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iPad sales collapse? iPad mini leads to changes in buying behavior

John Cox | March 12, 2013
The iPad mini has changed the tablet market.

Purchases of the 9.7-inch iPad, now numbering about 3,000, at The Ottawa Hospital "have leveled off or decreased as we have largely covered our target population [mainly doctors] for full size iPad," says Dale Potter, the hospital's senior vice president strategy and transformation.

Currently the hospital is pilot testing 200-300 iPad minis, which could grow to a total of 2,000 by year-end for nurses and related health professionals. For both groups, the decisive element is the screen size. The doctors emphatically insist on the larger screen, the nurses equally emphatically on the smaller (they had been considering iPhones or iPod touches).

Abilene Christian University in Texas was a very early "mass" adopter of iPhones and iPod touches for incoming freshman, reorganizing and redesigning classroom curricula to take advantage of always-connected mobile touch computers. The iPad is increasingly part of this mix. Between August and December 2012, iPads of both sizes were 12% of the registered devices on ACU's Wi-Fi network.

"In looking at the monthly totals for January 2013 and February 2013, iPads represented 7.2% of the devices registered in those two months," says Arthur Brant, ACU's director, networking service. "I don't necessarily find this drop surprising, since most of our students register devices at the beginning of the fall semester."

"Beginning this fall a significant number of ACU classes will be requiring a tablet device -- an iPad," he says. "With this decision, I suspect we'll see a fair percentage of students bringing iPad minis because of cost."

Apple's current fiscal Q2 concludes at the end of March, with an earnings report due in April. That will provide some of the data needed to assess the trajectory of iPad sales.


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