Six years ago today Steve Jobs introduced the iPad on stage in what was arguably one of the best product demos from Apple or any other tech company for that matter. The hype was tremendous but the demo was low key.
Jobs plainly explained why the iPad needed to exist and where Apple believed it fit between iPhones and Macs, then offered an almost hypnotizing demonstration of what using an iPad was like. Highlighting the intimacy of the tablet, Jobs demoed the iPad on stage while comfortably seated for a full 12 minutes. If you’ve never watched the demo or haven’t seen it lately, queue it up and see for yourself how much it stands out from nearly every other product introduction.
Six years in, the iPad has matured from a single product to a whole product line with multiple screen sizes, price points, and even accessories specific to the tablet. iPad sales peaked two years ago, though, and that peak’s clearly not temporary like many believe it is with the iPhone. Even with a whole new display size with the iPad Pro, Apple saw year-over-year declines with iPad sales last quarter.
So how exactly have iPad sales been changing over the years, what has Apple done to address the product category, and what opportunities remain for the tablet family?