Gadget fans question why Apple is still churning out new iPads (2024)

When Steve Jobs first introduced the iPad back in 2010, he claimed that it would be more powerful than a smartphone and more convenient than a laptop.

However, more than a decade later, the iPad doesn't seem to have lived up to this promise.

As smartphones have become larger and more powerful, iPad sales have tumbled - making up only six per cent of Apple's revenue this year.

Despite this, Apple hit the headlines this week after unveileing a new iPad Pro and iPad Air.

This has left some gadget fans on social media asking: who is still buying iPads?

Since the launch of the iPad in 2010, sales have fallen away from their initial peak - leading many to ask: 'Who is still buying iPads?'

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When it first appeared, the iPad was Apple's most successful product launch to date, shifting more than a million tablets in less than a month and selling 25 million in a year.

But since that much-hyped release, the product appears to have steadily fallen out of favour.

In the second quarter of 2024, Apple revealed that revenue from the iPad dropped 17 per cent from the same time last year - falling to £4.48 billion ($5.6bn) from £5.36 billion ($6.7bn).

Likewise, sales of iPads fell by 25 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

While Jobs predicted that the iPad would carve out a niche between the iPad and Macbook, this may be one of the few times the Apple founder missed the mark.

According to research firm IDC, there were approximately 1.1 billion smartphones sold globally in 2023, while only 130 million iPads and other tablets were sold.

While the tech giant raked in a staggering $23 billion quarterly profit in 2023, this was largely down to rising iPhone sales. iPad sales, meanwhile, fell by 10 per cent and have continued to fall into 2024

This comes as Apple announces a number of upgrades to its line of tablets, including a new iPad Pro (pictured) which will be Apple's thinnest product

This suggests that tablets may simply be an inferior choice of tech when compared to the convenience of increasingly capable smartphones.

And, according to some gadget fans on social media, the iPad really isn't worth buying.

On X (formerly Twitter), one tech enthusiast wrote: 'Who tf is still buying iPads??'

Another asked: 'People are still buying iPads? Barring graphic designers & bad parents nobody needs an iPad.'

Meanwhile one commenter added that 'people buy iPads just to realise that they don't need an iPad.'

On X, formerly Twitter, gadget fans questioned why anyone would want to buy an iPad

Some commenters believe that the iPad doesn't perform any specific task well enough to carve out a niche between a laptop and a smartphone

Some commenters even expressed regret at having bought an iPad

The iPad does still have its defenders on social media, including those who claim that it is a good option for taking notes.

One student wrote on X that the iPad had 'been a game changer'.

They added: 'No need to carry heavy books. Make notes on iPad and access it from any device you want. Searching for specifics in my study notes has never been so seamless.'

Another commenter claimed that 'Lawyers are in fact lining up to buy iPads.'

The commenter noted that the tablets were much more convenient in the courtroom than carrying bags of files or documents and they were a 'huge relief'.

However, the iPad does still have its defenders with some claiming that it is a good tool for students to take notes

One social media user even claimed that lawyers are 'lining up to buy iPads' due to its convenience

Apple may be hoping that the larger screens and powerful processors of its new iPad line could lure in more customers looking for an upgrade to their old tech

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At Apple's recent'Let Loose' event, CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company was still ready to invest in its line of tablets.

Mr Cook called the event 'the biggest day for iPad since its introduction' and unveiled some major upgrades for the iPad Pro, iPad Air and iPad accessories.

The iPad Air has been given a significantly larger option in the new 13' model for those who want more screen space without the cost of the Pro model.

Both the 11' model, costing £599 (US price$599), and the 13' model costing £799 ($799) also get the M2 chip.

According to Apple, this should make both models about 50 per cent faster than the 2020 model which ran off the M1 chip.

But the biggest upgrades were reserved for the iPad Pro which will now feature the new M4 chip.

The new iPad Pro 13' i just 5.1mm thick, making it the thinnest product available from Apple and much thinner and lighter than previous models

The biggest change is the inclusion of the M4 chip in the iPad Pro, this is supposed to be 50 per cent faster than the previous M2 chip

How much do the new iPads cost?

iPad Pro

  • 11 inch - £999 ($999)
  • 13 inch - £1,299 ($1,299)

iPad Air

  • 11 inch - £599 ($599)
  • 13 inch - £799 ($799)

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Tim Cook called this 'an outrageously powerful chip for AI' and promised that it would be at least 50 per cent faster than the older M2 chip.

The iPad Pro is now also significantly thinner and lighter than before and now has sharper displays courtesy of what Apple callsthe Ultra Retina XDR.

The 11' model costing £999 ($999) is 5.3mm thick while the 13' version at£1,299 ($1,299) is only 5.1mm thick - making it Apple's thinnest product.

The Magic Pencil, Apple's £129 ($129) stylus, also gets haptic controls in the form of a 'squeeze function' and the ability to roll the pencil to change brush shapes.

Those prone to losing their pens will also be relieved to know that the device is now compatible with the Find My feature.

The Magic Keyboard attachment also received some attention, getting an aluminium exterior and a larger trackpad which Apple claims 'feels just like using a MacBook'.

Apple also revealed upgrades to the iPad's accessories such as the Magic Pencil (pictured) which now features haptic controls and compatibility with the Find My feature

Meet the new iPad Pro: the thinnest product we’ve ever created, the most advanced display we’ve ever produced, with the incredible power of the M4 chip. Just imagine all the things it’ll be used to create. pic.twitter.com/6PeGXNoKgG

— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) May 7, 2024

Despite the iPad's poor track record, analysts are positive that this could be a step in the right direction.

Paolo Pescatore, an analyst atPP Foresight, told MailOnline: 'The new line-up includes significant improvements that will appeal to a broad range of users, consumers and businesses alike.

'Importantly, this comes at a time when current iPad owners will be looking for an upgrade.'

Mr Pescatore notes that the options of a bigger screen and a more powerful chip could be a powerful incentive for customers looking for an alternative to their current tech.

He adds that this 'represents a final step closer to ditching the laptop altogether given the slew of new features and multitasking capabilities.'

The inclusion of the M4 chip also stands out as a particularly strong selling point due to its AI potential.

This powerhouse chip is supposedly 400 times faster than the M2 when it comes to graphics and boasts a 'neural processor' for AI faster than anything on the market.

With Apple's Developer Conference next month, it is possible that the company could be ready to reveal more AI-based upgrades to put this hardware to use.

Gadget fans question why Apple is still churning out new iPads (2024)

FAQs

Is Apple doing away with iPads? ›

Apple did not release a new iPad in 2023, affecting declining sales. The company plans to streamline its cluttered iPad lineup by discontinuing older models and introducing new ones next year. The upcoming models include an iPad Air with an M2 chip and a larger size option.

Is the iPad 9th generation being discontinued? ›

Apple has officially discontinued the 9th generation iPad, marking the end of an era for the iconic home button on its tablet lineup.

What iPads have been discontinued? ›

iPad
ModelAnnouncedDiscontinued
iPad (5th generation)March 21, 2017March 27, 2018
iPad (6th generation)March 27, 2018September 10, 2019
iPad (7th generation)September 10, 2019September 15, 2020
iPad (8th generation)September 15, 2020September 14, 2021
6 more rows

Is the iPad Pro being discontinued? ›

Apple plans to discontinue the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with mini-LED backlighting in 2024, according to a recent report from Taiwanese research firm TrendForce, suggesting that the tablet will not remain in the lineup for a reduced price following the launch of the rumored 13-inch iPad Pro with an OLED display next year.

Is a 10 year old iPad obsolete? ›

Vintage iPads are not quite obsolete, but they don't receive full support from Apple. They may receive small updates, including bug fixes. Apple's official definition of "vintage" is that they've been unavailable for sale for five to seven years.

How long do iPads last before they are outdated? ›

iPads generally have a lifespan of about 5 years. Keep your software as up-to-date as possible. Plan to replace your tablet every 3 years. Reference Table 1 below to determine if your iPad is still supported.

References

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