Newly released data suggests that the popularity of Apple’s new larger screened iPhone models may be behind slumping iPad sales. Apple’s most recent earnings report is rather telling in this regard — iPhone sales were up over 40% year over year while iPad sales were down over 20%.
According to data recently compiled by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, the phablet market in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2015 nearly quadrupled, with phablets now accounting for nearly 25% of all smartphone sales. Within that subset, the iPhone 6 Plus accounted for 44% of sales.
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I’ve long been hesitant to attribute a drop in iPad sales to the iPhone simply because the iPad’s decline preceded the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. But as the iPhone continues to grow in popularity while iPad sales continue to shrink, the link between the two is getting harder to ignore.
Especially with the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, the value proposition of shelling out a few extra hundred dollars for a tablet seems distinctly less appealing. Whether it’s watching movies or even engaging in a bit of content creation, the iPhone 6 Plus’ gargantuan screen should be more than sufficient for most any type of traditionally tablet-oriented activity.
During Apple’s most recent earnings conference call, even Tim Cook conceded that iPad sales were being affected not only by the iPhone, but by the Mac as well.
“We’re clearly seeing cannibalization from iPhone and on the other side from the Mac,” Cook said. “And, of course, as I’ve said before, we’ve never worried about that. It is what it is. That will play out and, at some point, it will stabilize.”