Rumored iPad Pro Won’t Stop Apple’s Declining Tablet Sales

A KGI Securities analyst believes Apple might be in for a rude awakening if it thinks a larger size iPad model will stop its tablet sales from declining. In a research note to investors, Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that overall iPad shipments will "struggle to top" 45 million units in 2015 and ultimately post a 30 percent year-over-year decline.

Rumor has it Apple is working on a 12.9-inch "iPad Pro" model for release this year. But according to Kuo, upsizing the iPad won't "contribute meaningfully to shipments momentum anytime soon." Instead, he's predicting that iPad shipments in 2015 will see their biggest decline since first launching to market five years ago.
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His predictions are an extension to recent trends noted in the tablet category. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide tablet shipments saw a year-over-year decline for the first time since the market's inception in 2010. IDC's report didn't say anything about the iPad Pro, though it did point out that Apple's efforts to maintain iPad momentum have fallen flat so far.

There are different theories as to why tablet sales are declining, the most common one being market saturation. The belief by many is that those who want or need a tablet already have one, and there doesn't exist a compelling reason to upgrade.

If Apple comes out with a 12.9-inch iPad model, then it would be banking on consumers being drawn to a bigger size display. Leading up to that day, however, Kuo sees iPad sales going into a free fall -- he predicts shipments will decline 52.7 percent to 10.1 million units in the first quarter of 2015, and then another 30-40 percent to between 7 million and million units in the second quarter.