A decline in sales is leading Apple to make an attempt at revitalizing its iPad tablet — possibly by introducing new models. The company plans an event Thursday, just a month after the company debuted the iPhone 6.
Apple is preparing for an event near its Cupertino, California, headquarters. It will reportedly then show off new models of the iPad, as well as its Mac computers, as well as providing updates on the release of Yosemite, the next upgrade to the Mac operating system. It’s been almost exactly a year since Apple held an event in which it debuted the iPad Air.
Some observers are speculating that Apple might announce an iPad with a nearly 13-inch screen, to go along with the current iPad models that have a 9.7-inch screen, and the iPad mini, with its 7.9-inch display. A more remote possibility is that Apple might also introduce an updated Apple TV set-top box.
When we reached tech analyst Patrick Moorhead of Austin-based Moor Insight & Strategy, he said that introducing a bigger iPad might be a good move, but a larger model would need some extras to work.
“I believe a larger iPad makes a lot of sense,” Moorhead said. “With a larger iPad though, I would expect some kind of Apple keyboard or stand to go along with it. With a larger iPad, you get more uses for it, like being able to multitask better.”
The iPad is still one of the top sellers among tablets. But recently the product’s performance has been mixed, and in fact Apple’s own data say its sales are flagging.
Apple’s fiscal third-quarter results reported that it sold 13.3 million iPads during the quarter, accounting for $5.9 billion in revenue. That number represents a decline of 9 percent, and revenue fell by 8 percent as compared with the same period a year ago. In April, Apple also reported year-over-year declines in unit shipments and sales for the iPad.
Apple is scheduled to report its fiscal fourth-quarter results on Oct. 20. Analysts have estimated that the company will report a profit of $1.30 a share on $39.9 billion in sales for the quarter ended in September.
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Moorhead pointed out that while multitasking is more associated with PCs or Macs, Apple has a strategic advantage with the iPad, given its robust ecosystem. Also advantageous for the company is Apple’s ability to get the iPad to do what it needs, such as developing applications to take advantage of the larger display.
“Ironically, a larger iPad with a keyboard or a stand starts to sound like Windows-based 2-in-1s,” Moorhead said. “I have always liked the concept of 2-in-1s, and if Apple were to bring one out, I think it would ignite the overall category.”
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