It is no surprise that iPad sales declined for the quarter and have been declining over the last number of quarters. In an article I wrote “THE IPAD IS NOT A FAILURE; JUST A DIFFERENT DYNAMIC” the primary theme I postulated here was that the iPad is a device you can hang on to for quite some time. Reasons for this might be that design doesn’t change much; old iPads can run software at acceptable speeds; lack of societal pressure to upgrade.
It is Not a PC Replacement
Frequently non other than the CEO Tim Cook has viewed the iPad as a computer and a computer replacement. First, that begs the question what is a computer and if it is a computer replacement it’s pathetic. You’re much better going and getting a Microsoft Surface that has some of both qualities but it certainly isn’t a workstation either.
The iPad is a Simple Device
The iPad is a very simple device. You have no access to the file structure. It’s architecture is simple in that it is non-expandable, uses simple chips nothing of the likes of a workstation. However, as a Pad it is an excellent device; one in which you can just read a good book; handle email and other forms of social media; and work with dumbed down PC applications or PAD apps that are innovative.
Firms used to buy a PC with a three year write off cycle or three year usefulness period. A Pad would fall in this category but you might potentially get a little more longevity from the device.
Computers are your workhorses behind the scenes and up front. They are very adept at everything and anything. They are highly scaleable. You’re iPad is not. It could theoretically work well for three or five years depending on use scenario.
Does the iPad have an Essential Role?
There is no question with a few years of use under our belts that an iPad is a very useful product. That it doesn’t sell like an iPhone shouldn’t be surprising. The tech changes but not that dramatically and you’re not likely to carry it around to do electronic pay nor take photos both of which the iPhone is well suited to.
However, the iPad is particularly well suited to other tasks as mentioned above or graphical design work etc. There is a role for both these machines. However, an iPad definitely does not replace a PC nor should it. Not at the present time anyway.
The iPad is Still a strong Revenue Source
Simply because the iPad’s revenue stream doesn’t resemble that of other devices means nothing. Try taking one away from someone that loves their’s. It’s not possible. It is a very utilitarian product that does certain things incredibly well but is not a PC replacement.
Further, it remains a strong contributor to Apple’s bottom line. There might be rumblings of failure etc but this is far from a failure. It is just working under a different dynamic; a different set of values and requirements that mitigate against constant turnover and churn. Call an iPad a Pro and suddenly it will fly off the shelf; I don’t think so. It is a marginal step up in power from the Air 2. It’s most fascinating features are the auto pairing and the ability to draw freehand on the screen. It is slightly faster, but unless you really needed one of the above features an upgrade is simply not worth it.
There you have it. An iPad can be held on to for a longer time frame without loosing much if anything. Eventually though, there will be a revision that makes sense. Your battery is dying or the iPad looks worn. Software you want simply can’t perform on the chipset but that takes some doing.
Here to Stay
So the dynamic is similar to that of a PC and yet there is this unrealistic expectation that it would supplant PC’s. Nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, if you don’t have a PC this could be a stand alone device or a device used as an adjunct but only in a rarer incidence a replacement. Where it is a replacement your computing needs have likely been significantly curtailed.
The iPad regardless is a success by any measure. It has it’s own base of popular enthusiasts and provides a significant revenue stream to Apple. It’s here to stay; to improve with time and to carve out an important niche in the info systems realm.