Apple has chosen an aggressive pricing policy, compared to its standards, for the new iPad 9.7. A strategy that has its roots in time, built to counter the recessionary trend in the tablet market. iPad 9.7 in 32GB Wi-Fi version is priced at 409 Euros. It is evident that the company from Cupertino has not remained indifferent to the performance of the tablet market, a sector that seems to have fallen into a downward spiral that is hardly reversible.
Considering iPad 9.7 as a natural heir to the Air range, the difference is clear in the price list at the time of the presentation, net of various rescheduling made in subsequent years. Air iPad first generation was marketed starting from 479 € in 16GB Wi-Fi version, Air 2 at 499 in the same variant.
Nearly 100 euro less for iPad 9.7, despite the hardware upgrading and the doubling of internal memory. A range that extends further considering cutting from 128GB Wi-Fi, which is priced at € 699 for iPad Air 2, compared to 509 euro for the new tablet presented yesterday.
All this is inevitably embedded in the overall situation of the specific sector, but also in relation to the performance of the iPad in recent years. In this sense it is useful to recall the tablet market results recorded in Q4 2016 and reported recently by a new report from IDC. There is talk of a real collapse of 20.1% compared to Q4 2015, with 52.9 million units shipped against 66.2 million a year earlier.
Apple certainly has maintained a leadership position with a market share of 24.4%, but has also lived, in 2016, a decrease in the annual growth of 14.2%. On a lower level of sales of the company, it becomes even more understandable presentation of the iPad 9.7.
They were 13.1 million of iPad units shipped in Q4 2016 against 16.1 million in Q4 2015. Faced with 10 iPads sold, 9/10 were iPad Mini 4 and Air 2, while the Pro range has only accounted for 1.10 of the total. The market has not therefore shown willingness to invest a premium figure, steering to the cheaper models.
It is also necessary to make a clarification. The crisis has also affected the segment of the tablet with removable screen which, in fact, are beginning to lose the drive following the boom in Windows 2 in 1. This, according to reports from IDC is mainly due to the convertible notebook. Think, for example, a 2 in 1 Dell XPS 13, which are eroding the market share of the entire industry, thanks to a significant improvement of the quality/price ratio.
Again, the key word is differentiation. At present, it is unthinkable to propose to certain products figures such as iOS and Android tablets, extremely limited from a standpoint of productivity and, in the top price range, too close to the convertible, much more complete.
Conversely, considering the results of a product such as Air 2, commercially dated, having been introduced in 2014, those of the Samsung tablets and Amazon Fire (5.2 million units sold in Q4 2016), it is clear that there is still room for multimedia devices.
Here, then, take shape the Cupertino company's strategy. iPad 9.7 goes to supplant Air 2 at a lower price, with logic and managed to intercept the range of users looking for a real tablet. With the possibility of financing Apple Store, iPad 9.7 from 128GB Wi-Fi would cost just € 41.67 per month, for 12 monthly at an objectively affordable fees.
All we are waiting for the new iPad Pro, whose presentation should take place in a Keynote in April. Apple would have in the works a 10.5-inch borderless variation, which many anticipate what will be the design of one of the versions of iPhone 8. Assuming support for Smart Keyboard and Pencil, we could see iOS 11 in the Keystone.
The future of the Pro series inevitably is in the features that will be introduced in the new version of iOS. The operating system of Cupertino will necessarily enable a quantum leap in the production field, in the logic of being able to make the iPad Pro a real alternative to Windows convertible.
It is evident that 2017 represents a kind of sliding door for the entire tablet market and numbers in hand, will touch to Apple trace the path, with the aim of trying to give a meaning to this type of devices.