What most consumers don't see is the supply constraint on iPads behind the scenes. Retailers are asking for more iPads and can't get them - especially in particular colors. They're taking colors that don't sell as well just to keep iPads in stock. Apple under-forecasted on iPads and that has a lot to do with the slow sales. Even with these supply constraints, Apple still pulled off terrific Q4 numbers as highlighted by Tim Cook in their last earnings call. Apple is doing fine.
iPad Pro is great for certain tasks but to me it's not really Pro. If apple would work it out to run full OSX on it it would be game over for windows. I hate windows but the surface pro 4 is what my iPad Pro should have been. I love apple products but hoped the iPad Pro would have let me manage my photography workflow in the field instead of carrying a bigger laptop that is not touchscreen capable but it has no file system and can't run full programs I need. If apple doesn't give version 2 real Pro features I will be forced to move to Microsoft and deal with all the quirks of windows just to have the sp4.
As a artist , musician, designer, photographer, videographer, proctologist ....( ok, not proctologist ) ....;-)...I use and love Apple products. When I saw and tried the Apple pencil with the iPad pro...Wow...it was great!!!...but I already have a iPad...and I need a something that has more production value. What I want is a MBP that I can draw and paint with....run full FCP, PS, Painter, Logic, Apps...etc. Who said Surface Pro...?...Hummmm. I have wacom stuff...but to have a iPad pro that does it all...one device that does multiple things....yes....!!! I think Steve said that one time...;-)
IPad needs to be marketed for what it is, the perfect way for people that want info quickly and easily. It is not designed for those that want to build a computer or decide what command set they want to use. Being a PC user since the 80's when I first got my IPad I fought it tooth and nail. Then it dawned on me to let go and just use it and trust that Apple had a way to do what I needed. They did and today I rarely turn on my PC. Great machine for the elderly that wants to stay in touch with distant love ones and don't have the need or time to learn about drivers, filename extensions, which is the most effective virus program today.
I agree with Marco Marchant about iPads losing ground in education. I don't think it is necessarily because all education IT departments are committed to Windows. We started out with iPads in our 1:1 program, and before that we were a strictly Mac school. A Windows-centric infrastructure has never been an issue for us. However, management of iPads with Apple's tools is counterintuitive and cumbersome. Every time Apple promises a fix, it comes at the wrong time of the school year for timely implementation, and it falls short of what was promised. For example, look up the necessary steps to deploy a textbook to a group of kids. It is unsustainable for us, a small school, having to touch every single device and go through a 14-step process. It is easy to see why people are choosing Chromebooks even if they are flimsy pieces of plastic. Apple sees it, too, I'm sure, and still chooses to let education go.
The products, especially with cellular and lots of memory, are just too expensive. No amount of technology is going to help if the iPads are unaffordable.
In education, unfortunately, the iPad has lost its lustre because most schools' infrastructure is Windows based and IT departments only understand Windows AD. When you throw in advice which is supposed to be a personal one and is hard to integrate into AD, then you run into problems. Most institutions want to control the device (the case of the LA Unified School's System) and not only that, they also weren't satisfied with the device not having a keyboard, hence Chromebooks have been taking over. The entry price is also a major barrier for most schools even if the governments such as the Australian ones were injecting funds for a Digital Education Revolution. So, price and functionality within a network are the major barriers why the iPad will not cut it for the future. Apple really needs to employ educators with experience in order to see the real 21st century needs of educational institutions. Finger painting or writing is not an educational requirement. If Apple had really thought the device through for education, then it would have taken off like a rocket. As a personal home device the iPad is perfect also there are corporate trends where IBM is involved and are making good use of the device. Maybe the problem is education per se.
The issue isn't the hardware or software. It's perception and lack of understanding. So many people have these old iPads that are glorified iPod touchs and think that's the category iPad falls into. The iPad Pro is incredible and completely changed my perception of iPads. There isn't a friend or colleague I've talked to that's said "the iPad just lacks though it can't do anything" but then I show them split screen, Apple Pencil (myscript nebo for hand written notes, charts, math that convert to text), the keyboard with mac like shortcuts and how the experience is easier than mac ans they are always blown away and change their minds. I think people just don't understands what it does now. Microsoft office is on it if you want it, iCloud Drive makes it awesome, Apple Pay on the web, Apple Music, LTE, I could go on but it's late and I'm tired.
The iPad is an amazing device and I have sold my Macbook. The reason it won't return to growth is simply that people see their old iPads as workng too well. Spending money on the latest makes no sense with the functions you need from the iPad appear to be working well. While people feel this way, upon getting my iPad Pro I was amazed how much better the experience was over my 4th gen iPad.
The (typical?) Apple ecosystem of MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPad and Watch, with any one device no more than 3 years old, is relatively stable. If you start chasing the next version, then the expensive cycle begins before you have realised the cost return on benefit. Reduce the prices, will increase the upgrade of the ecosystem.
My first iPad (2) was I think $379. Now to get one with the needed storage I paid $1000 with Apple plus. I can get an android with same specs for $250. Not the same quality I'll admit or as good eco system. Also the iPad is functional for at least 4 to 5 years.
I figure most Apple customers will upgrade their iPhone most frequently, but after that, they’ll upgrade their Mac.
The problem here is the platform: due to its form factor, the iPad will always have but a subset of a Mac’s capabilities, and will thus be refreshed less often than a Mac or iPhone.
This is a tough pill for Apple to swallow, as I imagine their margins are higher on iPads than on Macs, but the fact is my dollar goes further with a real computer, which allows easier content creation and content editing, than does an iPad. A laptop might be a little less convenient for content consumption than an iPad, but its flexibility more than makes up for that.
The problem is that between the iPhone and MacBook and iPad and now an Apple Watch and maybe AirPods, there's enough of my money going to Apple that getting a replacement for those devices is becoming a significant investment. Thus far, the iPad still kind of sits in a limbo where it's functionality doesn't sufficiently differentiate itself from my iPhone, and its way too limited to replace my MacBook.