As iPad Sales Slow, Apple Fans Wonder: Are iPad’s 15 Minutes Of Fame Coming To An End?

With the controversial headline “iPad Sales Are Cratering! Blame The iPhone!” investing website the Motley Fool began an in depth discussion of the commonly accepted statement that Apple’s iPad sales are destroyed because of the popularity of the iPhone 6. After all, sales of the cornerstone tablet dropped off rapidly last year, with many tech experts suggesting that the new iPad models weren’t different enough to justify upgrading, and many sources, including Inquisitr, have questioned whether or not lines like the iPad mini are even likely to continue. At least one expert has commented that things are going to get worse before they get better for the maker of the iconic tablet.

So the Motley Fool isn’t questioning that iPad sales are down; instead, they ask if the iPhone 6 is really the reason why. After all, when the iPad was first introduced, tech experts prognosticated the death of the PC within a few years. In fact, PC sales decreased briefly, and then leveled off as customers realized that while tablets are pretty cool, they are not computer replacements just yet.

According to the Fool, Apple iPads began to see a drop in sales in the second quarter of 2013. Since that time, there has been one period of robust growth, in 2013’s holiday season. If the iPhone 6 may be cannibalizing iPad sales, but the iPad has been decreasing in popularity for a little while now.

The Fool also suggests that if iPads are really being badly hurt by the iPhone, Apple should be seeing that damage in the sales of its iPad mini—after all, those are the two devices closest in size.

“In the week before the iPhone 6 Plus went on sale, 27 percent of all iPad usage came from the iPad Mini and the iPad Mini 2, compared to 73 percent coming from full-size models, according to data from Fiksu. Now, more than 29 percent of iPad usage comes from the Mini models, while less than 71 percent comes from full-size iPads.”

It’s a small shift, but it doesn’t line up with the idea that it’s the iPhone stealing Apple iPad sales.

So what’s causing the slowdown in sales of Apple’s iPad? The Fool points to a slow replacement cycle—the devices are durable, and users who bought an iPad at points of strong growth in 2011 and 2013 may not have needed to replace their iPad yet.

“Another (related) issue is that Apple hasn’t made any revolutionary advances with the iPad lately. The most recently released models offered very modest upgrades over their predecessors, and sales have been correspondingly light.”

If Apple’s plans for fall really rest on the rumored 12.9″ iPad Pro, and consumers are leaning in towards smaller tablets, Apple may need to hope it can make headway with corporate customers. That will likely be an uphill battle, however, as most large companies use PCs, due to their versatility and functionality.

Do you think Apple’s iPad line has had its day?