The iPad was supposed to be the device that would take consumers into the post-PC era. However, after 7 consecutive quarters of declining tablet sales, it is hard to see how Apple’s second best product, the iPad will soon see a slow death despite the fact that it outdid Micrsoft’s Surface tablet PCs as per the last IDC report. The Apple iPhone may be the company’s hero product, but with falling smartphone and tablet sales, Apple now seems to be focussing on a forgotten line of products that started it all, the Mac.
Apple’s Mac lineup has been ignored for quite some time now. The only Mac product that Apple sells with an up to date chipset is its recently announced 2016 MacBook. There’s the Mac Pro that stuck with an Intel Ivy Bridge-E CPU, which was last updated in 2013, the MacBook Pro 15-inch which features an Intel Haswell CPU and was updated in 2014 and finally the MacBook Air with an Intel Broadwell CPU.
The MacBook Air despite being on of the best value for money buys in Apple’s Mac lineup has yet to see a redesign or an update. It packs in an old TN display with non Retina resolution and a fifth-generation chipset, while Asus, Dell offer the latest for roughly the same price.
While I would love to sit and admire Apple’s marketing team (since people are still buying these old systems) it is easy to tell, that Apple’s focus in the past two years was on its iPad.
Apple launched the powerful iPad Pro models last year (November 2015), and it was clear that the company was looking to get PC users under its fold with the same. Soon enough Apple added another Pro variant with the 9.7-inch model with the hopes that those who found the 12-inch too-big would be happy to go in for this one. But that turned out to be a flop show as well. The company lost out because not only were the Pro models priced too high, but they ran the same iOS as its smartphones, which is not something a power user who usually pays for an ultra-book would be interested in.
Adding to the mess was Apple’s idea to ape Microsoft with a soft keyboard, that somehow did not cover up for its lacking software productivity.
With the tablet sales still declining Apple seems to have woken up and is now for once actually holding an event for its updated Mac lineup. Think of it as a Plan B where the Plan A with the iPad seems to have failed, despite repeated efforts.
So wit the iPad out fizzing out (they are still planning three new models next year), the next mobile device in line would have to be the old and neglected laptop lineup.
So why is the Apple iPad failing? As Digital Trends points out, it is the upgrade cycle. Tablet users simply do not feel the need to upgrade to a new or the latest model, as they are often used for secondary tasks. With smartphones screen sizes getting bigger, more can be accomplished with the device that is in your hand, rather than the one in your bag, that well… needs two hands. Why would one need an iPad Pro (Rs 93,000 256GB) when you have MacBook (Rs 1,00,000 512GB, 8GB RAM) that is equally light, priced the same and can do so much more?
Microsoft’s Windows 10 and its manufacturers have moved ahead of Apple when it comes to hardware and software, let’s hope Plan B works out as smartphones and tablets are just not cutting it, while Plan C with the Apple Car just got shelved.