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Was Price All That Was Holding The iPad Back?


iPad sales posted their first year on year growth since 2013 last quarter, as reported in Apple's earnings call. As I mentioned yesterday the growth in units shipped was not matched by a similar growth in revenue. The average selling price of an iPad fell significantly.

This tells us that the success is entirely as a result of the launch of the iPad - a new entry-level device which was almost completely unheralded at launch.

It appears that Apple's customers aren't falling for the half-baked iPad Pro as a computer story and are seeing the iPad for what it is, a useful third screen for times when a laptop is too cumbersome and an smartphone isn't big enough.

This mirrors my own iPad experience completely.

What is intriguing is that the iPad Air and Air 2 - which the new iPads mirror at a lower price point - weren't a success. Which suggests that iPad buyers are price sensitive - a consideration which hasn't really been in play before. The narrative has always been that customers buy cheap Android tablets and expensive iPads.

Turns out iPad buyers are more price sensitive than originally thought.

Apple appears to have been somewhat guilty of believing its own hype. Ads that show iPad use cases that don't resonate with customers and pricing to reflect functionality which wasn't seen as a benefit to the buyer.

Whether the success of the new iPad causes a rethink in Apple's iPad strategy remains to be seen. The iPad Pro isn't enough of a computer for most users but too much of one for most iPad customers.

Time has come for Apple to decide what it wants the iPad Pro to be. A half-baked computer isn't the right answer, whatever some bloggers think.

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