iPad growth slowing-some thoughts

It has been clear for several years that iPad growth is slowing. The linked article discusses some of the reasons. I want to share from a IT persons point of view why this is the case.

People are initially excited about new technologies from Apple. I think there was a bit of halo effect on the iPad since people though it would be as revolutionary as the iPhone was. Unfortunately for many reasons, it just didn’t turn out that way.

  • Unknown life of iPad. The iPhone had a known shelf life. People tended to upgrade their cell phones every 2 years or so, so the iPhone was always able to run the newest applications. However this wasn’t the case with the iPad.

For example, I had a client who wanted to use an older iPad in her kitchen. She bought a mounting bracket and when that was done, she discovered that due to the age of the iPad it wouldn’t run her favorite apps. So she had wasted time and money on something that wasn’t supported. Most people expect an iPad to always run apps, but when the iOS updates, or certificates change, you may find yourself with an iPad that doesn’t do much.

  • Speed and functionality inconsistent. The average family or person may buy multiple iPad but not necessarily at the same time. When this happens, you tend to get iPad with different abilities. For example, one client bought a generation 1 ipad, and then a generation 2 iPad. When it came time for an iOS update, features were dropped for the older iPad. So that meant that she had to use a specific iPad for specific functions. People don’t want to have to remember limitations, they just expect it to work as long as it accepts the iOS version. OS versions should not confuse people.
  • Macbook air is so compelling in features. The price difference and difference in features between a iPad and Macbook Air is just so large, it doesn’t make sense to buy an iPad if you can only afford one. Even rich people were questioning the need for two devices. Not having a perfect voice recognition system really held the iPad back from being a Macbook Air replacement. Apple dropped the ball for decades on voice recognition.
  • iPad is becoming the Apple watch. People didn’t like the Apple watch and didn’t buy it. They felt the price was too high. I agree. I would not buy an apple watch when it starts at $600. I probably wouldn’t buy it at $100. For me, and I have said this before, technology should make your life easier. Having to charge a watch everyday is an annoyance and not easier. If it had wireless charging maybe, but even then, it needs voice recognition. Really Apple, for being one of the first computers with a voice, why have you been so silent all these decades?

I could go on, but I’m glad to see people coming to their senses and rejecting the limited and disposable nature of iPad’s. As long as Apple provides some kind of laptop, or equivalent where you don’t lack features or flexibility, I will buy it. If apple decides to dumb down its OS, then I will have to jump ship. We aren’t idiots Apple, and we don’t need to be locked out of devices that we own.