Do iPad Discounts Signal Soft Sales?

iPad
Up to $50 discounts are available from Best Buy Staples and Future Shop on the iPad Air

By Stephen Pate – Three weeks ago the first of a series of rolling discounts appeared for the iPad Air. The last time we saw Apple iPad Air discounts was during the battle for Christmas sales.

Best Buy was offering $50 off. The Wednesday only deal appeared twice and was available online with free shipping.

Then last weekend Staples offered up to $50 off the iPad Air for 4 days for online sales. They quickly ran out of stock since the iPad Air is rarely discounted.

Today Future Shop is offering the iPad Air for up to $50 discounts, although they are only discounting $20 off the popular 16GB and 32GB models.  Both Best Buy and Staples offered $40 discounts on the entry-level. Future Shop discounts are one-day, in-store and online only.

Discounting your top product, like the iPad Air, is rare. At these  price points, Apple is stealing sales from the iPad with Retina display, only $80 less.  It also signals mobile sales are softening and Apple wants to gain market share against Samsung and the Android tablets.

The upside for Apple is they get all the retail attention. The iPad is always first on the list of tablets to buy and discounts push people to make the buy decision now.

While Android phones are popular, the iPad is the leader in tablets. My wife called me this week to ask where they should get an iPad Air for the 9th sister (in-law) who did not have one yet. The sisters were comparing notes this week they got together. I sent them to Staples for the best deal of the day.

Samsung announced profits would decline this year which is a continuation of the slow growth tablet manufacturers face in 2014.   Samsung sees Q1 profit decline amid market saturation

For Apple it is a time to consolidate their place as the premium tablet supplier with the iPad Air. I don’t expect the discounts to last indefinitely.

Microsoft is doing nothing to promote their tablets except discounting last year’s failed model. Their top end Surface 2 Pro model remains the highest priced tablet and is not selling well.

Follow me on Twitter at @sdpate or on Facebook at NJN Network, OyeTimes and IMA News Buzz.

By Stephen Pate, NJN Network

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