) has reportedly reduced its full-year orders for the iPad,
indicating that the company plans to sell fewer units in 2013
than previously anticipated. According to
, Apple thought that it could ship 100 million tablets before the
year's end. Individually, the company planned to ship 60 million
full-size iPads and 40 million iPad Mini units.
It would be an enormous accomplishment for the Mac maker to
ship that many iPads, as it took Apple roughly two years to sell
the first 100 million units. The iPad Mini is performing very
well, however, which apparently gave Apple hope that it could set
a new record.
Now "industry sources" have told DigiTimes that Apple only
expects to ship 33 million full-size iPads and 55 million iPad
Mini units. If true, Apple would send 88 million tablets to
retail this year -- 12 percent less than anticipated.
By adjusting its overall shipments and the volume of each unit
(iPad Mini sales are now expected to outpace the full-size
model), Apple is sending the message that its original stance
toward seven-inch tablets was dead wrong.
Steve Jobs was
the idea of building a smaller tablet. The Apple co-founder's
initial pushback seemed to be a wise move, as it led to the
creation of a multi-billion-dollar empire that continuously
thwarted the competition.
The first, second and third-generation iPads have outsold
every competitor on the market. Dell (NASDAQ:
), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:
), Samsung, Google (NASDAQ:
), Amazon (NASDAQ:
) and Barnes & Noble (NYSE:
) could barely compete.
Only after lowering prices to $200 and below are tablet
manufacturers starting to make progress in this Apple-dominated
Even if Apple has lowered its internal expectations for the
iPad, there is no reason to believe that sales are beginning to
slow. Rather, it might simply be that Apple and/or its suppliers
had far greater (and far more realistic) hopes for these
If Apple sold just 50 million tablets this year, it would be
fairly impressive. The new estimate (88 million) would set a new
record for the firm -- and come very close to the number of
iPhones Apple sold in 2011.
iPads are unlikely to outsell the iPhone during any given
period. Smartphones are infinitely more popular than tablets, and
are also much more replaceable. While tablets are built and
promoted as PC alternatives, consumers think that smartphones are
This attitude has helped the smartphone market stay young, but
it could have limitations. A well-protected iPhone (ex: one that
hasn't been dropped on cement) is likely to last more than the
length of a two-year contract. Consumers are eager to upgrade
anyway because of the added benefits (new features, a faster
processor, an improved camera, etc.) of buying the latest
If that changes -- if the annual upgrades start to lose their
luster -- iPad sales could finally begin to exceed those of the
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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