The Apple iPad had been the first of its kind in the mobile market to allow people to take with them a powerful computing device that is slightly bigger than a mobile phone, but much lighter and more compact than a laptop.
Unfortunately for Apple, the iPad had a short reign as the sole tablet to be used by federal government buyers. That's because Microsoft and Google built their own tablets that match the functionality of the iPad.
As a result, the Apple iPad's market share among federal government buyers has been shrinking over the last couple of years.
Apple iPad Sales Falling Twice As Fast As Overall Tablet Market https://t.co/vWrRfYBeyJIn 2012, the Cupertino manufacturer's tablet gained 98 percent market share in that particular market group. A year later, that number was reduced to about 80 percent of the market share, and last year, it plummeted to only 61 percent of the market.
— Investors.com (@IBDinvestors) February 1, 2016
On the other hand, Surface and Windows tablets from Microsoft have taken over a large chunk of the federal government consumers who gave up their iPads. They managed to leap from almost zero percent to 25 percent of the market pie.
Microsoft's hardware, particularly Surface tablet, appears to be increasing sales. (Though still small market share) http://t.co/OpVS3YNVtHAndroid-powered slates from Google, Samsung, and other top-tier manufacturers round off the market with 11 percent.
— Ian Sherr (@iansherr) January 24, 2014
In the United States, 10 government agencies reportedly spent $22 million on iPads and $2 million each for Windows and Android-powered slates.
According to a report by Phone Arena, the Windows tablets' growing success may be attributed to their ability to work and connect easily with Windows-powered PC computers and laptops, unlike iPads.
Windows devices are also said to be more customizable and easier to use than the iPads.
Apple iPad is losing market share to Surface slates among federal government buyers - https://t.co/desz1pbMjIIn addition, another factor that possibly affected iPad sales is the fact that the government has been receiving less funding for such technologies and materials, and so most agencies opt for cheaper Android devices such as Amazon Kindles.
— PhoneArena (@phonearena) February 16, 2016
Apart from all the woes that Apple is experiencing because of dropping Apple iPad sales, the company now faces another controversial issue that could push consumers further away from its devices.
The Cupertino-based manufacturer has recently confirmed an issue that would potentially render an Apple iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch useless.
So what's the issue? If a user changes the date of his Apple device into a date earlier than May 1970, his device would be bricked the next time it is restarted.
A weird bug will brick your iPhone if you set it to a certain date https://t.co/BEfJ6z1klSWait, bricked right away? The company confirmed the issue on iPads, iPhones, and iPod touch devices that are running on iOS 8.x or iOS 9.x (including the latest iOS 9.2.1 release).
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) February 11, 2016
The question now is why would anyone roll back their device's date to the 1970s?
Last week, a Reddit user claimed that Apple device users would be able to unlock a secret 1970s feature and theme if they set the date to January 1, 1970.
Kind of amused by the amount of people doing this just to test it really works. Genius bar going to be BUSY https://t.co/8RzINBDSGEEven though the process requires a lot of scrolling and going back and forth, it seemed people interested in the "easter egg" were willing to go for it. In fact, a report said that some people performed the date setting on demonstration iPhones in Apple Stores nationwide.
— Jonathan Haynes (@JonathanHaynes) February 13, 2016
However, it appears that the Reddit user may have bricked his Apple iPad, and he wants everyone else to share the burden and inconvenience of a useless smartphone or tablet.
While Apple has promised to release a fix for the problem, some users may still encounter issues mainly because the company no longer supports iOS 8. That means users whose devices are running on iOS 8 should update first to iOS 9 before they can avail of the fix that Apple promises to release.
[Image by Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images]