Motley Fool’s Adam Levine-Weinberg says Apple’s market
share lead in tablet computers has crumbled, and iPad sales growth has also ground to a crashing halt. Meanwhile, tablet rivals, including particularly Amazon.com and Samsung, are gaining momentum,
closing the quality gap with Apple and offering lower price points. Levine-Weinberg contends that “unless Apple can deliver vastly improved iPads later this year, the iPad’s growth days are over.”
Is he right? In support of his contention, he points out that less than two years ago, the iPad absolutely dominated tablet space, still claiming nearly 70% of the tablet market in mid-2012,
while Android tablet manufacturers were struggling to make any headway at all. Moreover, the iPad mini, which debuted in October, 2012, was expected to further gel Apple’s tablet market dominance.
Instead, Levine-Weinberg observes that the opposite has occurred, and despite the addition of the iPad mini, overall iPad unit sales growth slowed to 22% in 2013, combined with a sharp drop in
average iPad selling price. This has resulted in Apple’s tablet revenues growing only an anaemic 3% in the company’s 2013 fiscal year. And in 2014, iPad demand appeared to fall off a cliff after
the holiday season.