Apple is expected to suffer its worst quarter yet for iPad shipments. According to one report, it will ship just 9.8 million units in Q1 2016, which is a drop of 39.1 percent over last quarter, and almost 20 percent from Q1 2015.
iPad demand has been falling for some time, but Apple will have been hoping that the iPad Pro and a new iPad mini — introduced last fall — would have reversed that. Unfortunately, the devices have done little to help, and sales continue to slide.
Of the 46.65 million tablets shipped globally during the first quarter of this year — down 28.6 percent on quarter and 8.6 percent on year — Digitimes Research expects just 21 percent of them to be iPads, while Samsung devices will make up another 14 percent.
Lenovo tablets will account for 7.2 percent, and Amazon Fire tablets will count for 5.8 percent. Devices from Huawei, Asus, Microsoft, LG, Acer, and TCL will account for less then 5 percent each.
Interestingly, Digitimes expects 7-inch models to be most popular, making up 35.4 percent of shipments. 7.9-inch tablets are expected to account for 13.8 percent of shipments, while 9.x-inch tablets — like the iPad Air — will count for 23.8 percent.
11-inch tablets and above, including iPad Pro, will count for just 10.8 percent.
Apple is expected to introduce a new iPad Air 3 next month, alongside the iPhone 5se. As one of its most popular models, this could boost sales slightly, but it seems unlikely the device will have a major impact. Apple will likely have to wait until the fall for a larger boost.