The iPad isn’t growing anymore. In fact, it’s reversing. “What happened?” asks Jean-Louis Gassée in the Monday Note blog.
Gassée wrote last week about the (then) pending release of Apple’s Q1 2014 quarterly numbers. Overall, revenue was expected to be down slightly from last quarter (not surprising after the end-of-year holiday buying frenzy), while profit share should tick up.
The one “glaring exception” to this rather predictable and ho-hum report is the iPad figures, which are predicted to be down.
“In the same quarter for 2013, the iPad’s year-on-year growth was about 55%. Some of this phenomenal growth was due to a rebound from earlier iPad mini supply constraints, but that doesn’t explain the precipitous drop from 2013 to this year,” Gassée writes.
(Note: The actual Apple Q1 figures, just released, show an even worse-than-predicted performance for the iPad.)
What’s going on with you, iPad?
Gassée has his opinion: “The iPad is a tease. Its meteoric debut raised expectations that it can’t currently meet.”
Specifically, at launch many dubbed it Apple’s second coming, the real “computer for the Rest of Us.” Its simplicity and ease of adoption among a wide range of user types made it the popular girl at the dance, with traditional PCs sitting on the bleachers cattily eyeing the upstart.
The problems started when power users tried to do anything productive.
“It’s difficult — impossible, really — to create a real-life composite document, one that combines graphics, spreadsheet data, rich text from several sources and hyperlinks. For such tasks, the Rest of Us have to go back to our PCs and Macs,” Gassée recalls from his early days of iPad usage.
Even Steve Jobs admitted that his new tablet would have to “find its place between the iPhone and the Mac.”
And that in-between space has been tough to stake out, as people look to Apple products to simplify, not clutter up, their work and personal lives.
The idea is grand; the execution leaves a lot to be desired. It will be interesting to see if Apple can really succeed in making this in-between space the land of the iPad, or if there even exists a big enough gap to justify a product market.