Apple Courts App Developers, Business Customers To Revive Sinking iPad Sales

Apple didn't invent the tablet, but with the introduction of the iPad, it certainly popularized such devices. There were long lines for the original iPad model, and when Android device makers began offering less expensive alternatives, there was this silly talk of a post-PC era (as if!). Well, dedicated PCs are still around, and rather than compare PCs to trucks, as the late Steve Job famously did, Apple is busy trying to figure out how to reinvigorate interest in its suddenly struggling iPad lineup.

The focus is on the software side of things. Apple is working with dozens of technology companies, many of which develop apps for accounting and sales presentations, to bring more attention to the iPad. It's a move that seems intended on convincing the public that the iPad can be more than a content consumption device, and instead can be used as a productivity tool.

iPad Air 2

Apple is taking a hands-on approach with this latest initiative. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Apple goes over its partners' apps with a fine tooth comb and offers detailed suggestions -- things like which worlds should be shaded in gray and other minute details.

This is all part of a bigger push to attract business buyers, a segment that Apple believes can help turn around its sagging iPad sales. While Apple as a whole is doing just fine -- the company reported a net profit of $10.7 billion last quarter -- its iPad sales are going in the wrong direction.

Despite deep discounts, iPad sales fell from 13.3 million units in the third quarter of 2014 to 10.9 million units in the third quarter of 2015, representing an 18 percent decline. Market saturation may be a reason why, especially since older iPad models are still capable of running most apps just fine.