The ASP is important to Wall Street, although not to customers; the latter uses the number to gauge Apple's margins, and thus profitability. The ASP has been in decline for nine straight quarters, which has concerned investors.
The ASP would turn upwards if Apple sold more larger-size iPads rather than the 7.9-in. Mini. And that may be in the cards, according to researcher IDC.
Previously, IDC predicted that 8-in. and smaller tablets would peak this year at about 57% of the market, then slide back slightly the following years as more buyers opt for larger-screen smartphones.
"We expect larger-sized tablets to enjoy a modest resurgence as more people buy large-screened phones, eliminating the desire for a small-screened tablet," wrote analyst Tom Mainelli in a research note.
Apple will hold its fourth-quarter earnings call Monday, Jan. 27, starting at 2 p.m. PT.
Apple's two newest iPad models, the Air and Retina Mini, accounted for nearly 60% of all its tablet sales in the fourth quarter, according to a research firm. (Data: Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.)
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