The coming months should in many ways prove a watershed period
for the world's largest technology company --
Not only will Apple introduce a new iPhone and an updated
iPad, but it is also expected to unveil some kind of new product
that many anticipate will usher the company into another period
of growth and innovation.
The iPhone and Apple's upcoming new product lines have
received the bulk of the consumer, media, and investor attention,
and rightly so.However, Apple's iPad remains undoubtedly its
second-most important profit center. And although it might be
flying under the radar at the moment, the tech and investing
community recently enjoyed a positive bit of news regarding the
industry-leading tablet. Here's what you need to know.
Apple's iPad roars to life
Last week, a number of credible new sources including Bloomberg
The Wall Street Journal
reported that Apple's next generation of iPads had entered mass
production with the company's East Asian manufacturing partners.
This is to be expected as Apple has refreshed both its iPad
and iPhone once annually in each successive fall since
either product's introduction. However, this time is also
different for Apple and its leading tablet.
Although some regard the tablet market as the fastest-growing
device category ever, correctly to some extent, Apple's iPad
sales have actually seen year-over-year shipments decline in each
of its two most recently reported quarters. Nonetheless,
there's good reason to think the struggles facing Apple's tablet
business might melt away in the months ahead.
Plenty of reasons to be bullish on Apple's iPads
In the short term, the iPad should enjoy two key catalysts that
tech analysts and consumers alike should observe carefully.
The first tablet tailwind should stem from Apple's recently
inked deal with corporate information technology heavyweight
. The deal, which can be rehashed in greater detail
, calls for IBM to build and deploy more than 100
enterprise-class applications for the use over Apple's OS and
devices. In terms of the innovation it will spur, this is
unquestionably a software-centric deal for Apple and IBM. Yet
adding an enterprise sales partner with IBM's brand cache, sales
force depth, and installed customer base should have some
accretive effect to Apple's iPad sales in the coming months.
We'll have to wait for Apple's next earnings report and
conference call to fully examine just how valuable this deal has
proven, but I'm certainly optimistic it should prove a boon for
The second short-term driver for the iPadwill stem from the
spate of discounts that Apple's current iPad Airs and iPad Minis
will receive at the hands of the company's distribution partners.
, one of Apple's most prominent hardware vendors, recently began
offering a $200 discount on the iPad for customers who purchased
an iPhone 5s or 5c on a full-price installment program. The
intent here is unmistakable: AT&T is offering the discounts
in hopes of clearing out its own inventory channels ahead of the
release of Apple's new iPhone and iPad later this fall. Consumers
tend to also delay purchasing smartphones and tablets to a degree
during the calendar-year third quarter. However, the rise of
these types of discounts could pull some tablet purchases forward
into the current quarter.
These two factors, plus the general uptick the tech giant
enjoys upon releasing updated editions of its hardware,
unquestionably imply that Apple's tablet business should be
moving on up in the quarters ahead, possibly even more than many
realize at present. So while the upcoming launch of the
next-generation will almost assuredly overshadow the iPad
narrative for investors and consumers in the months ahead,
there's also evidence to suggest that Apple's iPad business might
prove more robust than many realize in short order.
Don't say you weren't told.
Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to
guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the
public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some
early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the
the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million
of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small
company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock
price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know
investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart
The Latest Apple iPad Roars Into Production
originally appeared on Fool.com.
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