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Market headwinds to blow iPad sales back to 2012 levels

Gregg Keizer | Feb. 10, 2015
The iPad will encounter strong market headwinds this year, but Apple should sell more tablets in 2015 than in 2014, IDC said today.

Yet no one should weep for Apple if it sells fewer iPads; Apple isn't complaining.

The Cupertino, Calif. company regularly downplays investor concerns about slumping sales of one line as long as it's able to capture those dollars with others. CEO Tim Cook returned to that cannibalization theme last month during an earnings call with Wall Street, saying that while iPhone and MacBook sales may be part of the current iPad problem — exacerbated by a longer-than-expected refresh cycle — he remained very optimistic.

"I believe that over the long arc of time that the iPad is a great business," Cook said. "I also have visibility obviously of what's in the pipeline and feel very, very good about that."

The silver lining for Apple, said Ubrani, is that some of that cannibalization benefits the company, perhaps one reason why Cook was sanguine. "Apple makes more on an iPhone 6 Plus than on an iPad Air, and probably about the same on a MacBook Air," he noted.

 

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