If it's right Digitimes may just have sounded a clear warning bell for Apple. The research company claims that Apple is in line to rack up just under 11m iPad sales in the holiday season quarter, compared to the 16m that Apple reported selling for the same period last year.
That would represent a more then 30% drop in sales year on year, despite having gone all in on its new iPad Pro. Worse still it also represents a significantly larger fall than the tablet market as a whole, which is expected to be down around 25% year over year.
Now Digitimes may be some way from the truth (but its supply chain sourced figures have been pretty good in the past) and we know that Apple's big problem has been persuading contented iPad buyers to upgrade, but if Digitimes is right Apple will ship just 40m iPads in 2016, a fall of 20% from 2015. With sales shrinking faster than ever before Apple's failure to address the hybrid market properly looks ever more dangerous.
Right now Apple faces competition from Android tablets at the low end and Windows 10 tablets at the high end. With Microsoft's announcement of Windows 10 ARM earlier today those Windows tablets will go from being thicker, hotter and short on battery stamina; to svelte, cool and able to run an iPad to the wire on battery life.
All whilst running real Windows software.
That's not going to do anything to reverse the iPad slump.