Can Apple's IPad Event Shake Off the Tablet Doldrums?

Can Apple's IPad Event Shake Off the Tablet Doldrums?
Apple CEO Tim Cook holds the iPad Air during an Apple announcement at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on Oct. 22, 2013 in San Francisco
Photograph by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apple has sent out invitations for a media event on Oct. 16, when it is expected to introduce new versions of the iPad. “It’s been way too long,” the invitation says.

The big event of each fall for Apple is the release of the new iPhones, which account for a bit more that half of the company’s revenue, but the company also regularly holds a second event for tablets and computers. The iPad has been suffering lately, along with the tablet industry as a whole. Apple’s tablet sales peaked in the last quarter of last year, when the company sold $11.5 billion worth of the devices. Last quarter it made $5.8 billion in iPad revenue, down 8 percent from the year before.

Courtesy Apple

The slowdown in the tablet market isn’t an Apple-exclusive problem, and it will be interesting to see how the company attempts to address it. Every year around this time the company increases the processing power of all its devices, and the upcoming event is also expected to introduce the Touch ID fingerprint scanner to its new iPads. Bloomberg News has reported that Apple will also introduce a gold-colored iPad.

Moreover, Apple is working on a larger tablet, which will likely target the business market, but it isn’t expected to be released until 2015.

One thing working against the iPads? Apple’s new iPhones, the larger of which has a 5.5-inch screen. By closing the gap between tablets and phones, Apple is giving people one more reason to avoid buying a second Apple device.

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