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The iPad Pro could turn around the long-running decline in iPad sales, says IDC


Market intelligence company IDC predicts that the worldwide tablet market will continue to decline, with the category as a whole falling 8.1% over the course of this year, but sees potential good news for Apple in 2016. It says that the ‘detachables’ segment – tablets with detachable keyboards – will nearly double in size next year, and that Apple is likely to be a key beneficiary.

“The transition to detachable tablets also ushers in two other key trends: the growth of Windows and a turnaround for Apple’s iPad device line,” said Jitesh Ubrani , Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “Though early reviews for the iPad Pro have been mixed, we believe the Pro to be the only reason for Apple to gain tablet market share in the coming years as they target select enterprise and prosumer audiences.”

However, it notes that Apple’s growth may be limited and temporary as Windows tablets and detachables experience dramatic growth … 

IDC’s forecast says that Apple will grow its market share from 24.5% this year to 25.8% next year, but then stagnate. Windows, in contrast, is predicted to grow from 8.5% this year to 17.8% by 2019. Android is predicted to be the loser, declining from 67% this year to just 56.5% by 2019.


Tim Cook has previously referred to the decline in iPad sales as “a speed bump,” and said that he “strongly predicts” that the iPad will return to growth.

iPad Pro photo: IGN

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  1. PhilBoogie - 7 years ago

    For that to work out they’ll ‘need’ to:

    1) Allow for apps like Safari to have two windows side by side,
    2) Allow one to search for a secondary app in Split Screen,
    3) Optimise all stock apps to make better use of the larger screen,
    4) Optimise the SDK so developers can easily do the same, and make that mandatory,
    5) Expand the stock apps with Weather, Calculator et cetera.

    Thank you.

  2. Alex Moran - 7 years ago

    The issue is limitations of iOS. Somehow I have a feeling (based mostly on wishful thinking) that iOS 10 is the real iOS that was designed for iPad Pro. If the next iteration of iOS makes at least the iPad Pro more capable, it can sell really well. I definitely do not want OSX on my iPad, but it needs to be a truly stand alone device.

    • PhilBoogie - 7 years ago

      Fully agree. And yes, putting OSX on it would be a stupid move; the device isn’t designed for that.

  3. Robert - 7 years ago

    A whole lot of people bought an iPad for very basic computing needs such as email. It replaced their desktop that they expected to last many years. These people have no plan to upgrade, unless for some reason it stops working.

    It’s not like a phone. The phone gets heavy wear and tear and is still for many upgraded frequently In connection with a contract that encourages upgrades.

    People need to stop judging iPad based on iPhone. The iPad business is still huge – bigger than Google’s advertising business!

  4. If only Xcode were available for the iPad I could probably dump my Mac laptop to do most my work on the iPad.

  5. Jake Becker - 7 years ago

    It’s all about apps…apps will make or break the product…

  6. freerange5 - 7 years ago

    IDC is rarely right about anything Apple. Enough said.

  7. technicalconclusions - 7 years ago

    I suspect that any gains Apple will see from the iPad pro will be offset losses from their failure to update the iPad Air line. As an example, I would have purchased an iPad Air 3. I’m not interested in the iPad Pro, so I will skip an upgrade this year.

  8. Brian - 7 years ago

    Duh. Chocolate might someday be a sweet treat.

  9. Pro? It needs to resemble a macbook on the level of the OS. IOS still missing an user-friendly, computer-like file system. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a decent file upload/download feature in Safari. Should you not be able to download a random cc mp3-song from the internet and put it into your iTunes library? How about those multiple user accounts? This is a computer-priced tablet. The login screen is a joke, anyone behind your back can pick up the numbers one enters, if you do not use your fingerprint to log in. And trust me, if you do any physical work with your hands, the fingerprint scanner does not work. Control center should be user-modified, some of us really need to switch bluetooth devices and wi-fi networks without entering pass codes or scanning fingers. These questions go unnoticed or atleast unreacted when converted into feature requests to Apple. I did some research and got my Android tablet to support almost every feature that an iPad supports. Including hand-off, call forwarding (you can make some awkward but from time-to-time handy phone calls with an android tablet). If Apple ever updates IOS to include all those missing features people really want, I’ll buy an iPad in a heartbeat. The beautiful design is not enough to convert me. However I do understand that some graphics designers and artisti might want to use an iPad Pro because of it’s exceptionally good pencil tracking.


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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