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iPad line ‘desperate for innovation’ says retailer

Luke Johnson by

Will the 2014 iPad improvements be good enough to rekindle sales?

The tablet market is hitting something of a sales plateau; with retailer John Lewis suggesting that Apple’s iPad line is ‘desperate for innovation’.

With the Cupertino-based manufacturer having last week announced its latest quarterly profits – revealing a 9 per cent year-on-year drop in iPad sales – much attention has now been turned to what the tech giant will do with the upcoming iPad Air 2.

Although recent leaks have pointed towards only minor improvements – the addition of a TouchID sensor appearing the highlight change – seller John Lewis has suggested dramatic improvements are needed in order to rekindle sales.

“The iPad is still dominant, but they [Apple] are desperate for innovation in the tablet space because sales are not where they were a year ago,” Johnathan Marsh, John Lewis’ Head of Buying for Electrics and Home Technology said speaking with TrustedReviews.

Through a lack of change, or innovation, or reasons to go out and replace, the iPad volumes in the whole market aren’t where they need to be.

“Frankly, the ones that they have available, and the ones that customers have bought, do such a great job already.”

He added: “We are really excited about what might come in the second half because Apple desperately needs some new excitement and some new stories to genuinely go out there and consider a new iPad.”

Looking ahead to the 2014 iPad announcements, which are widely expected to see the iPad Air 2 launch alongside the third-gen iPad mini, Marsh has predicted that Apple will not disappoint with the necessary updates.

“I think they have to improve,” he said. “Their whole philosophy and what has driven them over the past decade or so is this obsessive, self-improving mentality so I think they will come with something different, and they will come with something better.

“How different, or how much better, we don’t know. Will it be more affordable? We just don’t know. Are they going to introduce colours? These are all the questions we are asking ourselves.”

Although sales are on the decline and there is a new wave of high-end Android tablets on the way, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5, Marsh has suggested that Apple is still the undoubted dominant force of the tablet space.

There are products coming to market now which rival the traditional iPad,” he told us.

He added: “There is still this huge loyalty around Apple and iPad and until we get something which genuinely offers you something disruptively different, I think it is going to be a tough nut to crack.”

Do you see any need to update your iPad? What would make you update? Let us know via the comments section below.

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Go to comments

Mike Walker

July 28, 2014, 4:46 pm

The iPad is more about refinement year on year, there will no doubt be a drop in sales because the market is saturated, john Lewis is the most expensive retailer in the uk btw!.

Prem Desai

July 28, 2014, 5:09 pm

The ipad is a good device. The first version was truly life changing.

I regularly use versions 1, 3 and 5 (air) and to be honest, once you're engrossed in what you're doing, there's nothing between them.

Apple desperately need to come up with something radical.


July 28, 2014, 6:04 pm

Apple doesn't need to come up with something new, it needs to give us what Android tablets and phones have had for years. IOS8 is a big step towards that but it's still playing catch-up, and it also needs to embrace open standards rather than insisting on its own.

Thing is most of these improvements don't need new hardware (apart from NFC and a few others), it's stuff that could go into IOS9 for existing hardware so unless they makes themselves unpopular by only allowing it on new hardware it's not a great help for Apple. It would however be a great help for users.

In terms of hardware power, almost a year on there's precious little that comes close to using the full power of my iPad Air. Doubling the power again really isn't going to excite me. Doubling (at least) the RAM is long overdue but not in itself enough to upgrade for.

Matthew Bunton

July 28, 2014, 6:17 pm

They offer a 2 year warrranty though which is of added value.


July 28, 2014, 6:36 pm

I always shake my head when people say Apple needs to catch up with Android. What is it about Android and their "open environment," are Apple users asking for? You mean like all the malware and insecurity that is almost non existent in Apple's closed system? 99% of all mobile malware is on Android platform. NFC, maybe? There's virtually no demand for NFCs, at this point NFCs are something to fill up a useless spec sheet. Maybe you want carriers to be able to obfuscate Apple's UI by layering their own crummy UIs like they do on Android. I don't see anyone asking for that either.

You mention only allowing the latest features on new hardware, have you actually looked at the facts here? Androids has a highly fragmented mobile OS upgrade story compared to apple. 90% of Apple users have upgraded to ios 7 and most of the features available on ios 7 are available to all end users. All those great features on Android, how many people are actually on the latest and greatest from android, like <15% as of June.

Nigel Peters

July 29, 2014, 9:02 am

Totally agree. I have heard some say apple should release a "Macpad". IMO we already have hardware with great performance, sleek form factor and decent battery life.

I'm more excited about the iOS8 upgrade with more features than a new iPad release. My past thinking was whats the value of a new higher spec device when iOS still limits me (That being said I am looking forward to updating my 1st gen iPad Mini).

The real innovation will be from making iOS more open while still maintaining it's secure environment.


July 29, 2014, 11:56 am

I doubt the iPad will get the radical makeover that John Lewis are asking for to drive sales. It's a mature platform now and the underlying technology is only improving incrementally at the moment, so any great leaps will be software-based. Apple will have a 'next big thing', but it won't be an iPad upgrade.


July 29, 2014, 4:25 pm

I have an iPad 2 and see no need to upgrade with anything out there now. Until they come up with something much better than just a higher resolution screen or a faster processor I see no need to upgrade because the resolution on my iPad2 is fine and the speed is fine, the size is fine. They made them so good there is no need to upgrade as long as the current software still supports it.

I already have a iPad 2, iPhone 5c, Mac Mini, Apple TV, Windows 8 laptop (I do not like Windows 8 at all), and a Windows 7 pc (I like Windows 7) and don't see a need for more unless something really good comes along.

I plan to upgrade to an iPhone 6. I would be interested in other new iOS devices like maybe a laptop, smart monitor, desktop pc, projector, a more functional Apple TV (with an internet browser), or a flat surface smart screen to lay flat on my desk or mount on a wall.


July 29, 2014, 6:53 pm

The only thing you mentioned that had anything at all to do with my post was NFC. Are you sure you replied to the right post?



July 29, 2014, 8:21 pm

Uh "Apple needs to give is what android has has for years" what part of that did I not respond to.

"Apple needs an open environment" what part of that didn't I reply to.

Your logical failing is reading comprehension.

Prem Desai

July 29, 2014, 10:04 pm

I don't mean to get into an ios vs Android debate - I use both and they have their pros and cons.

However, I disagree with a couple of your statements:

"99% of all mobile malware is on Android platform" - where are you getting this from? Out of the several mobile devices in my household, the first one to be affected by malware was my wife's iphone. Malware exists on all platforms. Apple have foolishly been telling people for years that their hardware is immune - nonsense.

You've thrown a lot of numbers, percentages, etc. Quite meaningless really. ios5 to ios6 to ios7 is a tiny stepping stone compared to any 0.1 step android version. Apple like to increase their version numbers every year regardless of whats actually upgraded (usually very little). Android is quite different with far more frequent and bigger updates.

In most cases, I would rather use an out of date version of Android to the latest version of ios - I'm not alone.

Prem Desai

July 29, 2014, 10:06 pm

Lol !!

How can you like Windows 7 but not 8 ??!!! It's like saying I like my left shoe but not my right one !! They're the same (if you boot into desktop).

Prem Desai

July 29, 2014, 10:07 pm

mature = old


July 29, 2014, 11:39 pm

>Out of the several mobile devices in my household, the first one to be affected by malware was my wife's iphone.

One household isn't exactly a representative sample. Here is just one of many sources, I guess your wife is a one percenter:


I will say I misread the study originally, 99% of malware TARGETS android devices, but this article shows that the vast majority of malware does in fact occur on Android Devices.

What other numbers are meaningless? You mean the adoption rate of mobile OS? How is it meaningless? 90% of iphone users are on the latest version of iOS and have access to all the latest software and features while <15% of android users are on Kit Kat. These are very verifiable numbers if you take a moment and look. Since you don't seem willing to do the research here ya go:


I don't see these as meaningless. He was touting all the wonderful features of Android. There's nothing wonderful about having a bunch of features you can't use because you can't upgrade to the latest version. There's nothing wonderful about waiting for carrier updates so you can upgrade (when they have no incentive to send out upgrades when you can entice people to buy new phones).

So you prefer your version of Android to iOS, I like pasta and you like lasagna and life goes on. Both mobile OS's have their flaws, just don't say Apple needs to be wonderful like Android and not expect to be called out on the silliness of the statement.


July 29, 2014, 11:45 pm

Try two front facing stereo speakers (placed at either end of the screen) and a rocker switch that can be used to change tracks/volume (using software to change functionality of existing rocker switch.)

Jason blodgett

July 30, 2014, 12:55 am

I'd buy an "ipad pro" with a digitizer.

Garrett Shaw

July 30, 2014, 8:36 pm

Really, there are adding widgets.

They are increasing the size of the phone size to android portions.

They copied the 7-8 form factor.

Health tracking already been part of android

Next will be waterproofing, then will be a copy the smart watch, we can go on & on.

Shortly, they will be coping MS and creating a touch based macbook.

After Steve, nothing new other Other than pastel colors and finger print reader, no innovation.

Finally, 90% on current OS, is very misleading because Apple only support 2 devices back. So, that would mean that only 10% of the devices are Ipad1, Iphone1,2,3. Highly unlikely, that the adoption rate is that high, if you not counting all of i-devices. If we look at only the last two generations of Android the adoption rate is high than 15% because most have already been updated. Futhermore, all the OS's listed by engadget are old and the Apple devices created in the same year aren't supported either by either Apple.

I like both pasta & lasagna, pretty much the same.


July 31, 2014, 8:35 pm

I posted about open standards, you replied about an open environment. If you don't understand the difference then it's your comprehension that's at fault. If you do understand the difference then you're a simple troll.

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