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Are Apple iPad Sales About To Plummet? This Analyst Says Yes

Are Apple iPad Sales About To Plummet? This Analyst Says Yes
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Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad sales decline will accelerate sharply in 2015, according to research cited by AppleInsider.

IPad sales fell 22 percent in Apple's quarter ended December 31, to about 12 percent of Apple's total revenue of $74.6 billion.

AppleInsider said tablet sales will fall by 30 percent for Apple in 2015, citing analyst KGI Securities' Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo believes iPad sales will fall 52.7 percent in the first quarter of calendar 2015 to just 10.1 million units. Next quarter, he expects a decline of 30 percent to 40 percent, AppleInsider said.

Apple's tablet sales fell nearly 18 percent in 2014, according to a report earlier this week from IDC, which noted that Apple retained its top with a worldwide tablet market share last year of 33 percent.

Efforts to maintain iPad momentum "have fallen flat," with newly launched versions offering few advantages over earlier models, IDC's Jean Philippe Bouchard said.

Cannibalization of potential iPad customers at the bottom from the iPhone and at the top from the Mac appear to be a serious issue for the iPad, according to Bouchard.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook raised the cannibalization issue with analysts in a conference call last month.

"I don't think you're going to see a miraculous change or an improvement in the year-over-year" for iPad sales, Cook said.

But Cook added that he's "bullish on iPad over the long run," citing data that a majority of retail customers are first-time buyers as well as company efforts to increase the product's appeal to corporate customers.

IDC in November predicted that Apple iPad sales growth would resume to about 2 percent annually by 2018, compared with what it predicted at the time as a 12.7 contraction in 2014.

Worldwide tablet sales growth in 2018 will slow to 3.8 percent, from a recent rate of 7.2 percent, according to IDC.

Shares of Apple began to fall midday Friday, but have started to recover. Shares recently traded at $119.71, down 0.2 percent.

Image credit: Robert Scoble, Wikimedia

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