This past week included two milestones for the tablet market: It was the first full week of sales for Apple’s newest iPad Pro, and it was also the sixth anniversary of the first iPad’s debut in 2010.
In that time, Apple has cumulatively sold more than 300 million iPads. And while that’s an impressive number, the tablet market that Apple more or less created hasn’t met its expectations.
Early predictions for tablet sales assumed nothing less than a revolution in mobile computing. In 2011, as iPad sales accelerated and a broader market began to take shape, analysts at the research firm Gartner projected that annual tablet shipments would pass 300 million units by 2015, including almost 150 million iPads.
Reality has fallen well short of those forecasts. In February, research firm IDC estimated 2015’s tablet shipment total at 207 million units. (Apple sold 50 million iPads in 2015.)