Consumer interest in tablet computers and iPads continues to decline as interest in phablet smartphones climbs

Apple’s biggest problem at the moment is the iPad. Revenues for the once-popular tablet continue to decline year after year.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) May See 50% Decline In iPad Sales

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo doesn’t even think a larger iPad would make a difference. In a recent research note, he said he thinks iPad shipments will struggle to reach 45 million units this year, resulting in a 30% decline from last year.

Low expectations for the next Apple tablet

Later this year, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to introduce a 12.9-inch iPad, but it may not make a huge difference in terms of sales. Kuo estimates that the iPad will experience a rough start this year. He predicts a shipment decline by 52.7% in the first quarter to 10.1 million units. In the second quarter, he estimates another drop from 30% to 40% with sales of 7 million to 8 million units.

Kuo’s estimates for 2015 suggest this year will bring the most significant shipment decline in the device’s five-year history.

More iPad Air Pro rumors

The upcoming iPad Air Pro still garners a decent amount of buzz while fans anticipate the tablet’s arrival. A recent report from the Inquisitr suggests the tablet’s features may include four speakers, charging ports in portrait and landscape mode, and a screen size between 12.2 to 12.9 inches diagonally. Another report from GizmoChina states that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will name the larger tablet the iPad Plus and give it more battery capacity. The battery capacity is reported to increase to 11000mAh, making it nearly a 150% increase compared to the iPad Air 2.

Another rumor indicates that the next tablet will run on OS X Yosemite instead of iOS. It could also come with a stylus using completely new technology.

Given Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) preference for October releases, fans will most likely have to wait until the end of the year to get their hands on the larger tablet.