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A Different Screen Size Isn't Going To Be Enough To Reverse The iPad Sales Slide

The iPad is a profitable business, however it has been relatively less profitable and less successful with each passing quarter, a run which stretches back nearly half its life. Having succeeded in persuading customers to find a home in their lives for a third screen, Apple has struggled to persuade those same customers to upgrade to a newer version.

Prior to the iPad Pro all Apple had to offer potential iPad upgraders a slight decrease in thickness and weight. Winning arguments for upgrading the phone you carry with you every day. For the tablet which sits on your coffee table or in your briefcase not so much.

The iPad Pro offered the first real sign of Apple trying to reposition the iPad as a computer. Its message was weak and neither Pro nor Pencil have been sufficient to halt the slide.

Apple needs to be more aggressive about making the iPad a computer - and minor tweaks to the industrial design aren't getting it there.

So the rumours of a 10.5" screened iPad, fitting the same dimensions as the current 9.7" aren't really going to set the world alight if that's all that has changed. Good though an edge to edge display might be to look at, it's going to be polarising in the way it impacts on the way you hold your tablet.

It won't be enough on its own to drive sales.

Microsoft and Windows OEMs have shown that tablets which are real computers are the one consistent growth area. Apple needs to start down the road of making the iPad a computer - and make good on the promise of the iPad as a computer which its marketing sells.

Personally I believe the minimum requirement to deliver this will be mouse support and the ability to drive multiple screens as extended workspace. This is an iPad which could get my credit card twitching. Anything less won't cut the mustard.