“As always with Apple, expectations on systematic breakthrough hardware innovations are irrational,” writes Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Thomas Husson in a blog post reacting to Apple’s latest product announcement. “Apple is good at inventing new products (e.g., iPod, iPhone, or iPad) and at maximizing the profitability of its product range over time through software innovations and clever marketing.” And according to Husson, today’s new range of products, including iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, and new line of MacBook computers, are great additions to the Apple product portfolio — just in time for the holiday season. He contends these new products will pave the way for Apple to maintain premium positioning in the increasingly competitive tablet market.
Forrester Senior Analyst Sarah Rotman Epps expressed similar sentiments regarding Apple’s latest launch. “It sounds jaded, but tablets are a maturing market: As expected, there were few surprises in this category that Apple kick-started only three years ago.” According to Forrester data, total worldwide replacement sales of tablets will more than double next year, from 42 million to 89 million — but new sales growth will slow. According to Epps, this trajectory confirms that bringing high-end features like Retina screens and TouchID to the iPad Mini can incent existing customers to upgrade, but it will be difficult for Apple to move the needle on new tablet sales, as the strongest growth is coming from emerging markets where customers are more price-sensitive. “As we’ve seen with recent iPhone sales, Apple has an easier time selling high-end products like the 5s to existing customers than selling less-expensive-but-not-cheap products like the 5c to new customers. The low end of the market doesn’t belong to Apple, and they haven’t aggressively tried to change that.”
For more analysis on Apple’s iPad Air and iPad Mini, visit the Marketing Leadership blog here.