It is Apple’s philosophy to maintain its business model in the high-margin territory. If sales grow stagnant, then it just delivers a bigger, faster product that is more expensive. That was the play with the iPad Pro. But it seems sales of the beefier tablet have been less than stellar.
While the numbers might look disappointing, they’re exactly what Apple wanted out of the iPad Pro—a high-margin product that doesn’t need to sell large numbers to make a profit. This is a business model Apple has perfected over the years.
The iPad Pro was sold concurrently with the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, which could run up to well over $1,000. It was never going to outsell the iPad Mini (priced as low as $270) or even the iPad Air ($400), but selling at two or three times the price, it doesn’t have to.
According to market research firm IDC, Apple sold 9.26 million iPads in the previous quarter. That was tops among all tablet manufacturers. Samsung came in second with 6.5 million tablet sales.
Apple again led tablet market share with 21.5-percent, up from the 19.6-percent it held in the same quarter last year. That might be seen as a positive but when you look deeper, not even the iPad Pro could stop the sales slide for iPads, which were down 6.2-percent overall.
Interest in tablets continues to slide
Overall, Apple is still the top tablet maker and will be for the foreseeable future. Apple just has to worry about the waning interest in tablets as the PC experiences a renaissance.
The iPad Pro is the perfect example of the conundrum consumers are facing.
Do you want a highly functional tablet, with multiple accessories and a touch display, but one that is ultimately running mobile software? Or do you want a computer with a built-in keyboard and computer software?