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posted by n1 on Friday April 25 2014, @07:23PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the vintage-ipad-cool dept.

Christina Bonnington reports that the public is not gobbling up iPads like they used to. Analysts had projected iPad sales would reach 19.7 million but Apple's financial results for the second quarter of its fiscal 2014 show they sold 16.35 million iPads, a drop of roughly 16.4 percent since last year. "For many, the iPad they have is good enough unlike a phone, with significant new features like Touch ID, or a better camera, the iPad's improvements over the past few years have been more subtle," writes Bonnington. "The latest iterations feature a better Retina display, a slimmer design, and faster processing. Improvements, yes, but enough to justify a near thousand dollar purchase? Others seem to be finding that their smartphone can do the job that their tablet used to do just as well, especially on those larger screened phablets."

According to Andrew Cunningham the takeaway from Apple's sales drop in iPads is that Apple's past growth has been driven mostly by entering entirely new product categories, like it did when it introduced the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007, and the iPad in 2010 and that Apple needs an entirely new category to fuel future growth. "The most persistent rumors [of a new product category] involve TV (whether a new Apple TV set-top box or an entire television set) and wearable computing devices (the perennially imminent "iWatch"), but calls for larger and cheaper iPhones also continue."

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  • (Score: 2) by buswolley on Friday April 25 2014, @07:45PM

    by buswolley (848) on Friday April 25 2014, @07:45PM (#36290)

    iDesk

    --
    subicular junctures
  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 25 2014, @07:48PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 25 2014, @07:48PM (#36292)

    Yes! you guessed it right!

    • (Score: 2) by bucc5062 on Friday April 25 2014, @10:44PM

      by bucc5062 (699) on Friday April 25 2014, @10:44PM (#36389)

      I wonder, would it be controllable remotely from the iPhone? I see interesting experiences. Imagine, remote access set up via a web site where people could remotely operate the "device". Speed, movement...hmmm, better not say more, I sense a patent here.

      --
      The more things change, the more they look the same
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by RandomSchmoe on Friday April 25 2014, @07:50PM

    by RandomSchmoe (4058) on Friday April 25 2014, @07:50PM (#36293) Homepage

    Apple is due for a product in a new category. None of the rumors or guesses are very interesting.

    • Apple has never made a budget product, so they will never make cheap phones.
    • An iWatch would be a very small market compared to phones. If anything it would supplement the phone's features a bit, but that's all. Most people will not spend on a watch what they spend on a phone.
    • A TV with a great interface is the best prospect. High margin and in line with their offerings. But not what I would call "exciting".

    They should try a whole new market, like health care. It already looks like iOS 8 will contain an API and interface for individual health care stats which could launch a whole new market of home peripherals. But I think they should also go after the professional health care market. Imagine doctors with iPads connected to all their devices, collecting data and sharing them securely with patients and other doctors. That would be amazing if they do it right.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Tork on Friday April 25 2014, @08:00PM

      by Tork (3914) on Friday April 25 2014, @08:00PM (#36299)
      "An iWatch would be a very small market compared to phones. If anything it would supplement the phone's features a bit, but that's all. Most people will not spend on a watch what they spend on a phone."

      I don't agree with this. Well... I do agree that it's not an instant home-run, people will need convincing. You're right about that. But the part I disagree with is that people are already using their phones to consume new news nuggets. Maybe it's alerts about Flight 370, mabye it's Seth Rogan's latest tweet. Sooner or later they're going to make it easier to digest that news as it comes in. That can be conveniently done on your wrist or in your glasses.

      There is a demand there to cater to, I wouldn't write off watches yet.

      Sent from a satisfied Pebble Watch customer
      --
      Slashdolt Logic: "23 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by black6host on Friday April 25 2014, @08:35PM

        by black6host (3827) on Friday April 25 2014, @08:35PM (#36326) Journal

        I would also add that a wearable, such as a watch, is something that can be seen by others while you are out and about. It's my opinion that having something made by Apple is seen by many as a status symbol. Not all but that's hard to quantify.

        Something in the living room, like a TV related product, is not going to get that the purchaser that exposure. Their successful products like the iPod, iPhone, iPad etc can all be carried out and about. And seen and admired by those that are into that.

        Now, this doesn't mean that their products can't stand on their own merit, I own an Ipod, I love it. And there are plenty of folks who couldn't care less what others think, they're in it for the functionality, build quality or whatever. But it would be naive to disregard the social aspect of it.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Foobar Bazbot on Saturday April 26 2014, @02:02AM

        by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Saturday April 26 2014, @02:02AM (#36457) Journal

        I agree that both standalone and phone-slaved smart watches have mass-market potential. And I say that as someone who fairly recently started wearing a standalone smart watch*, and is all too aware of its limitations.

        *a MOTOACTV, which runs Android from the factory, with a custom launcher that only supports the integrated apps. Running a normal launcher, as I do, makes it function like any Gingerbread tablet.

        However, the big hurdle, and the reason Apple's next big seller won't be iWatch (IMO of course), is battery tech.

        The Pebble works around the deficiencies of current batteries by having e-ink, no sound, no WiFi, etc., and gets a claimed 1-week battery life, which is quite good. (I'm not sure where that claim lies on a scale of engineering to marketing, but the point is, you don't have to charge it every night, much less during the day.) I think the feature set is a bit limited for mass market, though being phone-slaved makes it much more palatable.

        OTOH, my MOTOACTV plays videos, surfs the web (over WiFi, bluetooth, or USB connection), and is my main audio player, but the price is an offline battery life of 5-6 hours, playing music and reading ebooks with the brightness dialed down. (Reading with no music, it lasts much longer, but still on the order of a day rather than a week; watching video at full brightness, I get just about 2 hours, and turning WiFi on makes it worse.) And the worst part, from a mass-market perspective, is that it's at the very upper limit of big clunky sports watches -- a more mass-market-friendly size means serious sacrifices in battery life.

        I think a successful smart watch will need to be between the Pebble and the MOTOACTV in functionality (e.g. video playback is superfluous, and e-ink may be enough, but I think music and a touchscreen* will be important), but close to the Pebble in size, and have battery life of at least two full days in "normal" use, whatever that is. Advances in processor performance/power will help, but IMO it needs batteries with at least 50% more energy density to happen.

        *I generally prefer hardware buttons to touchscreen interfaces, but the general public doesn't seem to agree. For a watch, specifically, I think a good choice would be buttons and touch, but rather than using the touchscreen as a virtual mouse, or to press on-screen buttons, apps would only receive tap (with no information as to where on the screen the tap occurred) and swipe (again with no position info, the angle being the only salient information) events. I'm afraid that such a thing may be too abstract for mass-market "iWatch" or equivalent, and too different from the UI of their other touchscreen products.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by TheGratefulNet on Friday April 25 2014, @08:44PM

      by TheGratefulNet (659) on Friday April 25 2014, @08:44PM (#36330)

      Imagine doctors with iPads connected to all their devices, collecting data and sharing them securely with patients and other doctors. That would be amazing if they do it right.

      amazing IF they could do it right.

      I'm 100% sure they can't. we have not learned how to secure networks, we have not even learned how to write secure CODE. clearly, we are not ready to let our MOST sensitive info get unleashed to those who want to spy and use info against us.

      I will not allow my HC info to be on electronic form if I can have any say in it. when my doctor wanted me to sign up for their 'e-health' pkg with my PPO, I gave her a quick lecture on how insecure our networking technology really is and how foolish anyone would be to trust their HC info to this.

      --
      "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hamsterdan on Friday April 25 2014, @09:36PM

        by hamsterdan (2829) on Friday April 25 2014, @09:36PM (#36362)

        " we have not learned how to secure networks, we have not even learned how to write secure CODE"

        Networks can be secured, MBAs and PHBs just don't see the need to spend resources and money on it. Same goes for code (that and people don't know how to code thanks to IDEs). Watch the C64 demoscene, it's obscene what people can do with those machines, yet we need multi-ghz machines to run a wordprocessor.

        • (Score: 1) by Teckla on Saturday April 26 2014, @12:17PM

          by Teckla (3812) on Saturday April 26 2014, @12:17PM (#36574)

          (that and people don't know how to code thanks to IDEs)

          What do IDEs have to do with the ability to code?

          • (Score: 2) by hamsterdan on Saturday April 26 2014, @03:44PM

            by hamsterdan (2829) on Saturday April 26 2014, @03:44PM (#36636)

            Like calculators, people rely too much on the software's ability to do things right. (ie: why we still have buffer overflows because inputs aren't checked properly)

            Back in high school, calculators were not always permitted because they didn't want us to rely too much on the tools.

            I'm not saying using an IDE makes a bad coder, but a bad coder can write code that "mostly works" using an IDE (and will have stupid bugs). I used to work with one guy, god the code was messy. The internet installation kit he wrote mostly worked, unless the costumer ran Win98SE (in that particular case, the software installed a DLL without checking the version already installed, and prevented the costumer's PC from booting)

            Not the IDE's fault, but the guy relied too much on the tools...

            • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Teckla on Sunday April 27 2014, @02:14PM

              by Teckla (3812) on Sunday April 27 2014, @02:14PM (#36863)

              Bad programmers write bad code in any language using any tools. There's no sense worrying about them.

              Good programmers, on the other hand, can be much more productive by leveraging good tools.

              Thus, tools that aid in productivity, like IDEs, should be used when possible.

              • (Score: 2) by hamsterdan on Monday April 28 2014, @04:06PM

                by hamsterdan (2829) on Monday April 28 2014, @04:06PM (#37252)

                Agreed, but my point is that it's easier for a bad programmer to write *mostly working* code using IDEs than compiling assembler on a 6809 (like we did in avionics classes back in late '80s). Maybe it's related to the fact it was avionics, but we had no choice than to structure the code and sanitize inputs (that and make the code light due to memory restrictions on the dev boards).

                Using tools (IDEs, calculators, etc) is good and helps productivity, I agree.

                I can add, multiply, divide and do fractions without a calculator (might not be as fast). Most young people can't even figure out how much tax to add to a price even if it's a nice round number like 15%.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28 2014, @04:06AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28 2014, @04:06AM (#37023)

          Years ago, after learning BASIC, I tackled Motorola 6809 assembly language.

          BOY IT WAS HARD!

          But when I leard how to program on the 'bare metal', my subsequent programming skills benefitted.

          I don't need a flowchart or a detailed outline to write code -- just a few notes if that.

          I CAN write assembler if I HAVE to but I rather not anymore (except for amusement) thanks to Microsoft's IDE-driven high-level language programing language suites which sweep all the 'heavy lifting' under a rug so you can concentrate on your custom coding and not the boilerplated 'busywork' all such programs need to compile and run.

          The code I write now is 'just enough' to get the job done as fast as possible. Take any code out and the program just doesn't run correctly -- no useless code at all.

          When you learn assembly, you learn to be EFFICIENT in order to write as FEW lines of code as possible to solve a given task.

          Now, however, I am in awe of Steve Gibsion of SPINRITE fame. He writes the Windows apps he has available at his website https://www.grc.com/freepopular.htm [grc.com] in 100% assembler! o_O; They are so tiny yet feature-packed.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Dunbal on Friday April 25 2014, @11:06PM

        by Dunbal (3515) on Friday April 25 2014, @11:06PM (#36402)

        Never going to happen. I'm a doctor, and you know why it's not going to happen? Every hospital is using its own software. Not only that, but departments in the same hospital are all using different software. Because Dr. X, the bigshot in Pathology, was sold ABCMedicalJunkware and he's too lazy to learn something else. Meanwhile Dr. Y in the pharmacy uses DEFPatientMeds because he's been using it since 1990. All the attendings of course are using Microsoft Office except Cardiology. Dermatology for some reason is using some Macintosh software. And everyone uses different programs on their smart phones and tablets. Of course the above is illustrative, but it's quite true. All these different programs are 0% interoperable. And then we come to the hospital accounting department that uses something straight out of the 1980's.

        And THEN I finish at Hospital A in the morning and head to Hospital B. And the software there is completely different.

        You'd have to ensure a single, interoperable standard. Good luck.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday April 25 2014, @11:01PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 25 2014, @11:01PM (#36401) Journal

      Apple has never made a budget product, so they will never make cheap phones.

      http://gizmodo.com/iphone-5c-apples-colorful-budge t-phone-is-real-1278630584 [gizmodo.com]

      Went over like a lead baloon, because part of being a fanboy is knowingly paying too much for equipment.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Saturday April 26 2014, @03:54AM

      by davester666 (155) on Saturday April 26 2014, @03:54AM (#36492)

      iWatch -> some analyst actually came up with the "high-end" version of it costing what, $1.5K Sure, people will be all over spending 8X what they paid for their phone for a watch that probably will at least partially depend on a connection to said phone.

      iTV -> I don't think this will happen. People are bailing from the TV market now, as margins go down and TV's last longer and longer. And all the companies with content are still VERY leery of Apple having any dominance, like they currently do with music...

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Tork on Friday April 25 2014, @07:57PM

    by Tork (3914) on Friday April 25 2014, @07:57PM (#36297)
    "iPad Sales Show Apple Needs a New Product Category" Actually it shows they need to ... innovate. I have an iPad 3 from 2012 and... I love it! The display is great, battery life is good, and the software still runs well on it. Would I like it to be lighter? Yes. Would I like it to use a lightning adapter? Yes. Would I like it to have a faster processor? I guess. Would I like it to have a fingerprint reader? Ummm yeah actually I would. Would I pay $600 to buy one with all those improvements? No. This is actually one of those products they did a really good job on, perhaps a little too good.

    So.. new category? Well... actually now I've written that, I suppose that would be a way to do it. I mean frankly I like the idea of the hardware stalling for a bit while they focus on something else because it means nobody in the App store is going to go "ha ha now you gotta buy new hardware to run my app!" It's nice, for a change, to not have to worry about the hardware rat-race. So if they let that go flat for a bit it works in my favor. But if Apple really wants me to buy a new iPad, then there has to be something about it that is super compelling. For me it'd be a 'pro' version that actually uses a Wacom stylus. Bam, you can have my $600 right now for that. How about a 13 inch iPad? Hmmm... maybe. Actually an iOS laptop, at least on a superficial level, is interesting to me.

    Okay, I'm not a product design genius. The point I'm making is that this isn't the sort of product you can just throw a faster processor in and get a whole new round of people buying it. If your sales are dragging, Think Different again.
    --
    Slashdolt Logic: "23 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by keplr on Friday April 25 2014, @08:02PM

    by keplr (2104) on Friday April 25 2014, @08:02PM (#36302) Journal

    Constant profits aren't good enough, our economy is based on constant growth. Worse, if you're not constantly increasing your rate of growth, you're considered a stagnating company. The only thing in nature which operates like this are cancers; which eventually kill their host organism.

    If there's some unfilled need, I'd be delighted for Apple to show us what that is. I have confidence they'll do a good job of it as they usually do. I don't think that was the case with the iPad. Apple didn't make a new market segment. They shifted people from traditional desktops and laptops to phones and tablets. Most people can get by with just a tablet. Sales are slowing because *everyone already has one* and they last a good few years at least. Apple iPads actually last a long time. The battery is the shortest lived component and Apple will replace those for much less than a new iPad.

    The iPad was successful because Apple was stealing market share from traditional PC makers.

    --
    I don't respond to ACs.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday April 25 2014, @11:45PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday April 25 2014, @11:45PM (#36423) Homepage

      Yes. Thank you, finally. We already have more gadgets than we need along with significant redundancy across them with regard to function. Also, thank you for pointing out that Apple did not "invent" those markets, those wheels were invented and already in extensive use when Apple's iGadgets came along. It's natural that people would have a need for a computer and a phone, and so choosing a Mac or iPhone makes sense to a lot of people because they're good (well, depending on your definition of "good") products. But good luck convincing people that they need that Apple-brand golf ball or guacamole knife.

      The submission itself is very good, however, the articles referenced were written from the perspective of people who were too stupid to dump their AAPL stock when ol' Steve-o kicked the bucket.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Lazarus on Friday April 25 2014, @08:20PM

    by Lazarus (2769) on Friday April 25 2014, @08:20PM (#36318)

    I recently powered up my Galaxy Note to take a picture when my new phone wasn't handy. It's still nice and quick, and does everything a smart phone needs to do. We used to see huge improvements, but it's all just incremental these days, so older devices deliver almost everything a newer one can.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by SrLnclt on Friday April 25 2014, @08:50PM

      by SrLnclt (1473) on Friday April 25 2014, @08:50PM (#36336)
      My thoughts exactly. I finally jumped on the smartphone bandwagon about 6 months ago, but plan on keeping my phone for at least 3-4 years before seriously looking at another one. Oh look - the newer version of my phone has a 3/4" bigger screen and jumped from 13 to 16 megapixals! Let me pull out my checkbook!

      Same thing happened with the PC/Laptop market years ago. Late 1990's if you machine was 3 years old you may have trouble running new software. Clock speeds, available memory, HDD storage - everything got significantly better every few years. Now it is tough to convince some people it is time to dump their 8 year old Windows XP machine.

      Now where do I sign up for that program from my mobile carrier where I can get a new phone upgrade 6 months after my last one?
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Lazarus on Friday April 25 2014, @09:30PM

        by Lazarus (2769) on Friday April 25 2014, @09:30PM (#36357)

        >Now it is tough to convince some people it is time to dump their 8 year old Windows XP machine.

        Yep, I now replace PCs when a motherboard fails, when I used to replace them because a new model 4x as fast would come out. They've been fast enough for most games and 1080p video for quite some time. If course I'd only use XP on a machine that's not Internet connected due to the end of support.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by frojack on Friday April 25 2014, @11:10PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 25 2014, @11:10PM (#36405) Journal

      We used to see huge improvements, but it's all just incremental these days, so older devices deliver almost everything a newer one can.

      This.

      As a product or service reaches maturity all advancements become marginal, and no single upgrade is really worth it. People still buy them, but more to follow the fad than anything else. Same is true of Cameras, Guns, Cars (of any given class), etc.

      You have to wait several product cycles to make the upgrade worth while.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Sir Garlon on Friday April 25 2014, @08:44PM

    by Sir Garlon (1264) on Friday April 25 2014, @08:44PM (#36331)

    Apple may "need" a new product category, but there is no evidence that consumers do.

    --
    [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
    • (Score: 1) by frojack on Saturday April 26 2014, @01:42AM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 26 2014, @01:42AM (#36449) Journal

      Apple may "need" a new product category, but there is no evidence that consumers do.

      Well there was precious little evidence that we needed smart phones either, Prior to their appearance around 2007. A few geeks pecking away at PDA's desperately seeking free wifi was as close as it came.

      Look again just 7 years later and see how smart phones have changed everything. The world wide penetration is phenomenal. 3D TV came and went in the same period. Electric cars have barely made any significant inroad.

      The more argumentative among you will humph, and say none of the change has been for the better, and the curmudgeon will insist his old land line is all that he needs.

      But the sales numbers and the penetration all say those views are wrong.

      Consumers (almost by definition) never recognize a need for something until it is available. Whatever is next will probably take us by surprise (again). There will
      be those that claim it is useless, drowned out by those clamoring for it.

      The definition of the word "need" is relative.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 1) by goody on Friday April 25 2014, @08:51PM

    by goody (2135) on Friday April 25 2014, @08:51PM (#36337)

    I interpret this to mean the iPad is a mature product. Furthermore, people don't change out their tablets like they do smartphones. It can be expected they're not going to buy new ones every two years, and how much more can you innovate a tablet that has a high resolution display, all the memory you need, and one button on it? Sure, you can cram more battery power and memory into it, but if it's mainly for content consumption, the applications aren't going to change dramatically and the device will probably be sufficient for quite some time.

    I love it how people elsewhere are spinning this as doom and gloom for Apple. Some theorize Apple needs to join the race to the bottom and make cheaper products. That's not what got them to this point, it's not their business model.

    • (Score: 1) by kaszz on Friday April 25 2014, @09:19PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 25 2014, @09:19PM (#36353) Journal

      iOS v8 will need terrahertz- and bytes of CPU and RAM to write the next Hello World :D
      Of course you will need a new substation because not only will this require a new charge cord and computer but also 560 Hz AC at 450 V..

  • (Score: 1) by grub on Friday April 25 2014, @09:51PM

    by grub (3668) on Friday April 25 2014, @09:51PM (#36371)

    Everyone who wants an iPad has one (or two) already. There hasn't been enough time to gauge a churn rate for replacements.

    --
    Trolling is a art,
  • (Score: 1) by bryan on Friday April 25 2014, @10:41PM

    by bryan (29) <bryan@pipedot.org> on Friday April 25 2014, @10:41PM (#36386) Homepage Journal

    The newest, and most popular addition to the iPad line is the iPad mini at $399. Now, I know that is quite a bit more expensive some Android lineups, but you have to do some mighty funky rounding operations to call $399 a "near thousand dollar" purchase.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 26 2014, @02:43AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 26 2014, @02:43AM (#36465)

      You can build an expensive one: http://www.apple.com/ipad/compare/ [apple.com]

      iPad Air + WiFi + Cellular + 128GB = $929

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by e_armadillo on Friday April 25 2014, @10:47PM

    by e_armadillo (3695) on Friday April 25 2014, @10:47PM (#36393)

    I love how critics are quick to try to extract the negative, or publicly give advice. From the earnings call, as reported by the BBC:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-27135110 [bbc.com]

    This was Apple's best non-holiday quarter EVER. So the iPad dipped? who cares? Apple knows that they need to continue to innovate, they continue to invest their R&D, from the BBC article:
    ". . . Apple has acquired 24 companies in the last 18 months in order to expand its research and development into new features and products."

    They are doing just fine and don't need Bonnington or Cunningham's input . . .

    --
    "How are we gonna get out of here?" ... "We'll dig our way out!" ... "No, no, dig UP stupid!"