posted by Caitlin O'Connell
Apple’s newest iPad model, the iPad Pro, is set to release on November 11th and, with Apple recently reporting a 20% decline in iPad sales, it will be interesting to see if the new tablet puts things back on track. In preparation, we investigated the current market share of the iPad and what that may mean for the iPad Pro.
Much like our state of the iPad report from last year, the iPad 2 remains the most adopted model, with 20% of the current market share. Interestingly, Apple’s most recent models, the iPad Air 2, the iPad mini 3 and the iPad mini 4, have a combined share of just 12% of the market.
This is not a surprise: iPads have a longer lifecycle due to the lack of a two-year contract that iPhones require. Additionally, when new models are released the prices of the older models drop, making those models more attractive to buyers.
The question now is: will the iPad Pro make a dent in the market? The vague answer is possibly. The iPad Pro is the first iPad in recent years to make significant changes from its predecessors, most notably in the size of the device. Its screen size is a whopping 12.9 inches, a 25% increase from the previous ‘Air’ models and a 39% increase from the ‘Mini’ models.
Localytics previously reported on the increasing size of smartphones and the rise of the phablet craze. According to our research, larger screen devices have led to more app engagement and up to 34% more time spent in app. As apps continue to grow in popularity and necessity, it makes sense for Apple to provide users with a larger screen device with the new, large iPad Pro.
Additionally, iOS 9 may be a big driver in adoption of the new tablet model. iOS 9 was released on September 16th and has had its share of ups and downs. Despite that, of the devices eligible for the upgrade, 64% of iPhones have upgraded to iOS 9 while 54% of iPads have the newest operating system.
The best features of the new OS (picture in picture, slide over and split view) aren’t available on the older iPad models, so it’ll be interesting to see the effect of the new device on iOS 9 adoption once it’s launched. This may be Apple’s way of encouraging users to upgrade to newer iPads, like the iPad Pro, where all three features come pre-programmed.
Early adopters have not been kind to iPads the way they have been to iPhones. The iPad Mini 4, which was released on September 9, 2015, had just a 0.2% adoption rate in its first month. All of the models released in the last three years have had low adoption rates in the first month, with the exception of the iPad 3rd gen which had very little competition at the time. As more models have been released, users seem to have found the lack of differentiation between models as a reason not to upgrade.
This is where the iPad Pro has a great opportunity. Apple has been positioning this device as one for business purposes, an emerging territory for the tablet market. With accessories such as a stylus and detachable keyboard, Apple is transitioning from a consumption-centric device to one with an emphasis on work capabilities. Perhaps this transition will also prevent the tablet from being phased out by the ‘phablet’ by providing services that a phablet can’t. Apple has made the adjustments. Now all they can do is wait and see if people respond.
Localytics is the leading lifecycle engagement platform across more than 2.7 billion devices and 37,000 mobile and web apps. Localytics processes 120 billion data points monthly. For this study, we examined over 50 million iPad devices. For the iPad adoption data, Localytics examined the relative percentage of iPads one month after each device’s release. For the iOS 9 breakdown, Localytics examined all devices that are eligible to upgrade to iOS 9, excluding the devices that automatically included the new OS version on the device.
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