Posts: 278; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

People just don't replace tablets like they do cellphones since they're mostly using it for only media consumption. It doesn't take much power to stream a video which is why prolonged "slowdown" is a nonfactor

7. whatev

Posts: 2111; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Even though I know trolls will be triggered by what I’m saying, I know many people who actually consider buying a tablet instead of a laptop, students, designers, architects, photographers, etc. I know personally people who compares tablets to low specs laptops in order to decide which to buy, so the tablet market is behaving like the pc/laptop market which means people keep their devices for a longer time period and don’t upgrade every 6 months or every year, that’s absurd

9. Vancetastic

Posts: 726; Member since: May 17, 2017

I’ve been using an iPad over a laptop for the last six years. I use a desktop at work...no need for one at home.

10. whatev

Posts: 2111; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Same with me, I barely touch my laptop and I have a pc at work

8. ChrisLaarman

Posts: 12; Member since: Aug 12, 2016

Even after reading the precedibg 7 comments, I wonder about the cause for this slowdown in sales. First, it's not due to myself. This year, I (single consumer) have purchased a 12.9" iPad and 3 9.7" Android tablets (2 of which in backorder). Note that the iPad cost me more than twice the 3 Androids together. (Also note, that I hardly use my desktop devices anymore.) Speaking for myself, I do have a clue. I didn't plan to buy yet another iPad. I happened to find an Android tablet that suited me (Mi Pad 4 Plus by Xiaomi, LTE, options 128GB and Global ROM). I enjoyed it that much, that I ordered two more. It proved to have gone out of stock with my vendor in China. Then I canceled the order in doubt of restocking, and in a whim bought this iPad (that I'm also fond of). I then re-ordered the Mi Pads. (Prices for this very model of Mi Pad are rising rather than dropping - take that, Samsung and even Apple!) My personal clue is, that I found it hard to find an Android tablet with the proper specs. In my case: 10" display, LTE, 128GB of storage. There are lots of lesser devices to be had, especially from Chinese vendors. But yes, why buy some 8" device without LTE and with minimal storage when you have a 6" phone with a great display (and cellular data!) on you - and when the software available is more geared toward tweaking the device than to "Getting Things Done"? Me, I'm willing to pay, but I can't even find the apps that I would want to pay for (like Android "editions" of the Omni Group's products - but I'm a wannabe power-user). So, perhaps it's a matter of marketing. A matter of offering Android tablets that can match iPads (and Android smartphones...) in specs and software that makes people want these tablets - at prices that are above dumping for the hardware and that provide some satisfaction for the app developers. The latter may also drop the need for app vendors to turn to (in my opinion) overpriced subscription plans.

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