iPad Pro sales, while helping Apple’s bottom line thanks to bigger margins, aren’t moving as many units as Apple’s smaller, less expensive tablets.
According to market research firm IDC’s latest report, iPad Pro sales account only for one-third of Apple’s total tablet sales, with iPad Air and iPad mini units accounting for a little more than two-thirds of that total.
Apple’s total iPad shipments declined 6.2 percent year-over-year, while total iPad revenues remained flat, pointing to the higher margins Apple is able to command.
It’s the less expensive iPads, however, that are moving more units.
“Despite Apple’s marketing push for the iPad Pro,” the IDC writes in a press release, “the iPad Air and Mini lines have been the models with mass appeal, accounting for more than two-thirds of its shipments this quarter. Although Apple’s tablet shipments declined 6.2% year over year, total iPad-related revenues were flat for the quarter, thanks to the iPad Pro offering.”
It seems as if the tablet market is experiencing a rush to the bottom, as is true in so many other consumer gadget areas. The global tablet market itself, according to IDC, is in a continuing slump: vendors (including Apple, Samsung, Amazon and Lenovo) are seeing a year-over-year decline of almost 15 percent in the third quarter of 2016.
This is pretty bad news as companies gear up for the holidays.
As Apple continues to do comparably well in the tablet market with an 82 percent market share of higher-end, over $200 tablets, according to Apple’s financial chief Luca Maestri at a recent financial earnings call, the rest of the market continues it’s race to the bottom.
Which strategy will be more successful in the long run is hard to tell, though IDC’s Jean Philippe Bouchard, tablet research director at IDC, remains optimistic about Apple’s long-term success in such a volatile market.
“Beyond the different end-user experience delivered by low- and high-end tablets, we’re witnessing real tectonic movements in the market with slate companion devices sold at the low-end serving a broader platform strategy, like Amazon is doing with Alexa on its Fire Tablets, and more expensive productivity tools closer to true computing and legitimate notebook replacement devices that should manage to keep average prices up.”- IDC