Analysts are all over Apple for its latest numbers of iPad sales. Wall Street expected 20 million iPads to fly off the shelves in the latest quarter but Apple only sold 16 million. This leads to speculation that the company is doomed as it can no longer persuade enough buyers to scarf up new iPads.
First and foremost, selling 16 million iPads is not a bad thing. That's a lot of iPads sold in a market where it seems everybody already owns one. You see iPads everywhere you go, and it's no surprise to this writer that consumer sales of them are slowing down.
It's called market saturation, and it's due to Apple's selling 210 million iPads to date. That figure was thrown out by Apple while sharing the "dismal" sales figures.
Samsung, Apple's biggest rival in the tablet space, has sold a lot of tablets, too. Put them together and it's a safe bet most buyers who want a tablet already own one. Sales must slow as a result of that alone.
The number of iPads sold to date is a staggering number. Selling 210 million of anything is rare in an industry where the product retails for hundreds of dollars. It's no wonder Apple's profitability has been so high for so long.
Going forward, that you see iPads everywhere you go may keep sales lower than in the past. The iPad is not cheap and is no impulse buy. Current owners are not likely to upgrade to the latest model. It doesn't help that customer satisfaction is always high for the iPad according to Apple. Why upgrade when you like the one you have so much?
Tablets are not for everyone, and we may be hitting a wall given the staggering sales of iPads the last few years. Most likely a high percentage of those wanting a tablet already have one. That's why you see iPads everywhere. While not everybody owns one, most who are a good fit for a tablet probably do.
So blame Apple for the tablet sales slump. It sold so many for so long that chances are prospective buyers already have one. They love it dearly, too, so they're not likely to swap it for a new tablet, iPad or otherwise. Samsung, Apple, and other tablet makers are thus scrambling for a tiny piece of the remaining tablet pie.