Apple's iPad business is experiencing major shrinkage

Apple reported earnings today for the all-important holiday quarter of 2016, with a clean beat on the top and bottom lines.

But according to Apple’s quarterly report, Apple shipped about 13 million iPads, which is down 19% from the same period in 2015. Revenue from the iPad business is down 22% year-on-year to $5.5 million, too.

That’s not an encouraging result for the biggest gift-giving time of the year, and it just continues the steady decline of the iPad business.

In 2016, Apple introduced a new model of iPad, too, with the 9.7″ iPad Pro — a device designed to be used with a keyboard, intended to be somewhere between a tablet and a laptop, similar to Microsoft’s Surface computers. Meanwhile, Apple fans are impatiently waiting for the company to release a Mac with a full touchscreen.

A possible explanation is that, as we’ve seen in the past, iPad owners tend to hold on to their devices much longer before trading it in for a new model, compared with the iPhone. It means there’s unlikely to be a huge rush to buy any new models.

It’s possible there’s light at the end of the tunnel, however: Apple is reported to be working on a total iPad redesign, to launch as soon as this year, which could maybe spur a big upgrade cycle.

Here’s the chart:

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