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iPad 'losing ground,' says Citi

The iPad will give up market share while overall tablet shipments continue to surge, according to Citi Research.

Has the iPad's market share peaked?
Has the iPad's market share peaked?

The iPad will lose market share to rivals, even as Apple launches the iPad 5 and an update to the iPad Mini in the second half of the year, according to comments today from Citi Research.

In a note to investors on Wednesday titled "iPhone Impresses but Questions Persist," Citi analyst Glen Yeung said the iPad is "losing ground fast."

Reported iPad shipments were down year-to-year "in stark contrast to overall industry tablet growth," which is up sharply, Yeung said.

Apple reported 14.6 million iPads were sold during the company's third quarter, down from last year, when Apple sold 17 million iPads.

And prospects for the upcoming quarter are not particularly positive. "In light of Apple's flattish revenue guidance...we note that [year-to-year] iPad units will decline -7%," Yeung wrote.

The analyst also offered up this scenario for the quarter ending in December: even if Apple were to grow shipments in that quarter by 75 percent, "this implies 6% growth y/y in [calendar year 2013], well below industry growth of 58.7% (according to IDC)."

Citi reiterated that it expects an iPad 5 and new iPad Mini in the coming months. "We continue to expect iPad5 and a low-cost iPad Mini to be launched in 2H13 [second half 2013]," Yeung added.

Citi Research made no mention of an iPad Mini Retina. This is consistent with past comments by Citi claiming that Mini Retina will be delayed.