Apple store holiday 2012 banner (iPad mini)

During the June quarter, sales of Apple’s iPads declined fourteen percent from a year earlier. And as Mac and iPod shipments dropped, too, the iPhone stood out as Apple’s lone booming product – the company sold twenty percent more handsets than a year earlier.

Analysts and suppliers now speculate iPad shipments will keep on falling due to stiff competition in the table sector and the aging lineup – at least until Apple’s blockbuster Fall brings us an iPad 5, a cheaper iPad mini and maybe even a Retina iPad mini

For instance, Citi analyst Glen Yeung (via CNET) thinks the iPad is “losing ground fast” and projects a seven percent annual decline in September quarter shipments.

As for the fourteen percent decline in June quarter iPad shipments – 14.6 million units sold versus seventeen million units a year ago – that number is “in stark contrast to overall industry tablet growth,” he wrote in a note to clients yesterday.

Nevermind that the current iPads have been out three quarters so they’re tired products.

Apple Q212 (iPad and iPhone sales, WSJ chart 001)
Chart via The Wall Street Journal.

Yeung expects the iPad 5 and a low-cost iPad mini in the second half of 2013, but doesn’t think a Retina iPad mini is due this year. In fact, Citi previously claimed the device would get delayed amid ongoing manufacturing challenges (and more reliable analysts agree).

Even the hit-and-miss Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes last week said an “almost bezel-free” Retina iPad mini upgrade won’t see the light of day until Q1 2014, though the story backpedalled on DigiTimes’ previous October 2013 claim.

In the meantime, Google has just launched its second-generation Nexus 7 with Retina-grade resolution. As if that weren’t enough, a report this morning claimed Amazon has three exciting new tablets in the works, one of them ostensibly besting Apple’s Retina iPad with its 8.9-inch 2,560-by-1,600 resolution screen.

Nexus 7 (second gen, event 001)

No matter how you look at it, Apple can’t be happy that the new $229 Nexus 7 is Retina-fied because the same can’t be said for Apple’s $100 pricier iPad mini, whose rather paltry 1,024-by-768 screen now looks outdated.

Adding fuel to fire, DigiTimes in a new report today pegged September quarter iPad shipments at 10-12 million units. That’s another data point that indicates a further sales erosion as we approach the end of the current-generation iPad lifecycle.

In addition to seasonal factors and lacking new products, Android-based tablet price-cut promotions also affected Apple’s iPad shipments in the second quarter.

In the first quarter, global tablet shipments were about 50 million units, with Android-based tablets accounting for 27.8 million units, a share of about 50% and iPads accounting for about 40 percent.

According to estimates fromTrendForce’s display research division, WitsView, iPad share in the June quarter dropped to about 30-35 percent.

Reasonable watchers could note that it’s been nine months since Apple updated iPads so decelerating sales are the norm. After all, iPads and iPhones have proven to be prone to seasonal factors.

Apple Q213 (Apple vs others, WSJ chart 002)

From my vantage point, Apple may have shot itself in the foot because there would have been many more iPads sold had the iPad 5 launched in April.

While it could fend off competition and improve its market standing by discounting the iPad mini this Fall, Apple won’t see a marked sales improvement until a Retina iPad mini enters mass-production.

Here’s to hoping Tim Cook has not lost its mojo and will tap his supply chain expertise to carpet-bomb the market with refreshed gadgets soon. Otherwise, Apple’s Fall and Christmas quarters could disappoint and you don’t need me to tell you what dire implications this would entail for the company.

  • pauleebe

    What do you expect? The mini costs about twice as much as the competitor, and the chassis from the current iPad is almost 2.5 years old.

    The iPad 4 is a solid product, but besides from being heavier, faster, hotter and retina, there hasn’t been a new killer iPad feature.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      I’m kind of hoping that either the new iPad or new iPhone will get it’s own Mac Pro moment and be something that will really shock the world and push the boundaries of what is technologically possible. To be honest though like others have said other than better specs I can’t see what they could do to improve the iPad and as far as the iPhone is concerned all signs are pointing to an iPhone 5S with minimum new features…

      • Kurt

        “I can’t see what they could do to improve the iPad..” Of course you can. Think about following in the footsteps of Samsung and get an stylus on there. Enlarge the iPad to 13 inches. Sure many people would find it useful, but for graphic artists this would sell very well if it has pressure sensitivity. I’m really hoping for a larger ipad. For me the 9.7″ iPad is great, but it’s like Zuckerberg said, its not mobile. At first I disagreed with him, but for me, its true. It never leaves my home. the iPad mini is great as its very portable. Even if the iPad does go bigger, we can get split screen. Samsung and Win 8 both have it. I think Apple has some new features for us. Not just iOS 7 new UI and what has been shown so far. I think it will be features we will be excited about. They have had a terrible year so far in some markets. Here the iPhone has been free since last Dec and no one is buying it. I really think the iPad 5 will amaze us.

  • Andy

    To be honest, those who wanted an iPad since its original release would’ve got one already. There hasn’t really been any major features that would make an existing iPad owner to upgrade. I’m an iPad 2 owner and still perfectly happy with it. It’s not really Apple’s fault, the iPad functions very well and I can’t imagine what else they could improve on other than the usual faster speed, more RAM, improved camera capabilities, and of course, retina display on iPad mini. Additional features can be achieved from the software side. How about adding Calculator, Weather and PassBook for iPad users?

    • Ever seen the Surface RT line? It’s just as thick and heavy as the iPad, yet it offers far more functions in the same mass. Apple should do their usual copy-then-patent process on the Surface RT (or even better, the Pro) and add all the following external/software features it offers, in their own fancy way:
      – USB Drive
      – MicroSD Card Reader
      – Micro HDMI output
      – Digitizer Retina display with Palm Blocking
      – built-in support stand
      – Finder for iOS
      – Support almost all the USB peripherals Mac OS X supports

      That would be a iPad worth the upgrade, but probably won’t appear on the market for the next decade.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        That’s probably never going to happen. If you want any of the aforementioned features you’re better off buying a MacBook Air…

      • Neh, got the surface pro; saves me from having to carry two delicate devices.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        I suppose that’s all very well if you have the money to spend on a Surface Pro but for me even if I had the money for a Surface Pro I’d much rather spend it on a high spec laptop for example a MacBook Pro. Microsoft have got the pricing way too high for the Surface Pro. Consumers are probably much more likely to buy another tablet that comes with full Windows 8 as opposed to buying an expensive overpriced RT tablet or an even more ridiculously overpriced Surface Pro…

      • Lol, it offers the same performance as the Macbook Air in an iPad form factor, and you expect it to be priced like the iPad? Guess you value the Apple logo a lot over function…unfortunately, that’s not how the market works.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Not really. I’m simply stating that at the end of the day no matter what the specs are it is still an overpriced toy like all tablets. If you really want to get some work done and be productive a laptop is better. Obviously this is just my opinion and I have no factual evidence to back the above up but I have an iPad and also have a keyboard and have Pages but from experience have got a lot more work done on a PC or Laptop than I have on my iPad. The only thing I can see the Surface Pro being popular with is photographers since I’m sure they’ll appreciate the fact they can run full blown Photoshop on it and since it has USB’s can quite literally plug their camera’s into it and immediately start working with the images that they have just taken. That particular use-case is something I feel the Surface Pro could potentially accomplish better than any other tablet or even any other laptop simply because of it’s size and portability…

      • That’s one use of it. For me, it replaced my entire Laptop needs. Use it for everything from taking fine notes (like the iPad should support by now, but doesn’t) to writing programs to gaming/entertainment. Used it for over 5 consecutive months, during which I only turned on my old Laptop to acquire old data. Now, just preparing my old Laptop for sale…or might keep it as I miss the beauty of Windows Se7en Aero, lol

      • Kurt

        Do you find the screen size is too small? I think its a beautiful device but the height in landscape mode seems too small. I wish the Samsung Ativ Q dual booted in Win 8 and iOS…well, and Android for a triple boot would be perfect

      • At the full 1080p resolution, I do find the display to be too small as text appears very tiny. However, at 1600×900, I find it to be just right for my eyes; a lot more stuff fits on screen (compared to my old 13″ 1280×800 Laptop), yet they’re not too tiny to read from a normal distance. If such situation does arise (so far, hasn’t for the past 5 months) I got myself this (bit ly/15AsQIv) ~$10 CAN 3-in-1 displayport adapter to output to a bigger screen (on which I then use the 1080p resolution). Right now, only use the adapter when I want to enjoy a movie or netflix entertainment on my 45″ living room TV.

        It sure would be awesome if there were some iOS 6 emulator for Windows 8, would love the start screen to be less metro and more glossy. So far, no solution to that. BTW, there are android emulators for Windows.

      • Kurt

        Surface Pro is a nice computer. Awesome features, just a shame it doesn’t have nearly 1 million apps yet for the modern UI. I tried Bluestacks before but it was so laggy on my computer. Not sure if that’s a problem with bluestacks or my computer but I didn’t like it. So I decided to install ICS on my touchpad and for the most part it works really well. Some things don’t work like bluetooth but for the most part it runs well. I’ve looked for emulators for Android before but never tried, all the videos, no one had it running in full screen so I assumed it couldn’t which wasn’t what i wanted. Before deciding to go to the Note 3, I was thinking about buying one of those Android USB devices that plug into the screen directly. They work really well.

      • You mean the same Surface RT line that lost Microsoft $900 million? Oh, ok.

      • Yeah, simply cause the market is flooded with Android/iOS zombies who value the logo over the function. On top of that, Microsoft has a terrible marketing

      • Guest

        He’s probably talking about Surface PRo much more functional device that RT. the downside battery life.

      • No I’m referring to the Surface RT that was priced the same as the iPad, yet offered a lot more functionality in an ARM (dumbed-down) tablet.

      • Kurt

        The features and overall OS are much better than the iPad. But a tablet nearly all about Apps. And Apple is king in that department. If a company gave us the apps from iOS and features of win 8 or the Note tablets from Samsung then I would a fanboy in a heartbeat.

      • Kurt

        Samsung Ativ Q can dual boot win 8 and Android. I wonder when the iPad will do that. Maybe with a 13 inch iPad it will? I wonder how its possible for Samsung to do the dual boot. I know I’d like to do that on my computer. MicroSD card would be awesome if we can read/write to. between the 16gig and 32gig Nexus 7 it’s only 40 bucks different, instead of 100. If Apple would make the price scheme reasonable they can take back the losses they have been seeing in the tablet world. I used to think 500 for a tablet is no big deal. but now, for some reason, I think that’s too expensive for a tablet. Perhaps because tablets aren’t so useful, but sure are fun. Though I use my iPad and Touchpad both at the same time while i work. I’m rambling…

    • Yeah, Andy, that doesn’t make much sense. Tablet market is still booming and Apple sold 14 million last quarter. That’s nothing to sneeze at. Not everyone buys products at the same time. And the mini is very popular, probably accounting for over half of the full iPad’s sales.

    • Kurt

      “To be honest, those who wanted an iPad since its original release would’ve got one already.”

      I agree. I have the iPad 1. And I said I will buy another one as soon as they come out with an iPad with retina! But…I didn’t. I just felt like mine is still fine and the iPad 3 and then 4 didn’t offer anything useful to me. I have a 4S so I have a good mobile camera, I have Siri. What I don’t have is split screen multitasking or a stylus with a screen that can detect pressure sensitivity. These are features, as an example of course, that would make me want to upgrade. Now even with iOS 7 being beautiful, and I’m still stuck on iOS 5, will I say, “Maybe I’ll wait till next year” That’s what I keep saying since the new iPads seem to not offer much more. But I do see graphics suck on new games. I’ll be buying the Note 3, so I really don’t want to buy a Note tablet. Especially when the best apps are on the iPad. Tablets are all about apps. So iPad is the clear choice for me.

  • Pablo Rivera

    I just got Panorama mode on my iPod Touch 4G! How, you ask? Thanks to
    a new tweak called PanoMod! Now on the BigBoss Repo! Not only does it
    enable Panorama on non-supported devices, but you can also customize it
    as well. Released today on the BigBoss repo for free!! DOWNLOAD NOW!! Just wanted to spread the word

    • Jalop

      Please stop spamming on this website. There have been apps on the App Store for years that work with the iPod Touch 4th Generation that have been out for years.

      • Pablo Rivera

        sorry for the spamming just wanted to get the word out. Anyway this tweak enables Panorama within the actual camera app so…