Digitimes Research believes Apple is planning to sacrifice its gross margins to save its tablet business, which has already fallen into decline. Apple's entry into price competition is also expected to impact sales of its competitors' high-end tablets.
Compared to the iPad Air's significant upgrades in 2013, the iPad Air 2's hardware improvements are a lot smaller, while the iPad mini 3, except for the addition of Touch ID functions, has almost no changes in specifications or industrial design.
Apple's pricing strategy for iPads has become more aggressive. The iPad mini product line, which was the biggest victim of the launch of the iPhone 6 series, is expected to see some recovery in 2014 because of the iPad mini 2's significant price cut and the price comparison effect to the iPad mini 3.
Since demand for tablets will stay weak in the second half, while demand for the iPhone 6 Plus is stronger than expected, Digitimes Research has reduced its iPad shipment forecast for 2014 to 64.95 million units.