iPads: The Bad, The Good And The Takeaway

Tablets, in general, and iPads, in particular, seem to be getting a bad rap nowadays. So I thought I’d take a look at both the bad and the good, and see if that provided us with any meaningful takeaways.

1) The Bad

1.1) The Tablet Market is slowing.


1.2) The iPad Market is slowing.


1.3) The iPad rate of growth is plummeting.


1.4) The iPad is losing share.


1.5) The Doomsday articles are everywhere.

–The Diminished iPad, by Ben Thompson

–Apple’s New iPads Will Be A Hard Sell, by Marketwatch

–Apple, Needing A Jolt With New iPads, Plays It Safe Instead, by Cnet

–There’s No Reason To Think The iPad Is Coming Roaring Back To Life, by BusinessInsider

–Apple’s iPad Problem: Does Anyone Really Need an Expensive Tablet? by New York Times

— Apple’s iPad problem is a real one, by Dan Frommer

— Can Apple’s New iPads Reverse Its Sales Decline? by Chuck Jones

–Thoughts On iPad, by Sammy the Walrus

1.6) The Summary

Yikes! That’s a lot of doom and gloom. Yet I am oddly optimistic about the iPad’s future. How can this be?

2) The Good

2.1) Apple Is Bullish

We’re very bullish about the future of the tablet market and we’re confident that we can continue to bring significant innovation to this category through hardware, software and services.

You may dismiss Apple’s statement, above, as mere public relations puffery, but I do not. Apple has gone out of their way, on multiple occasions, to say that they think that the tablet has a strong future. I think that’s telling.

2.2) 225 million

Apple has sold 225 million iPads since its introduction in 2010. That’s more units sold in less time than any other device in Apple’s history.


2.3) Tablets Are Outselling PCs

So, keep in mind that even though iPad sales growth may be slowing, it’s still beating the stuffing out of the traditional PC industry. —DM, Six Colors liveblog (@sixcolorsevent)


2.4) Value

In the second quarter of 2014, the total worlwide tablet market was worth $14.4 billion. Apple’s sold 28% of the units and captured 48% of of the category’s value.


If the iPad were its own company it would be larger than Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Groupon, and Tesla combined.


2.5) Usage

The iPad DOMINATES usage. Apple has approximately 25% market share but 75% of all tablet usage.

2.6) E-Commerce

Even though the iPad is only four years old, it generates PC levels of e-commerce transactions.

Apple Pay in iPad apps will further drive its lead in ecoommerce. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)

2.7) 675,000 Custom Designed Apps

No competitor has anything even remotely comparable to Apple’s library of tablet specific apps. The iPad is an App machine. Most other tablets — and especially those selling for under $100 — are used as remote televisions.

iPad sales are driven by apps – Android Tablets by SD cards? ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)

2.8) Institutional Sales: Enterprise, Education and Government

Tablets in the commercial segment experienced a 33% YoY growth in the second quarter of 2014… ~ Francisco Jeronimo (@fjeronimo)

We can debate whether or not iPad sales have plateaued in consumer markets, but they are definitiely growing in the Enterprise.

We think our partnership with IBM, providing a new generation of mobile enterprise applications, designed with iPad’s legendary ease of use and backed by IBM’s cloud services and data analytics will be one such catalyst for future iPad growth. ~ Tim Cook

In part because of apps, in part because of security, it part because of privacy, Apple dominates institutional sales. Further, Apple’s advantages in these markets are inherent. Everyone likes cheap, but cheap can’t compete if it doesn’t meet certain minimum requirements. Apple is the only provider of tablets that doesn’t make their money by selling their owner’s information.

You can’t trust dogs to watch your food. ~ Proverb

TouchID will only make iPads even more inviting to businesses.

TouchID very important in enterprise for mobile workforces, particularly in customer service scenarios ~ @charlesarthur

2.9) Apple Owns The Premium Market

Apple is selling nearly every premium tablet on the planet.

2.10) Competition

Honestly? There isn’t any. The smaller tablets are being sold as TV replacements. Apple’s tablets are the only App machines available.

Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz has attempted to analyze Android tablet usage and found that most seem to last about a year before disappearing somewhere. Apple isn’t fearing cheap tablets, whether they’re from Amazon, HP or a brand in Asia you’ve likely never heard of.

2.11) Fifty-Percent New

Our own data indicates that more than half of customers purchasing an iPad are buying their very first iPad. ~ Tim Cook>

We naturally focus on sales growth. Perhaps we should also be keeping one eye out for the iPad’s ability to expand the iOS base. Year after year after year, the iPad brings in new users — many of whom are experiencing iOS for the very first time. And studies have shown that once those users enter Apple’s ecosystem, they are very unlikely to ever want to leave.

Sales growth is important. Growth of the iOS base is even more important.

2.12) Kids

iPads now the top consumer brand among kids 6-12. Kids love iPads more than Hershey’s, Oreos, M&M’s, Doritos Cheetos, Skittles, Disney, YouTube and Xbox.

AUTHOR’s NOTE: I originally included a graphic at this point, but it was in reference to all tablets, not just iPads. I included it for context, but some felt it was misleading, so I’m removed it.

2.13) Seniors

Seniors LOVE the iPad.

(P)arents and grandparents love iPad as it’s the first computer that is truly easy for them to use. ~ aaplorchard.tumblr.com

Teaching Dad to Use Tablet PC

2.14) Customer Satisfaction

The customer satisfaction numbers for all Apple tablets is sky high. But customer satisfaction numbers for the iPad mini with retina screen is an unbelievable 100%.


ONE HUNDRED PERCENT! Stop and think about that for a second. How is that even possible?

3) The Takeaway

3.1) The iPad is expanding Apple’s iOS base.

3.2) Six billion in revenue ain’t nothing to sneeze at.

3.3) The iPad utterly dominates usage, e-commerce, premium sales and institutional sales (Enterprise, Education, and Government).

3.4) If you divide tablets into those that do apps and those that do other (mostly video and readers) the iPad has no competition. None. It stands alone.And no one is mounting a threat. With it’s 675,000 iPad specific apps and touchID, it’s lead is only going to get larger.

I know people will debate me on this but I still think a case can be made there is still not a Tablet market but an iPad market.~ Ben Bajarin (@BenBajarin)

3.5) When I look at the iPad, my biggest takeaway is always how much people love them. Not like. LOVE.

Kids love iPads. Seniors adore them. Come to think of it, if the iPad retina mini has 100% satisfaction, then EVERBODY WHO OWNS ONE — whether they be kids, teens, adults or seniors — is satisfied with it.

When I hear people criticizing the iPad, I can’t help but think that they are completely overlooking how much people really, really, really, really like their iPads. For many — perhpas for most — it’s the first computer that they understand and it’s the first computer that they WANT to use, instead of HAVE to use.

3.6) I think the iPad is doing the job that Apple wants done. It’s taking the top part of the market. It’s expanding the user base. It’s increasing user satisfaction. It stands between the phone and the notebook and works seamlessly with each of those products. It makes the “Apple World” ecosystem a better place to be.

The refresh cycle for the iPad may be much, much longer than that of phones…but it’s not infinite. One day a whole lot of iPad users are going to want to upgrade their tablets to Apple’s latest and greatest device. And that day may be coming sooner than we think.

But I don’t think that’s what matters most to Apple. While others strive to gain high market share (and low profit share), Apple seeks to create products that are loved. With the iPad, Apple has come closest to achieving that ideal.

Published by

John Kirk

John R. Kirk is a recovering attorney. He has also worked as a financial advisor and a business coach. His love affair with computing started with his purchase of the original Mac in 1985. His primary interest is the field of personal computing (which includes phones, tablets, notebooks and desktops) and his primary focus is on long-term business strategies: What makes a company unique; How do those unique qualities aid or inhibit the success of the company; and why don’t (or can’t) other companies adopt the successful attributes of their competitors?

159 thoughts on “iPads: The Bad, The Good And The Takeaway”

  1. Sometimes you will get a job to be on defense, like the anti apple click baiters and sometimes you will land a job to rout out the truth. To me you are a truthier than defensiver. Thanks for all of your very insightful articles. iOS will be the wedge and pivot for apple to grow at hyperdrive speeds. Roll Apple!

  2. It’s weird how this article goes from iPad-specific issues to Tablets-general successes, but attributing every tablet success to iPads. Seniors love their Androids too, for the same reasons (if not more: Widgets ! back button !); Ditto kids, they can even have gaming-specific Androids. Also, an article on this very site put Android ahead of iOS then Windows as entreprise “tablet app development platform” (55%, 47%, 41% resp, iOS goes down to 3rd place for large corps, http://techpinions.com/does-windows-stand-a-chance-with-enterprise-mobile-apps/35725 ).
    As for the Evans quotes, someone should tell him Android tablets have apps too. I’ve been asking forever what an iPad can do an Android can’t… I got Music Creation (goes away with Android L, supposedly), what else ?
    As for share of the premium market, I’d be curious for a source, and a definition. I’m curious how Samsung’s S and Note lines are selling (they are close to iPads 10″ retina in Amazon’s best-seller list, not a definitive source); if Windows, Yoga… tabs are included…

    1. “Seniors love their Androids too, for the same reasons (if not more: Widgets ! back button !); Ditto kids.” – Oarthelemy

      I cited a source indicating that the iPad was the top brand amongst 6-12 year olds. I very much doubt that you can provide anything similar for Android.

      As for which devices are liked most, I cited satisfaction surveys. I very much doubt you want to show me the comparable satisfaction numbers for any Android device.

      As for Apps, if you’re going to argue that Android’s apps are comparable to those of iOS then there’s simply no talking to you. Even Google doesn’t try to pretend that they have tablet specific apps. You shouldn’t either.

      1. Satisfaction: I’ll do it for you. http://www.macrumors.com/2014/05/07/apple-j-d-power-tablet/ . Apple 830, Samsung 822 (used to be ahead of Apple). That’s more than similar, especially if it just reversed. The source can’t be accused of pro-Android nor pro-Samsung bias ^^ Another bogeyman that proves FUDdy.

        Apps: Google does pretend: https://play.google.com/store/apps/collection/tablet_featured?hl=en ; also, since Android doesn’t require tab-specific apps, most apps are very fine on tablets. For example, you can thumb through the screenshots for this “non-tablet-specific” app (one of my most used apps): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.noinnion.android.greader.readerpro&hl=en … Also, more corps target Android than iOS, which kinda says something, I think. Again, this “no tablet apps” meme needs substantiation, but if you won’t back it up, that’s fine. For an Apple apologist though, not an analyst.

        Kids: indeed, brand recognition. I thought I could talk features and capabilities, sorry.

        1. Every vendor on average was 821, varying 1 point, which meets their “three-star” rating (Consumer Reports-style). Apple was the only clear outlier from the pack with 830 and “five-star” rating.

          The numbers seem close when quoted completely out of context, but mean very different things.

        2. Apple-830 to Samsung-822 to Average-821
          I’d say that the gap from 830 to 822 is relatively huge, and thus not similar.

          Many corporations, especially those in the defense industry, target Android because just like OEMs such as Amazon, they can control the whole device – and thoroughly customize it, and even to the point of where it is blocked from running Android apps from the Play Store.

    2. I’m actually very optimistic about the Android tablet market, but I don’t think that it will be the same as the iPad market. That is, I’m not sure that there will be a premium Android tablet market, but I’m very excited at the possibilities of inexpensive “good enough” devices.

      To be sure, Apple also sees this opportunity and I’m sure that this is why they now have a model from $249.

      It would be great to see more and more people get online, and use something a bit bigger than their smartphone.

  3. I agree with you 100 percent. There are more iPads in use than Macs. I believe that there have been more iPads sold than the total number of Macs Apple has made since 1984. So, what’s the problem?

    For some reason, people expect Apple to come up with something as big as the iPhone every few years. Apple never did that before the iPhone, and they may never do it again. Even the idea of judging some other tech company like Xiaomi or Lenovo by that standard is laughable.

  4. Good analysis and good writing (as always). As long as Apple and its app developers stick to quality and exploit the superior engineering capabilities and elegant design of iPad, it should continue to be THE aspirational tablet device as all Apple products expand throughout the world. Just imagine, an internal processor that has just enhanced its processing capabilities resulting from expanding its internal components from 2 billion to 3 billion transistors in a device that thin! Also, Apple’s sage acquisition of Authentec’s Fingerprint identification technology, which is apparently practically uniquely superior and proprietary, should provide some future use cases that cannot easily be replicated nor copied.

    Many observers fail to contemplate the opportunity of SCALE that Apple can look to in its future (in all product categories). Apple products have done well and earned billions of $$ in America, yet we represent only about 8-9% of the world’s population! What a future runway potential ahead for those with some patience! Good going Tim Cook and team.

  5. The stats in this article are misleading to the point of being deceptive.

    1) Creative Strategies chart shows tablet sales in aggregate, NOT iPad sales vs. PCs. In other words, it lumps in the same tablets that Kirk himself later in the article makes clear are not iPad competitors in the sense that they are used primarily for media and not computing tasks;

    2) Tim Cooks stat on iPad sales vs. PC was a bit of sleight of hand. While the iPad outsells the offerings of any ONE PC manufacturer, in aggregate the PC outsells the iPad by roughly 5 to 1;

    3) This applies to the iPad’s other sales and usage stats. The iPad outsells any ONE (maybe two) PC manufacturers and has better usage patterns but trails the PC market in aggregate by a wide margin;

    4) The kid’s stats reference the tablet market in aggregate. Once again, these include sales of devices that do not directly compete with the iPad as computing devices. The use cases and usage patterns between iPads and other tablets are so wide that they could be considered two distinct devices that only share a form factor.

    Bottom line, the iPad sells in huge quantities but, on its own and in comparison to the overall PC market, the legacy form factors are outselling it by huge numbers. That isn’t to say that the iPad is dead or won’t continue to sell well but all indicators show that the iPad is stalled out right now.

    1. Apple’s back-to-school results should be interesting (Q4 fiscal). We may find that iPad sales are level with 2013, or down slightly, or perhaps up slightly. But the iPad on its own is the world’s largest PC maker, by a significant margin. My gut tells me we’re in a transition stage and this plateau won’t last. Of course we’re not going to see the return of previous growth rates either, that’s impossible. I did the math once, using the impressive growth rate (which has since slowed) and the numbers were ridiculous. It was obvious the growth rate had to slow dramatically just to make sense.

      I’ve got an iPad 2 (from 2011), and it’s great for business use. I’m waiting for a 12 or 13 inch iPad, which I hope is coming within a year or so. I won’t need to upgrade until well into 2015, maybe even later. This iPad 2 just keeps on going.

      1. “But the iPad on its own is the world’s largest PC maker, by a significant margin.” – Space Gorilla

        This is only against any single PC maker. In aggregate, more PCs sell than iPads by a wide margin, in the 5 to 1 to 6 to 1 range.

        1. “This is only against any single PC maker.”

          Yes, that’s what I said. Comparing a single entity against many entities is kind of pointless.

          1. It’s amazing. Nobody thinks it makes sense to compare GM’s sales to the total of the rest of the auto industry. Or Whirlpool’s to the total for all other appliance makers. But with Apple, some people demand, with a straight face, that their numbers be compared to all their competitors combined, and it’s a fail if they don’t beat them. Nuts!

          2. This is a rididulous statement. In computing technology, you are comparing form factors. It’s why analysts can state with straight faces that tablets outsell PCs even though the overwhelming number of them don’t compete directly with PCs from a capability or price standpoint.

            You can’t have it both ways. Either the iPad competes directly with PCs AS A CLASS or not at all. Based on your reasoning, the comparison between PCs and tablets is moot to begin with. I have no problem with that logic.

          3. If you are comparing tablets to PCs then compare all tablets to all PCs. Not iPads to all PCs. Comparing iPads to one PC manufacturers output is an observation about Apple’s heft relative to the particular PC maker under consideration. But comparing iPads to all PC manufacturers combined, that is a metric for what exactly?

          4. I quoted what you stated. It’s pointless to compare tablets to PCs at all if you don’t view them as direct competitors. But if you do, then comparing them BY CLASS or CAPABILITY is more than fair. In that respect, the iPad competes with PCs in general. It is Apple that competes with individual PC OEMs.

          5. “It is Apple that competes with individual PC OEMs.”

            Yes, so if you compare the individual PC makers, then Lenovo is currently #1. Now, if you look at the iPad as a standalone business, it beats Lenovo.

            Whether you want to count the iPad as a PC, or what differences exist in capabilities and features, those are separate discussions. The iPad is a great PC for a lot of people. The iPad, if counted as a PC, becomes the world’s #1 PC maker. I’m not sure we disagree, I can’t figure out what exactly you’re arguing about. That the iPad isn’t a PC? That seems silly, it’s obvious that it is, and the capabilities of the iPad are only going to grow. Plus the PC already over serves. I think it’s a valid and very interesting comparison (iPad vs Lenovo).

          6. My basic contention is with the idea that the iPad’s sales should not
            be compared to the sales of PCs en masse but only to the offerings of
            any one OEM. If you think of the iPad as just another type of PC, then,
            yes, the comparison is moot. However, if you consider the iPad as a
            unique form factor that competes with the PC, then it is more than fair
            to consider the iPad’s total sales vs. the PC’s total sales as form
            factors. This is a double edged sword though because you can further
            skew this by comparing total overall tablet (in general) sales to total
            overall PC sales. However, not all tablets are used as computing devices
            in the sense of producing things so, IMO, that comparison isn’t

            So, IMO, while you can compare Apple to individual OEMs,
            comparing the iPad to the PC, regardless of manufacturer, is also
            relevant comparison if you think of the products as distinct classes of
            device. Otherwise, the tablet/PC comparison really isn’t very relevant.

            WhileI consider the iPad a computing device, I don’t consider it a “PC” in
            the sense that I do think the comparisons between the two devices are
            relevant. However, I think both serve very different purposes from an
            ergonomic standpoint. I don’t think the tablet will “die” anymore than
            the PC will. Both will continue to serve in whichever situations both
            are best suited.

          7. Except, that “PC” itself refers to a wide variety of form factors”, from netbooks to Mac Pro work stations. Indeed, it refers to tablets as well, if those tablets are running Windows, however poorly those particular tablets perform or sell in relation to the iPad.

            So, the more interesting thing would not be to look at sales of iPads vs all “PCs”, but try to look at Jobs-to-be-done, as Ben Barjarin mentions in his new article about the iPad…

            Are “PC” sales merely replacements of old Pcs? And are iPads being deployed in their thousands into new use cases, such as Sales forces, site inspectors, etc — basically people who stand on their feet all day and have tended to use clipboards?

            If iPads are indeed going into new use cases in their thousands at a time, then that does bode well for the iPad.

          8. I tend to view anything with an x86 processor and support for a legacy OS as a “PC.” Granted, these could be considered arbitrary criteria.

            You make good points. I’m interested to see what happens with the iPad in the enterprise. It definitely has a lot of growth potential there.

          9. When it’s Mac vs “PC”, then yes, it specifically means “IBM-Compatible / x86”. But if it’s Mobile vs PC, then PC is simply “Personal Computer”. And, ironically, if Macs were not included, then sales of PCs would be pretty flat.

      2. Forget the growth rate of the past that is clearly over, never going to happen again.

        When do you think we might actually see any growth rate at all, instead of shrinking sales, we have seen now for 3 consequential quarters?

        My bet is: it is essentially flat for several quarters to come. More likely more shrinking than growing. I see nothing on the horizon that spells a return to growth.

        1. “When do you think we might actually see any growth rate at all” – Defender

          Next holiday quarter is my guess.

        2. What John already said, I expect fiscal Q1 (holiday quarter) to be fairly big.

          “Forget the growth rate of the past that is clearly over, never going to happen again.”

          I agree, and it’s a fairly obvious prediction, former growth rates were quite ridiculous. Those rates were never sustainable for a product that has such a long replacement cycle. The iPad really feels more like the Mac, it looks like I’m going to get at least four years of good use out of my iPad 2.

          1. New quarter info is out, and it is now 4 quarters in a row down for iPad. So the Holiday quarter would be the next reported 3 months from now?

            I expect that to be flat as well. More likely down than up.

          2. Yeah, I posted that an hour ago. Let’s keep some perspective, it’s roughly a 4.7 percent decrease from 2013, more of a levelling off for now, but yes, 4.7 percent is down. I just think it’s a tad early to be shouting about saturation.

          3. You’re looking quarter to quarter. That’s too granular in my opinion. The sales mix and cycle have shifted. We need to look at annual totals. Cook said 4 percent down on the analyst call, referring to iPads and sell-in annually. I just did some quick math on the difference between 67.93 million and 71.1 million, which I think I did wrong actually, shouldn’t that be a 4.46 percent decrease?

            So slightly down from 2013. And maybe the iPad now trucks along at the 70 million per year mark (levelling off), but that doesn’t feel right to me.

            Cook also said the new buyer mix in different markets ranged from 50 to 70 percent. I can’t square that with saturation. But using my own experience with the iPad, I think the useful life of these things is a lot longer than many people expected.

          4. You are free to track this quarter by quarter. I prefer to look at annual totals. The slowing of growth was obvious and predictable, it had to happen. The question I’m interested in is whether this is a levelling off at around the 70 million per year mark, or whether 2015 will begin moving past that plateau. I suppose it depends on the replacement cycle.

          5. “What John already said, I expect fiscal Q1 (holiday quarter) to be fairly big.”

            Well you guys were wrong. iPad was down yet again.

      3. I also am looking forward to getting some numbers from tomorrows APPL earnings call. Should be interesting to see what Apple lets us know about in the last 2 events.

    2. “Creative Strategies chart shows tablet sales in aggregate, NOT iPad sales vs. PCs”

      And that’s exactly how I labeled it. I needed to show the total tablet market before I could discuss Apple market share and profit share.

      “Tim Cooks stat on iPad sales vs. PC was a bit of sleight of hand. While the iPad outsells the offerings of any ONE PC manufacturer, in aggregate the PC outsells the iPad by roughly 5 to 1”

      I agree and you’ll notice that I didn’t use those stat or those charts and for those very reasons.

      “The kid’s stats reference the tablet market in aggregate”

      That’s true. The stats about which brand kids form 6-12 were iPad specific, but I threw in the chart in order to show how many kids had been exposed to tablets. I’ll add a disclaimer to make that clearer.

  6. John, when you have negative quarters for the PC Market, it is all doom and gloom for PC, but negative quarters for the iPad is all sunshine and roses.

    I don’t think I have ever seen you post cumulative sales numbers for PC market in response to the negative sales growth. Cumulative numbers can only go up, no matter how bad sales are dropping. So it is kind of a misleading answer to the falling sales issue.

    Overall this looks biased.

    FWIW, I stated about a year ago that iPad looked to be saturating and was laughed off. Since then we have had 3 quarters of negative sales (and no doubt a 4th being reported soon).

    It wasn’t a doom prediction. It was a reality prediction. Sales leaped out of the gate, and there is little impetus to upgrade a tablet once you have one. Just about everyone I know now has a tablet at home. It is a saturated market in North America at least, and there is no impetus to upgrade (Much like the PC market).

    IMO the only gadget with high turnover is the smartphone, driven by the subsidy model in some countries.

    Neither PCs, nor iPads are doomed, but both are looking at flat growth.

    1. “Neither PCs, nor iPads are doomed, but both are looking at flat growth.” – Defender

      Maybe. But I still think their futures will be very different.

      Everybody who wants a PC has a PC. That’s one of the reasons why Macs are growing while the PC market is stagnant. Those who need PCs want the best. Everybody else wants to hold off upgrading their PC…if possible, forever.

      Tablets, on the other hand, are only 4 years old. Many people have not even tried them yet. I’m guessing that when they do, a significant percentage will be smitten.

      The PCs has a great future behind it. The tablet’s future hasn’t been written yet.

      1. “Those who need PCs want the best. Everybody else wants to hold off upgrading their PC…if possible, forever.”

        There’s no question that PC’s were oversold. That’s when they were the only game in town. Tablets helped alleviate that. Could it be, is it possible, that the same thing is happening to tablets? Granted, at a different breakpoint?

        I would imagine that tablets, especially the iPad, can substitute for a PC among the less technically interested. These folks are the vast majority. Having bought once, how many are satisfied and don’t have the itch for a newer model? They still get their email and (most of) the web after all.

        1. “Could it be, is it possible, that the same thing is happening to tablets?” – klahanas

          Computers are 30 years old. Tablets are 4 years old. When the tablet was the only game in town, everybody had to own one. Now that phones and tablets are available, PCs will have to recede until they reach equilibrium.

          As to tablets, they’re not just replacing PCs, they doing jobs that PCs never did well and that PCs could never do at all. Any job that requires you to walk while you work – like inventory, or being a guide or even many in sales — would be well served with a tablet.

          Most everybody thinks that the sudden year-long stall in tablet sales means the end of tablet growth forever. Maybe so. To me, it feels like more of an aberration than a trend. It’s the loyalty numbers that won’t let me give up on tablet growth. But maybe I’m wrong. Time will tell.

          1. Sorry, Mr. Kirk. The advantages of tablets are simplicity, mobility, and battery life, as per your example. Outside of that, anything you could ever want to do, well beyond ANY tablet’s capability can be done on a PC. Especially a 2 in 1. 😉

            As for the saturation point that Defendor brought up, I think it’s extremely valid. If it’s true, tablets in general, but the iPad in particular, may get hurt by the same sword they live by… satisfaction, good enough, and technical indifference. Whether that’s indeed what is happening, time will tell.

          2. Even though I do think we are reaching a saturation point with the iPad I do think we do not know how long these iPads will last on average so when they will need to be replaced. It really does depend on how people end up using them and what advancements happen with the iPad hardware and software.

            One of the big drivers on Windows PC’s for replacements is because Windows is way to corruptible over time. Either via malware, spyware or just badly written software and patching systems that corrupt the registry. Also users looking to get a newer version of Windows normally are forced in to purchasing new hardware to get the updated Windows OS. This is not true with most of the iPads other than the 1st gen iPad so far. Of course as Apple moves forward with iOS and developers move with them to support the new iOS versions those older iPads really will start to show their age.

            Some will have batteries that will not hold as long of a charge. Others will be lost or stolen or broken. Of course it all depends on who uses them and how well they take care of them but the older they get the more likely they will just wear out. Also for users who wish to use iCloud Drive they will not be able to do so on the iPad 1’s of course those users can look to use other 3rd party cloud storage options. But the point becomes that for many of Apple’s customers who had the money to spend on the 1st gen iPads I do see them replacing them with newer models.

          3. “Even though I do think we are reaching a saturation point with the iPad…” Brian

            Everybody thinks that — except me…and possibly Apple. The fact that 50% of all purchases come from people who have never before owned an iPad tells me that the iPad has not reached saturation. But it pretty obviously hasn’t reached it’s refresh date either.

          4. I should have said for the people I see who have them here but I agree there is still a huge upside to the iPad’s in businesses where the apps are being developed. Also you are correct that we have not seen the refresh cycle yet on the iPad.

          5. Good points all around. But that’s a replacement rate, not necessarily an upgrade rate. That is, it’s a different motivation.

          6. “Sorry, Mr. Kirk. The advantages of tablets are simplicity, mobility, and battery life, as per your example. Outside of that, anything you could ever want to do, well beyond ANY tablet’s capability can be done on a PC. Especially a 2 in 1. ;-)” – klahanas

            I will bet you 1.3 billion dollars that you are wrong about 2-in-1’s. Oh wait, Microsoft already lost that bet.

            Man oh man, you’re making the very same argument that the naysayers made when the tablet first appeared. “It doesn’t do anything that I can’t do on my phone/PC. Lame”.
            The PC can do a wide range of tasks. The tablet can do SOME task better. And that’s the lesson that you and so many others cannot seem to grasp. Don’t feel bad. Microsoft has lost billions on Windows 8 and the Surface and they still haven’t figured that out either.
            There is nothing you can do with a Microwave Oven that you can’t do with a traditional oven and there are a lot of things you CAN do with a traditional oven that you can’t do with a Microwave oven. Case closed, right? Wrong.

            The Microwave does a few things really, really well. The tablet does a few things really, really well. And that’s all you need.

          7. I agreed to the circumstances where tablets are appropriate, especially with the examples you gave.
            How much money MS, or anyone, lost is none of my concern.

          8. Sorry John, but I have to disagree with you. The IPad business is far from hurting, but larger phones and Macs with 10+ hour battery life and lowered pricing are squeezing the IPad which is stuck in the middle and I don’t see the trend reversing.

      2. “Cumulative numbers can only go up, no matter how bad sales are dropping.”
        Funny how that works, huh?

        But ‘most people’ don’t care about first derivatives, which is the quantity that matters when discussing growth. If you do, you’re a geek! 🙂

    2. The reason why I feel cumulative sales mean more for iPads compared to PCs is because it is probably a better indicator of the installed base.

      With PCs, most are replacement sales. Hence cumulative sales don’t tell you how the installed base is growing.

      On the other hand with iPads (not necessarily with Android tablets), we know for a fact that there are many many iPad 2s and 1st generation iPad minis still in use. At this point, we are only still only 4 years from introduction. Hence cumulative sales of iPad is probably a good indicator of the size of the installed base.

      In another 5 years maybe, then it will be ridiculous to talk about cumulative iPad sales as it is for PCs. Right now, I would argue that cumulative is more important.

      Keep in mind though that this only applies if the old models are actually being used. And as I said, there is substantial proof that old iPads are still active. For Android tablets however, there is little proof that they are used in the same way so we can’t make the same argument.

    3. I had a chance to use a friend’s iPad 2 today. For these and, possibly iPad owners, there’s definitely impetus to upgrade. The difference between using iPad 2 and iPad Air, let alone iPad Air 2 is like night and day.

      1. “The difference between using iPad 2 and iPad Air, let alone iPad Air 2 is like night and day.” ~ Shameer Mulji

        I think that’s true, but I’m not sure that they people who own the older iPads know that. So long as the device continues to function, they’ll be satisfied with what they own.

        1. I have an iPad 2 and we got my folks an iPad Air. The Air is certainly better but my iPad 2 runs all the same apps, pretty much. I’m sure there are edge cases where that isn’t true, but I don’t have a reason to upgrade from my iPad 2 yet, probably not for another year. Although a 12 or 13 inch iPad would get me to upgrade right away.

    4. RE; cumulative numbers go up NO MATTER how bad sales are dropping…

      Ummm….don’t tell that to BBRY.

      Cumulative numbers will lag…but when sales are really bad…they will jump the cliff over time….

  7. “And studies have shown that once those users enter Apple’s ecosystem, they are very unlikely to ever want to leave.”

    Or to be able to…

    Not without significant expense. There are huge obstacles to leaving ranging from proprietary DRM in movies and older song purchases, to iBooks, to iMessage killing your SMS’s if you don’t de-register first. Apps are obvious (and understandable). Facetime only works with Facetime, etc.

    You could say the same for Android to iOS, but if Samsung annoys me I do have somewhere else to go ‘within’ the ecosystem. Same for Windows devices. This includes Apps. Not married to a single vendor. That’s generally a good thing across industries.

    1. “Or to be able to..” ~ klahanas

      You love this argument, but you have nothing to back it up.

      “The way we choose to see the world creates the world we see.” ~ Barry Neil Kaufman

      People move to iOS not the other way around and Apple has high satisfaction and loyalty numbers. That would not be true if people felt that they “had” to stay.

      1. I said they couldn’t leave easily, even if they wanted to. I know it’s unfathomable for you that anyone would want to leave, but it happens. Lock-in is well documented, and even claimed (by some) as a benefit.

        Nothing to back it up? It’s not only factual, it’s obvious.
        Can I play m4p’s on another device? How about Apples m4v’s? iBooks? Can I Facetime outside iOS (though it was a following technology)? There’s the iMessage lawsuit. Facts Mr. Kirk.

        On the other hand…
        It’s just as factual that I can select from multiple hardware providers on Android and Windows.
        But as you say… ‘I got nuthin’…’

        1. People do leave iOS all the time but the numbers I have seen say way more are coming to iOS than leaving. That to me means that they are more happy with iOS than Android/Windows phone.

          Yes, there is vendor lock-in’s on all platforms. No vendor has any obligation to make other platforms work well or at all with their tools. The amount of lock-in you are talking about is I am sure overstated outside of the hard core users. While I am sure that Android and Windows users would love to get iMessage, ApplePay, TouchID, iCloud and all the other things that Apple provides as exclusive to their platform but it is up to Apple to decide how much of that technology it wishes to make available to people who are not their customers.

          Do not forget that Apple did have to license ActiveSync to get that technology on iOS and later on OS X from Microsoft. This is one of the main reasons why the whole BYOD movement started to take off as it let iOS users use their devices with work e-mail accounts.

          The thing to keep in mind is that for people who want choice in hardware from various OEMs that is why Windows and Android. It is not what Apple does and I do not ever see them doing it again. If that really bothers you then they are the platforms for you. Wasting time complaining about Apple not serving your needs is just that, a waste of time. They are serving their customers needs and that is working for them. Apple has never claimed to have a solution for everyone that I am aware of and I have been following them sense the 1980’s.

          1. My point was not about how many come and how many go. It was simply to point out that staying because you’re elated MAY not be the only reason to stay. If you bought, say, 100 movies from Apple over the years, you can’t take them with you. They only play on Apple devices, and the PC.

            Imagine if Sony made DVD’s, Blu-Rays, and CD’s that played only on Sony hardware and vice versa. They would be slapped. This is content control at this point. IT level stuff.

            We’re losing things we’ve always enjoyed along the way, such as ubiquity of media consumption. Apple’s influence in promoting streaming as the primary medium of distribution exacerbates this.

            In 2011 when I bought a Mac Mini. I also purchased a Superdrive so that it would match. Two weeks ago, I purchased a MacBook for my son (yes, my love for my son exceeds my contempt for Apple :-)). No DVD. I figured, ‘No problem, I got the Superdrive’. Guess what… It’s intentionally crippled to only work with the Mini and the Air, and doesn’t work with PC’s at all. That’s even within Apple! When I call Apple an IT department, this is among the things that I mean.

            Back to Facetime …You can look at it as you say, but that’s only half the picture. By not making it cross platform, Apple is depriving, or impeding, their users from even communicating with people using other devices. You cannot tell me that this is a ‘full service’ situation. That’s like Verizon making their phones only work with Verizon and not with other carriers. It’s more IT stuff.

            As far as iMessage goes, if you switch before deactivating your iMessage account, on your iOS device, it’s impossible to disable. That’s according to Apple’s claims. A class action suit has been filed for this very matter. Basically, your phone number has been hijacked, as far as SMS goes.

            You correctly point out that I can thankfully get Android or Windows. True. As far as Apple goes, they are not only not catering to me as a customer (it’s their choice), but they have tried, with litigation, to prevent me from getting good devices elsewhere by going ‘thermonuclear’. Can’t have it both ways…
            I waste time talking about this stuff because some very pro-Apple spin gets put on things and IMO they deserve rebuttal. You should have seen me with MS in the late ’90’s. Anyway, isn’t that what Techpinions is about?

            Finally, just because my ranting has become boring, the sources of the rant remain. They won’t go away if I stop. You, yourself are informed enough to know exactly what you’re getting in to. Buying into an ecosystem involves commitment of funds, and freedom. I think these things matter.

            All the above said with the utmost respect.

          2. I understand your point about movies, but DRM is required by content owners for all digital store sales, regardless of ecosystem. As I’ve said before, if anyone is concerned about moving movies across ecosystems, they should only buy UltraViolet (with all its accompanying buying complexity.) (By the way, outside of DRM, there is no issue with the underlying file format as non-DRMed m4v is the same as mp4, and is playable on players in any mobile/PC ecosystem.)

            Most everyone I know understands that FaceTime and iMessage are only on Apple devices, and they don’t have a problem with it because of the simplicity and convenience. If they want to do similar things with non-Apple-device-owning people, they just use Skype or one of the many other text messaging apps. It’s not like anyone is trying to save or forward that content.

            Your main point is you can go from one Android device vendor to another with relative ease. Some value that, but some don’t because all those device vendors aren’t really differentiated in ways that matter (they all use Android), and though some of the hardware differs, any vendor software differences usually lead to the same switching-across-vendors problems.

            In summary, the benefits arising from using an Apple device today far outweighs the possibility of switching ecosystems in the future. In other words, keeping open that future (and remote, to many) possibility has a real and daily cost today.

          3. “If they want to do similar things with non-Apple-device-owning people, they just use Skype or one of the many other text messaging apps.”

            I assume that most people you know, are also not ‘most people’. If grandma still has to use Skype, then it’s a miss for Facetime.

            “Your main point is you can go from one Android device vendor to another with relative ease.”
            Yes. Being beholden onto one vendor is not a good thing. A pitbull on a leash is a great tool, but should it turn around… 😉

          4. Oh… the spyware card!
            Make sure you put a helmet on before you cross the street. Better yet, don’t cross the street.

          5. Ah, it’s grandma. Then all the children and grandchildren just buy iPhones to they can talk to grandma on FaceTime!

            “Being beholden onto one vendor is not a good thing.”

            Many people view this as not “being beholden” but as “being in a mutually beneficial trusted relationship” that provides exceedingly far more benefits. Especially among the upper middle-class and upper-class, the aim is to find trusted advisers & product providers & servicers, and mutually commit for the long-term. It’s recognized there will be pain in switching, and thus, it’s important to choose wisely in the first place. It’s one of the reasons why services like Angie’s List are valued.

          6. Being partners with aligned goals usually provides much greater satisfaction than being anxious acquaintances with one foot already out the door.

          7. All good business relationship have the divorce built in. No different for a buy/sell decision. Trust is earned, trust is also freely revoked, not imposed. Would you trust someone who requires you to trust them as a condition?

          8. It’s no more of a condition than that of any other business relationship that has to be unwound when a divorce occurs.

          9. “We’re losing things we’ve always enjoyed along the way”

            I’m not so sure that is really the case, that is, that we “enjoyed them along the way”. If people not only enjoyed, but valued these things enough, they wouldn’t be lost. For example, DIY in just about any market or industry, would not be niche, it would be the norm. People don’t “lose” things they want, unless forced to function in a monopoly like most cable TV territories. Other than that (and even that is starting to change) people won’t spend their money if it is important enough.


          10. We have lost the ability to enjoy media as we see fit. Tying media to a single manufacturer, or locking out other’s, is not a good thing.
            Try watching Netflix outside the US, you’re still paying, but you can’t. It used to be the same for iTunes, but that may have changed. Still, why can’t I watch media I’ve paid for on my Android devices? This is somehow good for me?

          11. The question becomes, though, what are you doing buying media you can’t watch on your Android?


          12. A more interesting question is, why not be able to enjoy your media on anything? You bought it…
            I know not to, does everyone?
            Actually, I buy all my media, and I buy iTunes movies all the time, but ‘I hev veys’ to deal with it. I can’t tell you how, or describe it, because it would be a violation of the DMCA.

          13. I have records I can only play on turntables, VHS I can only play in a VCR. We’ve never been able to enjoy our media on anything.


          14. The have to play on the right ‘kind’ of device. not the right ‘brand’ of device. And those old formats aren’t drm’ed with proprietary schemes either.

          15. Oh, I see. You don’t really mean “anything”. You mean within a certain set of arbitrary rules. You just want your arbitrary set of rules to rule.

            You know VHS is actually very DRM’d. Ever hear of Macromedia?


          16. Not just arbitrary rules, infinitely broad, owner defined, arbitrary rules.
            I take your word for it on VHS. It still played on all brands of VHS players.

          17. You want music you can play anywhere in anyway you want? Go buy a guitar and write your own. Movies you can play anywhere, anyway you want? Write your own script and shoot it yourself. Then tell me what you think when people decide they can do whatever they want with your work without your consent.


          18. People who think they should be able to do what they want, where they want, when they want with someone else’s creative content have either never made anything of their own, or at the very least never tried to make a living from their creative endeavors or other IP.


          19. People should be able to do whatever they want, where they want, if they paid for the media for personal use.

          20. It’s quite simple to export/convert your iTunes content. I think in this one area we agree. I bought the movie or song, I can do what I like with it (for personal use). And as I said, it is ridiculously easy to move content from iTunes to non-Apple devices. Music and books are already standard formats so I believe it’s actually only movies you have to put any effort at all into converting/moving. And it’s just so easy, I don’t think anyone can make the ‘locked in media’ argument with a straight face.

          21. To my knowledge there is no sanctioned way to convert them. I could be wrong. Please enlighten. Why shouldn’t they just play?

          22. File conversion, while it isn’t sanctioned for movies, is so easy to do that I don’t think we can seriously use that argument.

            As for just playing, that’s up to the rights holders, the studios I guess. What can Apple do about that? Other than make it ridiculously easy to export content from iTunes. In the absence of DRM-free movies, it’s not a bad solution.

          23. Do we know that Apple could just do this? I don’t have any of the details of the deals Apple has with various rights holders. Given that Apple pushed DRM-free music and launched Rip. Mix. Burn. I doubt very much Apple is tenting their fingers and laughing maniacally about locking down content. I have no problem with iTunes content, Apple hasn’t made it at all difficult to export content (and they likely could make it very difficult). My guess is they have to walk the line between appeasing rights holders and making content flexible.

          24. “why not be able to enjoy your media on anything? You bought it…”

            The point you’re completely missing or you cannot understand is that you’re purchasing media with some CONDITIONS. It’s not just “you bought it…” I’m pretty sure somewhere in fine print it’d be stated but its up to the buyer whether he or she is accepting those terms and conditions or not. Apple is not putting gun on my head that I’ve to purchase their media one way or other. The problem with you and your ilk is that you simply don’t understand free market at all. You can count this media content not playable on other devices as a negative score but at the end of the day it’s merely your opinion. It may or may not matters to me.
            Piece of advice for your kind of people: don’t let your hate or bias overrides your opinion.

          25. Okay, I agree to the conditions placed on DVD’s. I can play them on a DVD player of any brand. I can lend them, I can borrow them. What I can’t do is copy AND distribute them.
            As for me and my ilk, versus you and your ilk. We don’t root for the dealer at the casino. Don’t let your love of Apple cloud your opinion. You lose nothing under my scheme, we lose under yours.

          26. Alas my sincere effort gone totally wasted.
            Read my comment again. I didn’t favour any of the ecosystem. I was simply explaining the fundamental principle of free market i.e. free to choose.
            Now coming to your point again that I’ll loose something in Apple’s way but not in Android’s scheme of things(your way). Again I’d reiterate my previous comment that whatever you don’t like is merely YOUR OPINION for which you’re entitled but going with same logic I can have my own opinion which might be contradictory to yours. Now going in specifics let me tell you something. For me design is the first and foremost aspect in any product and I think its not just me, everyone seeks design first. We mostly interact with other thing through our eyes and mostly we like or dislike anything based on design characteristic, whether we like bypasser girl or any consumer product it’s because of design i.e. that girl’s body design or product design.
            Now coming back to your point that me or someone else will loose in Apple’s way of thing but not in Android’s scheme, I’d say this media content thing doesn’t matter to me. Also it doesn’t matter to approximately billion people who’ve purchased iOS devices.

          27. You are not only free to choose, you are free to influence the choices. Alas, my efforts went awry as well.

          28. Surely you can try to convince people not to purchase iOS devices because of this media content playable issue.
            But sometime it’s a good habit to self evaluate yourself whether you are wasting your time and energies on non issues. 😉

          29. ” I can play them on a DVD player of any brand.”

            That’s not totally true, either. At the very least you have to have a DVD player that can handle the right format (PAL vs NTSC), then you have to have one that the DVD and the player match region codes. And there are DVD/CD standards and restrictions that players have to adhere to. When a player hits the market that throws those to the wind they quickly get pulled (unless you are one of the lucky ones who bought one in time).

            I find it kind of funny that you think that DVDs and CDs are some sort of free range when the exact reason the RIAA and MIAA have been fighting so hard to maintain that format is precisely because of the control they can wield through them. The thing is those restrictions are more easily enforced with a hard format.

            The only thing that is happening with digital files is they (the industry) are trying to create metaphorical distinctions, such that Apple media is a different format than Amazon which is a different format than Rdio. Particularly when the RIAA and MIAA keep losing battles to take a cut from hardware players like they do blank CDs and DVDs, regardless of what they will be used for.

            The only freedom you had was what they wanted you to believe you had.


          30. Yes there are regions, and I don’t like it. Do you?
            You can’t play movies cross-platform even within the same city. Who am I going to be mad at first? The MIAA or the store that sold them to me?
            If iTunes movies are playable on Windows, through portable DRM, why not Android? Why not Windows Phone? What about ‘Fair Use’?

          31. Against my better judgement, I’ll try to explain this to you a bit more. My point is there are _always_ restrictions, however imposed. The media content providers (I am hesitant to say the artists because we really are talking about two different entities there) take advantage of those impositions as much as create their own.

            If you really think the industry is not imposing the DRM, why aren’t they out there saying “Hey! We aren’t the bad guys. We didn’t tell Apple to use DRM.” My guess is making Apple use DRM in their minds is the software equivalent to releasing content on minidisk; a distribution restriction that was hardware based so that if you wanted to play the same media on a CD or DVD player, you had to buy a different media format.

            I am not telling you I agree with the RIAA or MIAA. But I am telling you this is how _they_ think. One of their reasonings is, as iTunes in Europe revealed, each country has differing agreements for their work. And as far as the RIAA, for example, is concerned each playback and distribution method has its own agreements in place. A store cannot play a radio station as music for their customers. They have to buy the rights to do so.

            I keep trying to educate you on these things and you keep blaming the wrong party. I work in the entertainment industry. The DRM landscape is not playback industry imposed. It is copyright owner imposed. And it is a control issue. not technology issue. Even when it is technology imposed (because of physical format), the industry _uses_ that.

            So if Amazon can sell unrestricted media, it is the industry playing them against Apple. That’s how this industry works. Licensing is a mess. A performing arts company has to pay to use music. Then, on top of that, the theatre they perform in also pays, usually via general license through ASCAP or BMI, sometimes specifically for the music the performing company is using (some theatres require us to tell them specifically which music we are using), though usually still through ASCAP or BMI.

            Any music you hear beyond what you write and play yourself is licensed or it is copyright violations. And every playback method is covered by different agreements. It is never as easy as “I could play CDs on any CD player!” That is not Apple’s fault. Or Amazon’s. Or Android’s (though I am sure Google’s historic disregard for copyright has an affect). It is the RIAA’s and MIAA’s licensing dysfunction. To add to the dysfunction the industry is also protecting the rights of two different artistic parties—the writer AND the performers, each having their own agreements. That’s why Muzak is usually cheaper than the original recordings. the performers are cheaper though the song is the same.

            Blame the right people.


          32. Digging a little deeper into CDs specifically, not all CDs will or are guaranteed to play on any CD player. Redbook CDs are only guaranteed to work on Redbook compliant CD players, both usually identified by the Compact Disc logo. Not all CD players/burners/software are Redbook compliant. Not all audio CDs released carry the logo. I run into this all the time in theatre and dance that use CD based source material. Not all audio CDs are “Compact Disc Digital Audio”

            Remember when Sony released those rootkit CDs? There was not a CDDA logo on those discs. And they didn’t get in trouble because of that, nor because they were using some form of copy protection. They got into trouble because they were installing rootkits on computers.

            Functionally, most people will never know, only a small minority. As such, most are satisfied users. The same holds true for iOS media buyers. Functionally they will never care because they are satisfied users. This is very much to Apple’s credit and why the industry will likely always impose tighter restrictions on Apple than not. And likely why Amazon, up to now, does not face the same restrictions since they did not sell their own devices. If Amazon’s or Google’s own devices ever reached the same affect, I will bet you just about anything that the RIAA and MIAA will start imposing similar restrictions.


          33. I can understand Apple getting credit for user satisfaction, to the point of user obliviousness, or even apathy, to what ‘might’ be happening to them. Kudos to them for making themselves so likeable to customers. What I don’t understand is customers defending them for taking things away (whether it’s Apple acting alone or in collusion).

            Like many things, it’s complex. I try to distill complexity to fundamentals to the best of my ability. In the case in question, streaming is making us lose a lot of things we had previously come to expect. Can I indeed lend a movie to a friend? Can I buy a new device and have my media play? You never had to worry about your DVD’s if your player broke. You could buy a new player, from ANY brand and watch your DVD’s.

            Sony was rightly crucified for their rootkit fiasco. They deserved the outrage and the lost faith of their customers. It wasn’t only for installing software onto a computer (a reverse ‘curation’? Hmmm…) but also for preventing programs from running ( a real ‘curation’), that is ripping an album to mp3. Ripping owned cd’s was actually found to be legal, under ‘fair use’.

            Here’s the thing. Apple sells me the movies. Both Apple and the MPAA member companies are making money on this. Apple is also steering people towards downloads and streaming (no support for Blu-Ray, removing optical drives, for instance). They are literally discounting a couple of dollars, at most, for the cost of the media. Where did the latitude of content go? As far as being mad at the right people, I am, I’m mad at both.

            All I was saying before is that, if the MPAA forces you to DRM, then you owe it to me to make the DRM available on my other devices, as they do with Windows. The Fairplay itself is proprietary, it’s not just having keys and codes.

            In summary: Much latitude has been taken away, while the companies are still getting paid in full. This while optical media is being removed, and which incidentally contributes to lock-in. Why wouldn’t Apple like it?

          34. (MPAA, right, thanks for that correction). First, no one “owes” you anything. Second, obviously the MPAA disagrees anyway. MPAA still only allows some content for iCloud. Do you really think Apple is artificially restricting anything?

            “Collusion” can only occur between peers. Obviously neither the MPAA nor the RIAA sees Apple as a peer. That latitude you think you had was never there. You didn’t lose anything. Content is king… period, even for Apple (witness TV, too).

            As long as the RIAA and the MPAA does not see all digital _file_ as equal, there will always be discrepancies in what devices can play what files.

            SOME people might have disliked what Sony did, but the only potential legal action they faced was installing software, nothing else. Have you even noticed if there is any copy-protection on CDs now?


            (edit: Blu-ray is not just an optical drive, it is MPAA licensing.)

          35. Not so sure about collusion being between peers. You could have a retailer colluding with a supplier to manipulate all sorts of things.
            Yes, I know Blu-Ray requires a license. So? AT premium prices I expect Apple to either pay it, or pass it along as an option.

          36. I think it is far too simplistic to say _a_ license. But it probably goes against your agenda too much to actually find out what it entails. You might discover Apple was right!


          37. As I remember some of this discussion from my past, one of the issues the industry faces is the fact that computers are involved. All those non-computer players, drives, and blank media pay royalties. Computer hard drives have historically been exempt. It was held that MP3 players are exempt because they rely on the computer for their files and aren’t considered recording devices. Blu-ray, for some reason, gets to enjoy a different set of rules from CD and DVD drives.

            So my take is as long as Apple makes devices that are exempt from royalties and chooses to sell content, the industry will always expect far more onerous agreements with Apple. It will be interesting to see if this continues with Google, Amazon, and Microsoft should any of their devices gain the traction Apple’s devices enjoy.

            As for fair use. I’m no lawyer or student of law, but my understanding is that it isn’t so much that personal use is legal, it is more that it isn’t illegal. Nor is there any requirement for any media company to make it easy for you to copy, even if for personal use. But circumventing copy protection is explicitly illegal.

            Being mad at Apple is being mad at the wrong player. The music and movie industry would not be hurt if Apple no longer sold content. Tell me again who has the power?


          38. Ya know, I wish I thought of this earlier in our thread…
            When Jobs came back to Apple, and made it in his image, where did he come back from? That’s riiiight! Pixar! When Pixar was sold to Disney, who became the largest Disney stockholder? Right again! Jobs!
            Could it be that Apple IS Hollywood?
            Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂

          39. Which is probably largely why ABC and Disney until recently have been the easiest to get on board with Apple initiatives vs THE REST OF THE INDUSTRY! But they are hardly enough of the industry to say Apple is Hollywood.


          40. Okay, I downloaded the App. It did update the few Disney movies I bought from iTunes. This is a move in the right direction.
            Still, I want possession. Fortunately Disney permits download of the movie. What I will be testing is whether the movie will play ‘off the grid’.
            Thanks for the news.

        2. “Lock-in is well documented”- klahanas

          Only in your head.

          “Believe only that for which there is adequate evidence.” ~ Annonymous

          It’s just as hard to move from Android to iOS as it is to move from iOS to Android. And it’s perhaps even harder to move from Windows to Mac. Yet people are moving from Android to iOS and from Windows to Mac.

          “I can explain it to you, but I cannot understand it for you.” ~ Annonymous

          Like I said, you got nuthin’.

          1. You’re not listening…
            You can stay in Android and buy from any manufacturers. You CANNOT stay in iOS and not buy from Apple. And since you’re not even acknowledging the specific lock-in examples I gave you, it appears you’re being intentionally obtuse.

          2. Thats right. No one other than Apple makes iOS hardware for a reason. Apple tried that with the 3rd parties making Mac’s over a decade ago. It was a failure. Again, If you have a problem with that Apple is not the right platform for you.

          3. Good for Apple, not even an issue with Apple enthusiasts, non-existant for the technically uncaring, but a big problem if you want your device, and content, to be all it can be.

            Edit: That is, you’re less locked in outside of Apple.

          4. “non-existant for the technically uncaring”

            All the programmers I know use Apple gear and love it, and they’ve all got Masters degrees in Computer Science.

            “you’re less locked in outside of Apple”

            Not really, it’s just easier to sell you the illusion of freedom when you have multiple vendors. Looks like you bought it.

          5. How does being able to buy hardware from different vendors prevent you from being locked into Googles ecosystem? Oh that’s right, it dosn’t. You are creating a strawman argument and it’s beating you so badly it should take up professional boxing.

          6. Because you may be ‘locked into’ Google for the OS, but not into any one hardware manufacturer. You don’t have to use Google Apps, you can buy from multiple stores (thus no censorship), etc.

            Strawman? Harldy! Would it make you happy if I said ‘far less locked in’?

          7. Oh, this is about winning…
            If you think I care about that, go right ahead.
            My ‘box’ is bigger than your ‘box’. So there! (with raspberries).

          8. Your own arguments defeats your claims, you create the Strawman and then go and show why your claim is false. I’m just point it out in the hope of improving your reasoning, it’s a free service.

            Your welcome.

          9. But unlike Android, I won’t spy on you, track you every action, read your emails and sell your private details to the highest bidder.

            Hmm Android, a free service where you get less than you paid for.

          10. You’re alright… I don’t stick up for Android, except for factual information. To me Android is more like a PC than iOS is.

            All the Google services are opt-in. You can even get a version of Android without any Google services. That actually supports my point, latitude.

            Meanwhile on iOS, I pay (a lot) AND get told what I can and cannot do.

          11. Okay. This is basic math.

            With Apple you are locked into:
            -An Apple device
            -An Apple OS
            -Exclusivity in shopping with the Apple Store.
            -Apple’s proprietary, non-interoperable, DRM.

            With Android you’re locked in to:
            -A Google OS
            -Google’s proprietary, but broader, DRM

            Feel free to count.

          12. So your really trying to argue that if you buy an Apple device, that counts as being locked in! Really! I mean, your trolling me now right? I so hope you are.

            Btw, since you can side load apps on IOS devices as proven by that being the only way to get apps before the apps store, you second point is false.

            As for DRM, you know full well that that was mandated by the copyright owners and it has been Apple pushing them (successfully in the case of music) to get rid of it.

            Still yet again you admit your locked into Googles ecosystem.

            In the return, Strawman wins in the second.

          13. Yes, I am absolutely saying that ownership of an Apple device locks you in.
            Can you run what you want? Can you get Apps and media from other sources? Can you watch iTunes purchased movies on an Android device? If Apple angers me as a customer (they have in my case) can you buy a non-Apple iOS device? Can I get the breadth of hardware choices from any one company?

            As far as putting the blame of DRM solely on the copyright owners, if you get in bed with the devil…

            That DRM could just as easily been cross platform. They have no problem rejecting DRM on Blu-Ray on OSX, because it allows them to keep control.

          14. “You can stay in Android and buy from many manufacturers. You CANNOT stay in iOS and not buy from Apple”

            Dude, no one who owns an Apple device feels sad because they can “only” buy an Apple device. It’s a premium device. Saying that iOS owners can “only” buy Apple hardware is like saying that BMW owners are sad because they can only buy tires from BMW.

          15. I bought several Apple devices for me and my family (well over $11K), and I feel exactly like that. Wanting and limited.

            I’m on my fourth BMW, and if I could only get tires from them, I wouldn’t.
            I’m also not afraid to criticize some of the bone headed things they do.
            I also don’t feel compelled to ridicule Mercedes, Lexus, or Audi. Rather, they are viable alternatives should BMW *iss me off.

            Same for Android, If Samsung or LG do something, I can buy elsewhere. I don’t have to buy new air fresheners, GPS maps, and I can still buy gas from my favorite gas stations.

            Finally, I implore you, don’t call me ‘dude’. 🙂

          16. “You can stay in Android and buy from many manufacturers.”

            Which is because, as I’ve long contended, they are all effectively making and selling the same thing. That’s not real choice.


          17. Though I don’t necessarily agree, then you have even less of a real choice ‘within’ any one vendor solution. Can’t have it both ways.

          18. I have always claimed I can choose to buy from Apple or someone else, just like any product. My choice is not constricted.


          19. What in the world are you talking about? I have the exact same choices you do. I can buy iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry, or whatever else is out there.

            You keep trying to fabricate an argument that just doesn’t exist.


          20. And yet some how my first hand experience shows I am not restricted in any of my choices. Hmm.


          21. Every aspect of your life is restricted in some manner. It’s just that iOS is restricted in ways that don’t benefit you. But you are obviously perfectly fine with other systems that are restricted in different ways (Android for example), but those ways do benefit you, they align with your needs. It’s really that simple. You are continually making an argument which is in essence a complete fabrication.

          22. My take is lock-in is largely a myth, at least how klahanas is using the term. What Google or Apple mean by lock-in is strategically different. To jump from one platform to another has actually never been functionally easier and certainly never been financially cheaper. I take what Apple and Google means by the term is more convenient integration of products and services. Kind of like ordering room service form the hotel restaurant. But there is nothing inhibiting one from jumping out of line to use others’ products or services (I’ve often had pizza or other food delivered to my hotel room).

            Apple fully supports the ePub format. Amazon supports it by putting their wrapper around it, thus making it unusable in other e-readers. Everyone has their take on things. People line up with what suits their interests. As you say, no one feels sad about buying an Apple device. If it didn’t suit them, they wouldn’t buy it. That’s what frustrates klahanas. That so many people disagree with him, obviously they are being “duped”. It couldn’t possibly be because people are actually _satisfied_ with Apple’s offerings.


          23. Just saw this.

            The flexibility, freedom, and responsibility of ownership that the PC gave us is the standard to which I hold all computers, and this is the root of my objections.

            I can be far more forgiving of deviations based on technical reasons that those that are by design,. Those I see as simply self serving and logically irreconcilable, no matter how benevolent.

          24. I assume you want to keep the baby.
            I don’t think you would like the same restrictions on your Mac (the one’s it has are enough ;-), so do mine), so why would you tolerate them on your other computers? Especially the iPad.

          25. There are no restrictions. You keep talking about these supposed ill-conceived restrictions. But I get everything done on my phone and tablet I want to do on them. I am not restricted in any way. Same with the Mac. If I ever faced any restrictions I would buy another device that did not restrict me.


  8. The iPad Air Was my very first tablet from Apple. I am one of those ultra satisfied costumers who TRULY love the iPad Air and one of the millions who are buying the newest iPad Air 2 as soon as it lands here. No question! Samsung is priced the same as the iPads here, which makes us think whether the iPads are as expensive as people think they are or Samsung have gone completely insane.

    I am sure once one buy a Samsung tablet and survive Touchwiz they have to come to terms they will never have the latest Android version installed. I am done with Samsung. I do think Nexus nine will be nice, though.

  9. Stop trying to defend, sugar coat the inevitable John. The tablet market has (iPad included) nearly lost its spunk.

    Using your own graphs and charts to refute you above:
    1. From a high price of 650 Usd, the ave price for tablets has gone down to a whopping 80-95% down of 350 (plus or minus). That was just in a span of 3 years and 2 quarters!

    2. From a high growth of 180% it is now zero % to a possible negative growth % as your chart clearly indicates. What is somehow suspect is how come your data conveniently missed the other groth trends for other tablet manufacturers. Hmmmnn..

    3. How did you come up with the 5 Billion per quarter sales when the avg selling price for all tablets have been steadiling dropping down? In connection with the sales (shipments) growth you have posited? Really would like how your arrived at the figures because you have not credited the source for this chart.

    And I kind of hate your argument to downplay Ipad / Tablet markets dismal performance by comparing it to PCs. A red herring/ non seqitur at best. Whats it got to do with this article anyway? So its a good sign their still outselling another form? Did it have a meaningful comparison? Apples to oranges. (Meh). The way I see it you’re trying to “spin” and and make the situation for the tablet market less unforunate. Ipad sales/tablet sales are falling. Period.

    Really John, Im really beginning to believe you’re an Apple PR or what not.

    At least have the decency to disclose in your footnotes mate.


    1. As you say, I listed all the negative aspects right up front and even included graphics. I don’t think I’m downplaying anything.

      As to the 5 billion number, it’s from the quotes or the charts, it’s not my figure.

      Finally, I think I’m taking the minority position here. The many articles I cited argue that I’m wrong. Perhaps I am. But, as I say in the article, declaring peak tablet doesn’t feel right to me. Tablets rose so fast and then suddenly stopped. Yet the iPad is loved and adored and has ridiculous satisfaction numbers. It feels to me like we’re missing something. But time may prove me wrong.

  10. Now that we have fiscal q4 results, looks like fiscal 2013 was 71.1 million total iPads sold while fiscal 2014 is 67.9 million iPads sold. So a bit less than five percent down from 2013. Now, it’s possible this is a levelling off of iPad sales at around that 70 million per year mark. That’s impressive, and as I’ve pointed out many times, it makes the iPad on its own the world’s largest PC maker. But, this feels more like a transition, a temporary plateau. Time will tell.

  11. Some quick back of the envelope calculations:

    Based on Apple’s recent results and Cook’s statement that 50% of iPad sales are to new customers, the installed base grew by about 3% last quarter: 6M new users into a 200M installed base. That is pretty good growth in a pre-launch quarter (and if the installed base is lower, the growth is even higher). For the past year, growth in the installed base is probably 15-20%

    At this point I think a 3 year replacement cycle is a reasonable assumption (though it’s too early to know for sure). There were 58M iPads sold in FY2012 (almost all of which were iPad 2’s). That represents about 85% of the iPads sold last year. If Apple also adds about 10M new users, the decline in sales growth ends.

    1. That’s an interesting point. Apple users have long expressed the usable life of a Mac as outlasting the life of a Windows PC. It is not difficult to see this as playing out with the iPad and the impact that has on iPad growth. How many new users are being added vs upgraders.


  12. Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog. Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Many thanks

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