iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 Not Able to Turn Around Apple’s Tablet Slump

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Apple continues to see a slowdown in sales of its tablets, with the number of iPads sold declining last quarter by 18% year over year. This continued a trend of lowered sales extending for several quarters of 2014.

Apple CEO Tim Cook with iPad Air 2

Apple CEO Tim Cook with iPad Air 2

There were 21.4 million iPad and iPad mini units sold in the final three months of last year, compared to the 26.0 million bought in the same quarter of 2013. This product line brought in $9 billion, down from $11.5 billion.

The company does not break out how many of each type of tablet it sells, so there’s no way to compare how well the smaller models compared to the full-size ones. There has been speculation that the iPhone 6 Plus phablet is lowing demand for the iPad mini, something CEO Tim Cook indicated was a possibility during a phone call with investors yesterday.

Apple introduced the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 last quarter, but obviously these did not produce record-setting sales, possibly because they are seen as mildly updated versions of their predecessors.

Tim Cook Remains Bullish

During the conference call with investors, Apple’s CEO essentially repeated what he’s said in each of the previous quarters that saw declines in tablet sales: he remains optimistic about the iPad, and says that sales aren’t growing as quickly as they once were because people who already own an older iPad are slow to upgrade to a newer one.

Cook also said during the call, “Here is what I see when I look at it and the reason that I’m so optimistic. I see that the first time buyer rates are very high. And so by very high, I mean that if you look in some of the developed market like the U.S., Japan, the UK, you would find that 50% of the people are buying an iPad for the first time. If you look in China, it’s over 70%. And so that – when you have that kind of first time buyer rates, you don’t have a saturated market.”

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