Apple may report first year-on-year plunge in iPad shipments since 2010

According to a recent report by market intelligence firm ABI Research, Apple will likely suffer its first year-on-year plunge in iPad shipments since the device's launch in 2010. The report underscores yet another speculation that the sales of the iPad have been hit by the increasing popularity of big-screen handsets.

ABI Research has pointed out that Apple's 2014 iPad sales figures can hold even with the tablet's sales figures for 2013 only if the company reports as many iPad shipments in the last three quarters of 2014 as it did in all of the first nine months of the year.

However, even though Apple is still to report iPad sales number for the traditionally strong holiday season, it is being speculated that the company will likely report a total shipments of nearly 68 million iPads in 2014.

Although ABI Research has stated that the expected 2014 iPad sales figures will mark an impressive total, it would sill underscore an 8.1 percent decline from the 74 million iPad shipments reported by the company in 2013.

Asserting the fact that Apple needs to report a 'big' 2014 holiday sales number for the iPad, ABI Research senior practice director Jeff Orr said: "Unless Apple can pull off a 32+ million unit quarter, sales for CY2014 will be down for the first year since the iPad launched."