When the iPad launched nearly four years ago (way back in 2010), many tech pundits believed it was dead on arrival. It didn’t have a camera! It didn’t do anything you couldn’t already do on your iPhone! It didn’t have a real keyboard! As of June 2014 Apple has sold 200 million iPads making the iPad the reigning champion of the tablet universe. But will it always be the champ? Or do trends indicate that the iPads reign may be nearly at an end?
Will the iPhone 6 Plus Kill the iPad?
When Steve Jobs was alive, he had a rule about iPhones: keep them small enough to fit into an individual’s hand. With the release of the iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus, it’s clear that with his passing, that view has gone out the window at Apple. The iPhone 6 Plus is a monster with a screen height of over six inches and a width over three. Apple has clearly decided that it is time to do battle with the “phablets” that it’s competitor Samsung has created. The question now becomes: will consumers still buy iPads when their iPhones are nearly the same size as an iPad-mini? iPad sales have already begun to decline and iPhone 6 pre-sales are through the roof so the answer to the question, at least for now, seems to be: very likely, yes.
The Market Becomes Flooded with Cheap Tablets
Just in time for Apple’s new product launch, Amazon announced its own slate of new tablets, including three new Kindle Fire Models, including the brand new Kindle Fire HDX. Regardless of tech specs, these new Kindle Fires have one huge advantage over the iPad: they are cheap. The Fire HD is $99. The Fire HD Kids Edition is $149. Even the high end Fire HDX is only $379. Amazon is hitting Apple at one of their week points: Apple’s relatively high price point. The jury is still out on whether or not these inexpensive tablets will put a dent in the iPads dominance in the market, but it certainly seems like they might.
So what is the future of the iPad as phablets and cheap tablets flood the market? Murky. The iPad has been incredibly successful, but like anything, it’s future success is far from guaranteed.