Pardon my headline, but I thought I would take a few moments to join the technorati elite and cough up an eye catching title that totally belies the content of an insightful article. It’s all the rage these days.
To hear the media pundits tell it, Apple’s iPhone 6 is causing iPad owners to leave their iPads behind, to collect dust. So says Liam Tung in ZDNet.
How is that possible? The iPhone 6 models have bigger screens, the iPads have bigger screens, so why bother with an iPad when an iPhone 6 will do.
There is plenty of wrong logic in the analysis, but assuming that larger iPhone screens are siphoning away some iPad sales is not one of them. Apple doesn’t mind a little cannibalizing so long as all the products involved in the carnage are sold by Apple.
Are iPads not being used as much because of all the larger screened iPhone 6 models? There’s no data to support that, either tracked or anecdotal. I have an iPhone 6 Plus which I dearly love (fat fingers, older eyes), but that doesn’t mean my iPad Air gets less use. It certainly isn’t collecting dust, and with iPads garnering well over 80-percent of tablet usage worldwide, Apple’s ‘tweener product doesn’t seem to be suffering.
So, why are iPad sales down instead of up? Why are tablet sales down instead of up?
Apple hit a home run with the iPad, and too many tech prognosticators are comparing the iPad to the iPhone when the comparison should be made to the Mac instead, a far more mature product. That’s right. The iPad is a more mature product than the iPhone, despite being younger in years. iPhones get used more, are more mobile (living in a pocket is about as mobile as a device can get), and the purchase cycle for users is far more frequent (don’t ask for numbers, but you know I’m right). Not so with the iPad which behaves more like a Mac, so isn’t as upgraded as often as an iPhone.
Remember, Apple has sold nearly 300-million iPads in a little over four years, and no other tablet manufacturer dares to tell publicly how many they’ve sold because of all the potential embarrassment. By contrast, over the same period Apple sold less than 70-million Macs, and yet Mac marketshare is growing, and sales are at an all time high. That’s All. Time. High. Record levels.
What will happen to the iPad is obvious. Sales will settle down to a more predictable level each quarter, somewhat seasonal as with similar products, and we won’t hear any more talk of iPads collecting dust, because the tablet market, iPad included, is far bigger than the market for Macs.