IPads won’t fill Christmas socks this year

By David goldman

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – With the way tablet sales are declining, you are almost more likely to get three French chickens or two turtle doves than an iPad this Christmas.

Tablets have had a terrible 2014, and that suffering is expected to continue through the holiday season.

In the months since the school resumption shopping season, tablet sales are down 16%, according to market research firm NPD. Tablets have had one of the worst performances in the entire consumer electronics industry this year.

The tablet market will grow just 7% in 2014, according to a report released Tuesday by research firm IDC. Last year, tablet sales increased 53%.

Without the benefit of a two-year contract, people tend to stick with their tablets longer than their smartphones. And as smartphones get bigger, many people think they don’t need a tablet with a bigger screen.

That’s why the seven-inch mini tablets are the worst performers in the tablet group; its sales have decreased by 40% since September.

The iPad has not been spared either. Sales of iPads are expected to decline in 2014, the first year this has happened since it debuted in 2010. Sales of iPads have declined for three consecutive quarters, and in the last quarter, Apple reported the lowest sales of iPads in more than two years.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in October that the launch of the iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2 should boost sales. But that has not happened yet.

“Even the launch of the new iPads at the end of this period has not served to reignite increased sales,” said Stephen Baker, NPD electronics analyst. “With the holidays coming up, the potential for a positive tablet sales season looks bleak.”

Only Microsoft’s Windows tablets (MSFT, Tech30) have performed slightly well in the last few months of the year. NPD says revenue from Windows tablet sales has risen 11% in the past three months, driven by strong demand for the Surface Pro 3 laptop-tablet hybrid. But that also compares to an absolutely dismal 2013 for Microsoft. , in which the company had to face a $ 900 million expense due to inventory adjustments for the Surface tablet.