Apple iPad is losing the market share it enjoyed once and its not just the iPad, the whole tablet market is declining thanks to the ever shrinking line between smartphones, tablets and laptops. People are simply not buying as many tablets as they used to. Being a hardware-first company, it is very important for Apple to keep selling as many devices as possible. While their iPhone business is very strong despite a slight decline in sales, the iPad business has been constantly suffering for almost two years now. Apple has tried various ways to rectify this situations — latest one being the introduction of iPad Pro lineup which puts up company’s tablet in hands of a very lucrative market.
Another major issue Apple is apparently facing is that the previous iPad owners are not upgrading their tablets because tablets are usually household devices and the passion that drives consumers to upgrade their smartphones every year to two is absent in the tablet buyers. Furthermore, Apple has not offered anything innovative in their iPads since last few generations (apart from the iPad Pro which is very expensive). Now, the Cupertino-giant is trying another very risky plan to increase their iPad sales.
Apple has sold about 320 million iPads since its inception and about 305 million of these devices can run the latest iOS 9 operating system. The only iPads that can’t run iOS 9 are the iPad 1 devices launched in 2010 and some 15 million units were sold at that time. However, with the iOS 10 will drop support for iPad 2, iPad 3 and first iPad mini as well. According to data compiled by a mobile engagement platform in March 2016, this means that about 40% of the total iPads being used right now will become obsolete with the launch of iOS 10 later this year. iPad 2 and iPad 3 are some of the top used Apple tablets right now and they will no longer receive security updates and patches come iOS 10.
Apple is taking a risk here by leaving a major amount of their users hanging dry but this is probably a calculated risk that the brilliant minds in Cupertino are taking to people to upgrade their iPads.
Now the question is will the owners of these obsolete iPads upgrade to latest models or they will just leave it as it as and decide that tablets are not worth spending on anymore?
However, if the customers do upgrade to newer iPads, it could be a huge rise in sales for Apple, strengthening their foothold in the tablet market once again. Apple will obviously announce new iPads later this year as well along with the public release of iOS. Now, it all depends what kind of features trickle down from the iPad Pro lineup to the new iPad Air and iPad mini successors as these are the devices which most people will buy.