Monday February 5, 2018 7:27 am PST by Joe Rossignol
iPad remains the world's most popular tablet by a significant margin, having outsold competing devices from rivals Samsung and Amazon combined last year, according to data shared by research firm IDC today.
Apple sold a total of 43.8 million iPad units in 2017, as confirmed by its quarterly earnings results, while IDC estimates that Samsung and Amazon shipped 24.9 million and 16.7 million tablets respectively on the year. The combined Samsung-Amazon total of 41.6 million tablets is 2.2 million lower than iPad sales.
Apple captured a 26.8 percent share of the tablet market in 2017, meaning that roughly one in every four tablets sold last year was an iPad. Apple's tablet market share rose 2.5 percentage points year-on-year.
Last week, Apple reported revenue of $5.8 billion from iPad sales in the fourth quarter of 2017, representing growth of six percent compared to the year-ago quarter. Apple's average selling price of an iPad was $445, up slightly from $423 in year-ago quarter, suggesting more higher-priced iPad Pro sales.
Apple's growth in iPad sales, albeit relatively flat, contrasted with the overall tablet market's 6.5 percent decline in shipments in 2017 compared to 2016. iPad has been the world's most popular tablet since shortly after it launched.
Waiting for an iPad mini 5? You may be disappointed. BGR, citing a source close to Apple, claims the 7.9-inch tablet is being phased out. The report doesn't offer a timeline as to when the iPad mini will be discontinued, and its sources couldn't confirm if the iPad mini 4 will remain on sale for a period of time.
Apple is rumored to introduce a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro as early as the WWDC 2017 keynote on June 5, so it's conceivable to think the iPad mini could be axed then if the report is accurate. Apple's tablet lineup would then consist of the iPad Pro in 12.9-inch, 10.5-inch, and 9.7-inch sizes, and the new low-cost 9.7-inch iPad.
Apple launched the original iPad mini in 2012. Since the iPhone 6 Plus launched in 2014, it's been speculated that the 5.5-inch smartphone may be at least partially cannibalizing sales of the iPad mini, but Apple doesn't break out its tablet sales numbers on a model-by-model basis, so it's hard to say for sure.
Japanese blog Mac Otakara claimed Apple would release a 7.9-inch iPad Pro in March with a Smart Connector, True Tone display, four speakers and microphones, a 12-megapixel rear camera with True Tone flash, and an improved processor, but it's already May and the rumor has yet to materialize.
Apple took down its online store early this morning as the company prepares to launch its special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in more than 40 countries and regions around the world.
Internet users attempting to access the store section of the U.S. site are being met with the familiar "We've got something special in store for you" placeholder, accompanied by a relaunch time of 8:01 a.m. Pacific Time, which is when Apple previously said it would officially be launching the new red colorway iPhone.
The PRODUCT(RED) iPhone 7 will be available in 128GB and 256GB storage capacities for the same $749/$849 and $869/$969 prices as the equivalent iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models in standard colors. The anodized aluminum's vibrant red finish has a white Apple logo and white front bezels.
Apple's new tablet, which it is simply calling "iPad", is Apple's new entry-level model at the 9.7-inch size, starting at $329 for 32GB and $429 for 128GB. The device will be available in more than 20 countries and regions.
The new 32GB and 128GB storage capacities for the iPhone SE will cost $399 and $499 respectively, replacing the original 16GB ($399) and 64GB ($449) storage capacities. All other specs for the smaller profile handset remain the same.
The new 128GB model iPad mini 4 with Wi-Fi will start at $399, which was previously the price for the 32GB model with Wi-Fi, which has been discontinued. A cellular model with 128GB of storage will also be available for $529.
Despite the unusually early shuttering of the store, it's very unlikely that it relates to anything other than updates to the online ordering process to reflect the new products, but we'll keep readers updated as soon as we learn more.
Apple's tablet lineup has now been narrowed down to the iPad Pro in 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch sizes, a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad, and the iPad mini 4. Rumors suggest Apple is also readying a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro with a narrow bezel design, which could be unveiled at a future Spring event, WWDC 2017, or even later.
Tuesday March 21, 2017 5:34 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple today announced that the iPad mini 4 now offers more capacity for the same price. The 128GB model with Wi-Fi now starts at $399, which was previously the price for the 32GB model with Wi-Fi, which has been discontinued. A cellular model with 128GB of storage is also available for $529.
Multiple new iPad models are being tested in Cupertino and the nearby Bay Area, potentially confirming rumors suggesting several refreshed iPads are launching in the near future.
New iPad model identifiers have been spotted in device data collected by mobile marketing company Fiksu and were shared by TechCrunch this morning. Four identifiers have been popping up in data logs, but that doesn't necessarily correspond to four new devices as WiFi and WiFi + Cellular iPads historically have different model numbers. Fiksu believes the numbers correspond to between two and four new iPads.
Below are the iPad identifiers that have been found along with their corresponding count, as provided by Fiksu. Only a small number of visits have been seen, which Fiksu says is "about the same number we see being tested about a month before release."
These identifiers are similar to identifiers for existing iPad Pro models, which are as follows:
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi) - iPad 6,7
- 12.9 inch iPad Pro (Cellular) - iPad 6,8
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi) - iPad 6,3
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro (Cellular) - iPad 6,4
At the very least, the presence of these identifiers suggests there are a minimum of two new iPad models in the works, in line with rumors suggesting Apple is working on both a revamped 10.5-inch iPad Pro that will effectively replace the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and a new 12.9-inch model.
The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is said to feature a nearly bezel-free edge-to-edge display that allows Apple to fit a larger screen in the same 9.7-inch form factor, and it is said to include an A10X processor and Touch ID built directly into the display.
Rumors sourced from reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo have suggested there are supposed to be three new models on the horizon, including a 12.9-inch tablet, a lower-cost 9.7-inch tablet (priced as low as $299), and the flagship 10.5-inch tablet, while Japanese site Mac Otakara has claimed Apple could be working on four iPads, the three mentioned by Kuo along with a 7.9-inch iPad mini Pro model.
Though Fiksu is seeing only four identifiers, it's possible additional iPads are in development but haven't been found in device logs as of yet.
On the other hand, it potentially indicates we're going to get a new 10.5-inch model and a new 12.9-inch model, with no new iPad mini or refreshed lower-end 9.7-inch model. This scenario doesn't fit Mac Otakara's prediction, but should Apple lower the price of the existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro, it does fit in with what Kuo has predicted.
Apple's new iPads could debut as soon as later this month, according to supply chain analysts who shared the information with MacRumors this morning. Apple may be planning an event or a release for late March, perhaps even as early as next week.
Update: Fiksu has released an additional chart that displays the count of new iPad models in its data starting in September. The number of iPad Pro models have been steadily ramping up, leading Fiksu to predict an "imminent" release date within a month.
Apple earlier this week reported that it sold 13.1 million iPads in the first quarter, which encompasses the holiday shopping season, down from 16.1 million in the year-ago quarter. As noted by Jason Snell at Six Colors, that's nearly half as many iPads as the 26 million that Apple sold during the same period in 2013.
Apple isn't the only tablet maker suffering from declining sales. The overall category continued to shrink by between 9% and 20% worldwide compared to the same quarter a year ago, placing pressure on Samsung and other vendors, according to the latest estimates from research firms IDC and Strategy Analytics.
Price remains a "key sticking point" for consumers looking to adopt high-end tablets such as the iPad Pro, which has created room for smaller vendors to capitalize on low-priced tablets, according to Strategy Analytics. Lenovo, for example, shipped an estimated 3.7 million tablets and grew 16% year-over-year in the quarter.
"2-in-1 tablets are a hot market segment but price remains a key factor in consumer behaviors around PC and tablet replacement devices, which is evident in lower shipments of iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4 devices in the quarter," said Eric Smith, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics.
IDC said the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini, rather than the iPad Pro lineup, continued to account for the majority of Apple's tablet shipments. For every ten slate tablets shipped, Apple sold only one iPad Pro, the research firm said. Apple does not officially break out iPad sales on a model-by-model basis.
Apple said it underestimated holiday demand for the iPad quarter, and that compounded a supply issue with one of its suppliers. Apple also drew down channel inventory by 700,000 units, so its results are not as bad as they look. Last year, Apple increased channel inventory by 900,000 units as the iPad Pro launched.
Apple also said the iPad has an 85% share of the U.S. tablet market priced above $200, so the tablet is doing exceptionally well in the premium segment that the company has targeted. iPad also undoubtedly remains the world's best-selling tablet, with a comfortable lead over its rivals, based on industry estimates.
Samsung was Apple's closest competitor with an estimated 8.1 million tablets shipped in the quarter for 12.8% market share, according to Strategy Analytics. Amazon, Lenovo, and Huawei rounded off the top five with an estimated 4.2 million, 3.7 million, and 3.4 million shipments in the quarter respectively.
As always, it is important to acknowledge that these are estimated figures, and that shipments do not necessarily reflect sales. There are also significant discrepancies between the IDC and Strategy Analytics datasets—particularly as it relates to Amazon—so treat the numbers with a proverbial grain of salt.
What if, like so much in technology, it’s mostly just additive, rather than largely replacing PCs and Macs, and furthermore had a cooling-fad effect as initial enthusiasm wore off and customers came to this conclusion?
One thing is for certain: consumers are not upgrading their tablets nearly as often as smartphones. In order to reignite iPad sales, Apple will have to add compelling new features that entice the large base of existing iPad owners to swap out their current "good enough" tablet for a new one.
"We've got some exciting things coming on iPad and I'm optimistic about where things are headed," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "Customer satisfaction is through the roof. iPad Pro at 99%. So I see a lot of good things and hope for better results."
Update: Strategy Analytics notified us that it made an error in its chart. The original graphic transposed the names of the 3-5 ranked vendors incorrectly. The chart above has the correct rankings. This article has been updated accordingly where necessary based on the adjusted information.
Tuesday January 24, 2017 7:37 am PST by Mitchel Broussard
Accessory maker Gamevice today debuted a collection of new mobile gaming controllers for the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPad Pro 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch, iPad Air, and iPad mini, which all come with updated thumbsticks, improved buttons, a lighter build, and a Lightning connector for simple connection to each iOS device. The original version of the controller launched for the iPhone 6s in 2015.
The iPhone 7 Plus Gamevice controller
Gamevice's controllers work by placing an iPhone or iPad into the space between each side of the controller, and connecting the smartphone or tablet to the accessory with the iPhone's Lightning port. The controller itself also has a Lightning port on the outside, so users can keep their iOS device charged while playing. When not connected to power, the controller is powered directly from the battery of the iPhone or iPad.
Like traditional gaming controllers, Gamevice includes two thumbsticks, a directional pad, shoulder buttons, four ABYX face buttons, and a menu button. The thumbsticks on Gamevice's controllers are horizontally aligned, similar to those on the PlayStation DualShock controllers. In addition to these features, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus versions of the controller have a headphone jack.
The iPad Pro 12.9-inch Gamevice controller
The full list of updates includes:
It’s lighter. The iPhone now powers Gamevice, meaning that it doesn’t need its own battery. What’s more, it draws no more power than headphones do.
It’s got Lightning. Out goes USB port, in comes a Lightning port - meaning that you can charge your iPhone and your Gamevice at the same time.
It’s ‘thumbier’. The thumb sticks have been upgraded to be more ergonomic and comfortable, giving improved control.
Full support for iPhone 7. Gamevice for iPhone now supports every iPhone since iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Its patented design turns your iPhone into a mobile video game console.
Within its own app on the iOS App Store, called Gamevice Live [Direct Link], the company has curated a collection of apps that support its controllers, now reaching over 900 games. Titles include Minecraft: Pocket Edition, Assassin's Creed: Identity, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, Bully: Anniversary Edition, and more.
The iPad Pro and iPad Air Gamevice controllers are available today on Apple.com, and the iPhone 7 and iPad mini versions will launch on January 31. All models cost $99.95.
Friday November 11, 2016 7:55 am PST by Joe Rossignol
Apple will launch a trio of new iPad Pro models in March, including refreshed 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch versions and an all-new bezel-free 10.9-inch model, according to Barclays Research analysts Blayne Curtis, Christopher Hemmelgarn, Thomas O'Malley, and Jerry Zhang, citing sources within the company's Asian supply chain.
In a research note obtained by MacRumors, the analysts said the 10.9-inch model's borderless design will allow for it to be the same physical size as the current-generation 9.7-inch iPad Pro. That means the display itself will need to have an edge-to-edge design, possibly signaling the removal of the Home button.
Barclays, like Kuo, expects the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro to be a "low-cost" model alongside the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which the analysts do not believe will be refreshed alongside the larger tablets. Instead, the research note said Apple will continue to produce and sell the iPad mini 4, released in September 2015.
Mac Otakara previously said the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will feature a True Tone display like its current 9.7-inch counterpart, using advanced four-channel ambient light sensors to automatically adapt the color and intensity of the display to match the light in the surrounding environment.
That report said all three new iPad Pro models will gain quad microphones, compared to the current dual setup, and retain 3.5mm headphone jacks.
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is also said to gain the 9.7-inch model's same 12-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera and True Tone flash.
More "revolutionary" changes to iPads, including a switch to OLED displays, are expected in 2018, according to Kuo's earlier report.
Monday October 31, 2016 9:14 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
While the iPad Pro lineup has increased Apple's tablet revenue based on higher price points, helping offset a lengthy slide in units sold, the latest data from market research firm IDC claims the iPad Air and iPad mini lines accounted for more than two-thirds of Apple's tablet shipments in the fourth fiscal quarter.
Apple officially reported 9.26 million iPads sold in the quarter, representing late June to late September, but it does not break down its tablet sales by individual model. IDC did not share its methodology behind calculating iPad Pro sales specifically, but vaguely notes that it uses proprietary tools and research processes.
Despite selling some 600,000 fewer iPads compared to the year-ago quarter, Apple's tablet revenue remained flat at just over $4.2 billion in the quarter. The reason: iPad Pros cost more. The higher ASP is important for Apple as the worldwide tablet market continued its slump last quarter.
IDC estimates tablet shipments dropped to an estimated 43 million units in the quarter, marking a 14.7% year-over-year decline. Apple led all vendors with 21.5% market share, up slightly from 19.6% in the year-ago quarter, while Samsung trailed in second with an estimated 6.5 million shipments and 15.1% market share.
Amazon and Chinese competitors Lenovo and Huawei rounded off the top five with an estimated 3.1 million, 2.7 million, and 2.4 million tablet shipments respectively in the quarter. Amazon saw explosive 319.9% growth due to its Amazon Prime Day sale in early July that led to a huge surge in shipments of its Fire tablets.
During its recent earnings call, Apple financial chief Luca Maestri said the company is "highly successful" in the tablet market, with 82% market share of premium tablets priced above $200. Meanwhile, IDC said other vendors are "racing to the bottom" with low-cost, sub-$200 traditional and detachable 2-in-1 tablets.
"The race to the bottom is something we have already experienced with slates and it may prove detrimental to the market in the long run as detachables could easily be seen as disposable devices rather than potential PC replacements," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC.
Monday October 3, 2016 6:03 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple will ship three new iPad Pro models around Spring 2017, including 7.9-inch, 10.1-inch, and 12.9-inch models, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara.
The report, citing "reliable sources," said the 12.9-inch model will feature a True Tone display like its current 9.7-inch counterpart, using advanced four-channel ambient light sensors to automatically adapt the color and intensity of the display to match the light in the surrounding environment.
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is also said to gain the 9.7-inch model's same 12-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera and True Tone flash.
The smaller 7.9-inch model, which will succeed the iPad mini 4, will likewise include a Smart Connector, True Tone display, four speakers, and a 12-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera with True Tone flash, as Apple works to standardize features across its tablet lineup, according to the report.
All three new iPad Pro models will reportedly gain quad microphones, compared to the current dual setup, and retain 3.5mm headphone jacks.
Today's report mostly corroborates KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who in August said Apple is planning to release three new iPads in 2017. However, his research note claimed the trio of models would include a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2, 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad.
Kuo made no mention of a refreshed 7.9-inch model. It has been speculated the iPad mini could be nearing the end of its line due to Apple's focus on its larger tablet lineup, and the belief that recent 5.5-inch iPhone "Plus" models have helped lessen demand for Apple's smallest tablet, but today's report suggests otherwise.
Wednesday September 7, 2016 1:34 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Alongside the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple has released a selection of new iPhone cases that come in new fall colors. Designed to fit the iPhone 7 with its larger camera and the iPhone 7 Plus with its dual camera setup, the cases are available in the standard leather and silicone materials for each device.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus cases are not yet available for purchase, but should become available for pre-order on Friday, September 9 when pre-orders begin for the two new smartphones.
To match the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus cases, Apple has also updated its line of Smart Covers and Cases for the iPad, offering them in the same silicone colors.
iPad Smart Covers and cases for the iPad mini 4 and 9.7-inch iPad Pro are now available in 16 different colors as some of the older shades have also stuck around. The new iPad accessories are available for order today and will deliver by September 10.
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