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Apple Launches New iPad Models

Apple Launches New iPad Models

Apple Launches New iPad Models - Published October 19, 2022 at 1:08 p.m.
image credit: Apple

published by Rachel Gold
October 19, 2022 at 1:08 p.m.

Apple just launched new base-level iPad models. The new tablets use the A14 processor, a fixture in the iPhone 12 lineup. A Touch ID sensor on the top power button replaces a physical Home button, allowing for slimmer bezels; however, Apple’s latest iPads feature large margins around the screen.

Starting at $449, they’re much more expensive than previous models, which one can purchase on Amazon for only $269. Equipped with an A13 processor, the last-generation iPad is still relevant, practical, and far from obsolescence. Critics are already panning the new iPad lineup as a meager improvement at a much higher price.

The new iPads arrive on the heels of new iPhone 14 models with almost identical hardware to last year’s models. It’s difficult to deny that Apple seems to have lost its mojo, with its 2022 product lineup offering the most negligible improvements in years.

Apple's iPad Business Is in Decline
image credit: Apple; 2022 revenue circled in red next to corresponding 2021 revenue

It’s also a period of declining tablet sales for Apple. Since 2021, Apple’s iPad revenue has decreased by over $2 billion. It’s a problem of market saturation. Everyone who wants an iPad has one, and they only progress a little between releases.

I just upgraded from a 5th-generation iPad to a 9th-generation model. Visibly, they look the same. In terms of user interaction, they function similarly. The 9th generation model features a much faster A13 processor than the older one’s A9. The speed difference is palpable, but that’s all there is. They run the same operating system and apps. I upgraded because it was inexpensive. I sold the 5th generation iPad back to Apple for $65, and last year’s model was on sale at Amazon for only $269.

For Apple to improve its iPad business, it needs to accomplish more than mild upgrades for its oversized iPhone. Separating iPadOS from iOS was a promising step, but the best features are unique to the more expensive Pro models.

Enabling macOS to run on an iPad Pro would increase interest in Apple’s top-of-the-line tablet. It would also cannibalize Mac sales. Appealing to enterprise customers may work in some spaces; however, most still prefer basic Windows PCs for their employees.

Apple’s best shot with the iPad is a twofold strategy. The regular iPad should be cheap, refreshed often, and intended for personal use. The Pro models should aim at content creators familiar with their iPhone and iPad but lack knowledge of the Mac or any other computer. There are a lot of Millennial and Gen-Z customers who are unfamiliar with Macs and PCs, but they have careers in social media content creation. This is the iPad Pro market. It’s not architects, software engineers, or even graphic designers.

To some extent, Apple is executing this strategy; however, the Pro models still seem to be aimed at a market that doesn’t exist. For now, Apple fans adore the iPad Pro, but they need to broaden this market significantly.

Regular iPad users are reluctant to upgrade. I almost didn’t buy an iPad. The only justification was to write for this site. I last picked up my old iPad a few years ago, and my new one is still sitting in its box.

Let’s face it; we have more than enough views into the Apple ecosystem. I have a Mac, an iPhone, and an Apple Watch. The iPad seems like just another device to manage and maintain. Unless Apple creates something different, they’ll need to rely on the App Store and services to increase revenues over the next few years.

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