“iPads do what they do well, but what they do is no longer evolving. I can buy that argument — it's been a while since I've seen a new app for the iPad that did something really new or different.”- Galen Gruman
This post is based on Galen Gruman's article published on April 25, 2014: The iPad is so over, Apple seems to be moving on. Gruman bases his arguments on Jean-Louis Gassée's article: The iPad Is a Tease.
Articles claiming the death of the iPad are the result of the Apple's quarterly earnings that were reported on April 23.
Obviously, as an avid iPad in education promoter, this article hit home. Was I offended? That's probably not the right word. However, I do strongly disagree with both of the articles. The iPad is not a fad. It is here to stay.
Before the iPad, there were multiple attempts by other companies to create a perfect tablet. It is safe to say the iPads rule the tablet market. The netbook? Teens nowadays don't even know what those are (were), even though they were all the rage just four to five years ago.
iPhone: Apple's Major Seller
The iPhone will always be Apple's bestseller. People tend to upgrade their phones every two years, some even annually. However, with the iPad, it seems like people do not need to upgrade as often. Most people will get a subsidy from phone companies on their smartphones. We don't get subsidies for iPads whatsoever. This will undoubtedly result in longer replacement cycles. You just can't realistically expect iPad sales numbers to be like those of the iPhone. How often do we upgrade our computers?
iPads in Professional Development
If some claim that the iPad is “dying”, my ever-increasing iPad professional learning network would have something to say about that. There are communities on Google+ (see image below), Twitter, Pinterest, and Scoop.it that all contain hundreds, if not thousands of active iPad teachers.
I have recently joined a Google+ group of iPad educators, currently at over 3400 members! There are inspiring posts each and every day on new ways to use the iPad in teaching, along with awesome ways of how students are using the iPad to create amazing projects.
Above: Twitter hashtags #ipaded and #ipadchat are constantly updating with
new links and tips for iPads in education.
Are we as passionate iPad educators in the large minority here? Probably. I have repeated myself a few times on this blog that most people use their iPads as consumption devices. Parents bring them to restaurants to entertain their kids, people use to them to surf the web, watch YouTube and Netflix, or read books and articles. I'm not arguing that consumption on an iPad isn't a fantastic experience. It is. Getting info off of it is almost instant. There still needs to be more widespread education on how to fully use the iPad to its potential.
The “allure” of the iPad has faded, for sure. It used to be so exciting to find out the groundbreaking new things it could accomplish. Now, four years later, it still is an excellent device. It is my go-to device, rather than any of the PCs and even MacBooks I use, when I need to do a quick task. The fact that I don't need to wait for any “boot-up” time whatsoever brings me back to the iPad every time.
It is due to the recent sales numbers that have resulted in these articles stating that the iPad is a just a fad/tease. It would hope to be obvious that iPad sales would naturally slow down over time, due to the fact that a lot of people already own them(!). The large majority of people I know who own iPads will not upgrade every cycle. They are content with their iPad 3, 4 or even the ever so long-lasting iPad 2. To purchase a new one every time one comes out would be unnecessary and not a good use of spending.
Apple Addresses iPad Sales Deline
Researching this “iPad decline” a bit further, it turns out Tim Cook addressed the situation during the conference call:
iPad sales came in at the high end of our expectations, but we realized they were below analysts' estimates and I would like to proactively address why we think there was a difference. We believe almost all of the difference can be explained by two factors. First, in the March quarter last year we significantly increased iPad channel inventory, while this year we significantly reduced it…Second, we ended the December quarter last year with a substantial backlog of iPad mini that was subsequently shipped in the March quarter whereas we ended the December quarter this year near supply demand balance.
This does explain the large variation of iPad sales between the two different quarters. Bottom line is: Yes, sales will be lower because most people who wanted iPads would have bought one by now, and the upgrade cycles for iPads are longer than smartphones.
Hopefully with this article, developers can be sparked and inspired to create even better apps for the near future. There may be a slow down in iPad sales, innovators, developers and educators are using the iPad in different ways all the time.
We need to hear from passionate iPad teachers!
What about you? Do you have any reactions to the articles claiming the iPads are nearing the end? Please let us know in the comments!
If you are a beginning iPad teacher and are looking for a great PLN, please don't hesitate to ask and I”ll point you in the right direction!
My response to: “Our School would be better off without iPads”
iPads: Creation vs. Consumption
One Comment Add yours
Thanks for your thoughtful article. I love the iPad for elementary school and for personal use. It’s epic! Yes, it has become my go to device and even managing the daily tasks of a Google Apps domain (resetting passwords, adding, deleting) is easy and quick. Service that I now provide, compared to a what I might have provided three years ago, is way better and faster because I bring my technology with me everywhere I go. My issue is that the CA State tests now require kiddos to type, a lot starting in third grade. I think the Google Chromebook for upper grades may become my device of choice. Not sure yet, but something needs to be done to help the kids become more proficient keyboarders at least so they can relax during the required testing. I am a proponent of shutting down the computer labs but we used them this year for State required testing so obviously that is not an option. Maybe my ideal future classroom has access to both devices, iPads and Google Chromebooks, and we are working in teams more so the financial impact can be managed. Lots to consider. Again, thank you for sharing.