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What Google Search Results Suggest About iPad Growth (or Lack of Growth)

Every quarter Apple releases sales figures of its devices in the previous quarter which provide an indication of how its business is going and what is growing or declining. One of the big stories from the last few years has been the slow decline of the iPad’s sales and if this means the iPad (and tablets) are a thing of the past like netbooks rather than the future of computing as Apple claims.

While it is impossible to tell how well the current iPad Pro’s are doing after the latest refresh, we can get some idea from search results.

If searches go up, so do sales (in general)

In generally, the search results for apple devices reflect the interest in them over time and can be used to predict the growth or decline of sales of those devices. This is not an exact science, after all people search for things when they already have them to find out tricks and tips, or out of aspiration to one day buy something. But in general, if there is more interest, there will probably be more sales. This is reflected in the same declining trend in sales as decline in searches for the iPad with peaks each year around the holiday time when they tend to sell better.

As such, we can expect that if the searches for the iPad have gone up (since the iPad Pro 2 was released) then there will be a bump in sales and that will be approximately the same as how many devices get sold. This is where things turn not so good.

What do the search figures show about iPad growth?

The figures do show a bump in searches for iPad following the release of the iPad Pro 2, but not back to the levels we saw in 2014. Instead they are hovering (or slowly declining) at the same numbers of the last couple of years. If this is accurate and the methodology holds up, then the iPad Pro 2 should sell about the same as the iPad Pro 9.7″.

That’s still significantly more than laptops and Apple’s MacBooks sell but it doesn’t look like the iPad is going to sell the numbers that it initially did for a long time if this is accurate. Time will of course tell and as an iPad power user I’ll happily be proven wrong but I’m not expecting it now. (For the record, before I did the search I expected it to show a bump and it didn’t but that is exactly why I’m reporting this, as to not report it would show bias).

About Chris Wilson

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