When Apple revealed a pair of lightweight new iPads last October, the tablets came in only two colors: space gray or silver. If you were looking for an iPad that matched your gold-colored iPhone, you were out of luck.
Now we have a clue why that might be. According to a Bloomberg source familiar with Apple’s plans, the company is going to release a new 9.7-inch gold iPad later this month, in hopes of it giving its slowing tablet sales a jolt. According to statistics from IDC Research, after four years of double- and triple-digit growth, tablet shipments for the year grew by a meager 6.5%.
Why is tablet growth slowing? One reason is that consumers seem to be in no hurry to update their tablets. For example, the iPad 2–which came out in 2011–is still the most popular tablet on the planet. Even though Apple still owns the tablet market (as the chart above from IDC illustrates), these larger-screened devices simply aren’t as indispensable as, say, your smartphone. It may help explain why Apple is suddenly expanding into unfortunately termed “phablet” territory, and why Cupertino was withholding the gold iPad as a shiny ace up its sleeve.