Apple’s holiday quarter results came out today. It was a record quarter by most measurements, but a slight disappointment to stock analysts. They were looking at things like the next quarter’s guidance numbers. No matter to us users, though. Apple sold a lot of stuff and made a lot of money.
But one factor is getting a little bit of attention. iPad sales were down 25 percent from last year. I see a lot of people talking about this, but ignoring the obvious reason why: there was no new iPad. Simple as that.
The current iPad is the iPad Air 2, which came out in November 2014. Apple didn’t replace it with anything in 2015. Sure there was a bump to the iPad mini and a new iPad Pro, but those are variations to the main product.
If you own an iPad Air 2, there was nothing new to buy. There was no upgrade. The iPad Pro is a specialty product with a high price. I didn’t get one because I see it as being more for people with graphic talents than a coder/geek/hacker/gamer like myself. If I could draw, even just enough to make it a hobby, I would have been all over it. But otherwise my iPad Air 2 is the perfect tablet for me until the iPad Air 3 comes out.
So what’s in the future for the iPad line? Well, a successor to the iPad Air 2 is the obvious thing. I see it as being an equivalent to the iPad Pro with the 9.7-inch screen size. It will have force-touch and the Pencil. That’s why we didn’t get it in November. If they iPad Air 3 and the iPad Pro had the same features then many people would have passed on the Pro. The larger screen is an advantage and a disadvantage. By holding off on a force-touch and Pencil-compatible iPad Air, Apple gave the iPad Pro a chance to succeed.
I think the release date of the next iPad Air depends on iPad Pro sales. If they continue to be strong, Apple will hold off. If it looks like everyone that wanted a Pro got one, then they might as well go with a mid-year release of an iPad Air 3.
What do you think? Will Apple come out with a new Air soon? Will it be a medium-sized version of the Pro?