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Replacement cycle dilemma dogs the iPad

Gregg Keizer | Oct. 17, 2014
Apple will introduce new iPads today in the hope they rejuvenate sales, whose growth has slumped in the first two quarters of 2014.

Most companies would be more than happy with the numbers Apple's turning out — nearly 70 million in the last four reported quarters — but Wall Street is always pushing for growth, not stasis. And heaven forbid there be a slump.

"Tablets are not smartphones," said Milanesi, who used that line today to title a blog that summarized some of Kantar's data on the iPad. "At the moment, the iPad refresh cycle is closer to that of the PC than a smartphone. We'll continue to see Apple pushing the envelope, but the use case for a tablet is less clear now than it was two years ago."

Nor was Dawson overly optimistic. "The iPad Air was the biggest upgrade since the original," he said, referring to last year's lighter, thinner 9.7-in. tablet. "And that didn't really do much because people are holding on to [their iPads] for a longer time."

Apple is live-streaming a news conference today starting at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET) where it will unveil a new iPad Air 2 as well as a tweaked iPad Mini 3. The webcast can be viewed from an iOS or OS X device, or an Apple TV, from Apple's website.


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