Wired on the iPad’s Slump
The iPad’s sales continue to decline, leaving many analysts to theorize why it’s happening. Wired’s Kyle Vanhemert suggests that the iPad is becoming an increasingly niche device as it’s squeezed from both ends of Apple’s product line. In particular, the iPhone 6 Plus is treading into iPad mini territory, making the iPad’s larger screen less compelling in comparison. Simultaneously, MacBook battery life continues to improve, also reducing the comparative appeal of the iPad’s long battery life.
Sometimes tech journalists draw amazing conclusions and here is an example. Maybe the iPad is so good a package and updatable that we owners don't need to replace them as often as dictated by fashion with iPhones. I don't think the iPhone 6 screen size is a factor in downsizing iPad sales - even the larger sized iPhone 6 screen is still too small to view what can be comfortably viewed on an iPad screen.
The idea that an iPad is only useful for casual viewing in front of a TV screen is shortsighted. Sure it is good for that but iPads are well deployed in businesses and organisations.
Most tech journalists didn't get the iPad whenit was first released and these doom stories about the future of the iPad makes me believe they are trying to justify their original scepticism.
So your suggestion for the decline in iPad sales is purely that they're not being replaced nearly as quickly as iPhones? I agree that's part of it, but I do find that the iPad has much more trouble competing for my attention. My iPhone is with me all the time, and when I'm working, I'm at a real computer (Retina iMac). And when I travel, I bring the MacBook Air if I need to do any real work (which for me involves specific apps and keyboard-centric behavior). The only thing the iPad does notably better than the Mac or iPhone for me is play Netflix wherever I am in the house while doing bodyweight workouts.
In fact, that may play into your suggestion too. Obviously, everyone's mileage will vary, but it strikes me that a lot of people may have found that the iPad is the best solution for few enough tasks that it's not worth replacing - I'm getting along fine with an iPad 3. In contrast, I replace my iPhone every two years, and it's always been a good idea for one reason or another.