I have loved the iPad since the original was released and have owned every model except the 4 and the Minis 2 through 4. Even though it is more capable now thanks to the enhancements in iOS 11, I have found the platform to be a great productivity aid since the days of the iPad 2. That device pared with a good keyboard case was a revelation. However, I won’t lie and say that I had no worries when the sales didn’t just slump, but collapsed over recent years.
I know the party line. I know Apple has always said that they are committed to the iPad as their “future of computing.” I also know that they have backed that up with a lot of R&D and constant improvements despite the downturn in sales. However, when the iPad Pro failed to turn things around in its second year with the release of the 9.7″ version, I started to wonder how much longer Apple would continue to make the iPad a priority. I didn’t think it would suddenly disappear, but Apple does have a habit of allowing products to fade out slowly. The Mac Mini, iPod, and Mac Pro, among others, come to mind. No company is going to keep plowing money into a platform that doesn’t generate some kind of return.
Thankfully, after two consecutive quarters of solid sales and profits, it looks like Apple’s three pronged strategy of a lower-cost 9.7″ device, more differentiated Pro devices, and major iOS productivity enhancements has paid off. Now, courtesy of Adobe’s analysis of Thanksgiving Weekend sales, we have evidence that this momentum isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. In fact, it may be gaining even more steam. Despite the fact that there weren’t any massive price cuts on iPads this week, Apple’s tablets were one of the biggest sellers this Cyber Monday. Considering that Adobe projected that Monday was the biggest online sales day in history, that could be a huge win for Apple and a vindication of their public belief that the iPad would rebound. For all of us who have loved and used the iPad through thick and thin, this certainly is good news.
In other good news for Apple, this Adobe report also shows that the AirPods were also among the major sellers over the kickoff of the Holiday sales season. Considering their already approachable price point, and the fact that they are actually available this year, it would seem that getting a $10 or so off the retail price was just icing on the cake.