Welcome to our Apple Weekend Breakfast column, featuring all the Apple news you missed this week in a handy bite-sized recap. We call it Apple Breakfast because we love it with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, but it’s also cool if you want to read it over lunch or dinner.
What went wrong for the iPad?
If you look at the top numbers, Apple seems to have had another record quarter. But even the most blooming gardens have weeds, and (at the risk of confusing my metaphors) the most obvious fly in Apple’s Q4 salve was the iPad’s performance.
While the iPhone and Wearables were up 10 percent each, the Mac 25 percent, and even Services grew 5 percent from the same quarter last year, the iPad fell an ominous 13 percent. (It’s not a one-off either. The iPad was also down in Q3, and in Q2 and Q1.) That’s a hole in Apple’s finances worth just over a billion dollars… the company than it sounds, but it remains a concern.
With a staggered launch schedule and a self-cannibalizing product card that is as annoying as it is confusing, the iPad needs no competitors. Apple has taken it upon itself to kill everything single-handedly.
The iPad isn’t the Mac — as much as Apple would like — and a fluid, complex sequence just won’t work. We are aware that iPads are primarily aimed at consumers who use light, and consumers who use light need clear signposts telling them which product to buy, which is exactly what the iPad range cannot provide.
The new 10.9-inch iPad, rather than offering a compelling update to the budget iPad from 2021 onwards, instead invades the mid-range iPad Air, which itself invaded the iPad Pro’s territory when it came out. With iPads launching at seemingly random times throughout the year and making each other obsolete the moment they do, the best bet is to just buy the latest… but there’s no guarantee it won’t be on its own by the next month. will be surpassed. None of them will cause customers to queue at their local Apple Store.
The iPad was supposed to be the answer to the post-PC conundrum. And on the changing face of smartphones, which at one point grew so big so quickly that they spawned a new category, the phablet. And to the changing realities of working on the go, which everyone assumed would have left their laptop behind years ago. Apple wasn’t the only company to mistakenly believe the tablet was the future, but no one else has worked so hard to actually make it happen.
The fact that consumers don’t really want to trade in their laptops and phones for a single converged device isn’t Apple’s fault, and in hindsight, we can see that the iPad was never really destined to take the iPhone’s place as the company’s revenue leader, such as Apple apparently hoped. Most of us want something bigger than a tablet to work on, and something portable to carry around in our pockets. In between, the tablet is considered by most customers to be a lightweight content delivery machine that grabs you to watch Netflix, surf the web, or play a few games. The market for the iPad as a core device, as a work device, was never as big as the company thought.
However, a smaller market may still be worth entering, and Apple is rarely happy to leave money on the table. And so far, Apple has done well to bring in that cash, with the iPad dominating the tablet market just as surely as the Apple Watch dominating wearables. Indeed, sometimes tech fans worry that the ease with which the iPad beats rival tablets has made Apple risk averse; if you’re number one, why try even harder?
What are they going to do, Tim Cook may have thought when he conceived the iPad product card for 2022. Buy Xiaomi Pad 5? Worse, don’t buy anything at all and watch Netflix on their phone. And a disappointingly small market is getting a little smaller.
Trending: Top Stories of the Week
As Apple reports another record quarter, Jason Snell thinks booming Macs and shrinking services its not all they are cracked up to be.
The iOS App Store is suddenly full of ads. And it probably is going to get worse.
A Viral TikTok Video Proves We’ve All Been charging our iPhones incorrectly. (Possibly.)
Samsung just released an incredible privacy feature, the iPhone urgently needs.
Mysterious: the charging port on the new ipad is a Lighting port disguised as USB-C.
The rumor mill
Apple may launch a massive 16-inch iPad by the end of next year. This would be from Apple most expensive iPad.
Not so much a rumor as a fact: Apple has confirmed it future iPhones will switch from Lightning to USB-C.
And here’s everything you need to know about the iPhone 15probably including a USB-C port.
Podcast of the week
iOS and iPadOS 16.1 are here, along with macOS Ventura. In this episode of the Macworld Podcast, we talk about these new OS updates, as well as the price increases for Apple’s subscription services. Stay tuned!
You can watch every episode of the Macworld Podcast on Spotify, Soundcloud, the Podcasts app or our own site.
Software updates, bugs and issues
iOS 16.1 contains a fix for a scary zero-day iPhone security flaw.
Critical patches are waiting for your Mac, even if you do not upgrade to Ventura.
Apple has finally released iOS 15.7.1 with critical security patches.
But the company warns that iOS 15 and macOS 12 devices may still have “known security vulnerabilities”.
The new iOS/iPadOS 16.2 beta offers our first look at Apple’s all new Freeform app.
Over a billion devices got apple updates this week. We collect every app and OS update that Apple has released.
Have you found the classic Mac OS Easter egg hiding in? Ventura?
And with that, we’re done for this week. If you would like to receive regular round-ups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news stories. See you next Saturday, enjoy the rest of your weekend and stay Appley.