It is a known fact that iPad sales have been declining recently for Apple with Q1 of their calendar year (Oct-Dec 2015) for 2016 being at 16.12 million iPads of all sizes, colours and storage capacities worldwide (or almost a 25% drop in sales compared to same quarter the previous year with no mid-size iPad update). 
Why is this?
This is probably because people are satisfied enough with the iPad they currently have and do not see enough of a change in the newer models to justify upgrading every 2-3 years, like they would with a phone. Instead tablets are becoming more like PCs/Macs in terms of people upgrading them more along the lines of 5-7 years.
The financial quarter that has had the most sales of iPads was Christmas in 2013, after iPad Air 1 and iPad Mini 2 was released.
These were significant changes to the iPad lineup because the mini got a retina display and the latest processor, which is what a lot of people wanted and the iPad Air was the first of the thinner tablets to be introduced which was 22% less in volume  and about 28% less heavy than the iPad (4th Generation) .
What needs to be done?
Listed below are some changes that I believe Apple should be implementing, if they want to increase sales of their iPads. They are divided into separate sections being hardware, software and pricing.
- Make all new iPads released each year have the latest processor (looking at iPad Mini 4 with A8 processor announced at same time as iPad Pro with A9X Processor).
- Bring back the toggle switch next to the volume controls for people who want it to silence their tablet or lock the screen rotation (which I use all the time).
- Improve the battery life to more like 15 hours of battery instead of 10 hours a day. My iPad Air battery has had at best 14hrs, but heard iPad Air 2 struggles to get to 10hrs from some reviews I’ve read online.
- Include the smart connector on the iPad Air 3 and iPad Mini 5 with compatible accessories.
- Add Touch ID 2 from the iPhone 6s/Plus onto all new iPad models as it is ridiculously fast.
- Offer an iPad Pro with 256GB storage.
- Eventually introduce an OLED display on the iPads after iPhones, mainly for the battery improvements you would get from it.
- Add support for 3D Touch to all new iPads.
- Add support for Apple Pencil to all new iPads.
- Upgrade the camera to the iPhone 6s’s 12MP camera on all new iPad models with support for 4K video recording. If you are going to use an iPad for video recording out in public, you’ll want to get the best video recording you can.
- Upgrade the FaceTime HD camera to the one on the iPhone 6s on all new iPad models.
- Add an NFC chip inside the iPad even if it is not used for Apple Pay (why would it?), but rather for people to tap and go with wireless headphones, pair Bluetooth devices etc.
- Support for Wi-Fi 802.11ad.
- Support for 5G cellular internet when available.
- Add USB 3 speeds to lightning port on all new iPad models.
- Add support for fast charging, similar to what Qualcomm’s latest chips do.
- Introduce more accessories than just a smart keyboard that takes advantage of the smart connector. Kind of like what LG is doing with the LG G5 and it’s modular design and how they have different accessories you can use including analogue camera controls and 32-bit Digital Audio Converter (DAC) through collaboration with Bang & Olufsen.
- Introduce a rear camera true tone flash on all new iPads (cause people are still taking photos on their iPads).
- Not removing the 3.5mm headphone jack.
- Introduce a wireless charging method that works within 10 metres, so battery life is not so much an issue when at home or at work. Likely will come to iPhone first as a maybe iPhone 7s key-feature, then be implemented in the following iPads.
- Drop support for A5/X processors (iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad Mini 1) which will force people to update their
- Add iPad Multi-User support like what they are doing for education but on a per iPad basis and let it only work via Touch ID with one fingerprint per member (minimum) if they want to increase sales.
- Add support for 240FPS slow-mo video on all new iPads.
- Support having the same application opened on both sides of split view mode, so you can see two web pages at the same time, two word or pages documents at the same time etc.
- Be able to change out either of the apps in split view mode regardless of side at any time.
- Be able to swap the apps in split view mode for extra convenience when it comes to setting up etc.
- Improve the file management system on iPads to make it more clear what is on the device and what is on iCloud Drive or other respective services.
- Pressure app developers (ESPECIALLY YOUTUBE) to add support for Picture in Picture mode if they use video in their apps.
- Pressure app developers (ESPECIALLY YOUTUBE) to add support for Slide Over and Split View mode if they use video in their apps.
- Introduce the surround sound speakers from the iPad Pro on all new iPad models (including the Mini).
- Support for always-on “Hey Siri” with the A9/X processor iPads and newer.
- Add native support for iPads to become external monitors for Mac users (especially for iPad Pro) without the need for separate apps like Duet.
- Support for home screen widgets to take better advantage of the iPads large screen size.
- Reduce the prices in countries where there are a lack of sales. This includes Australia, as a few years ago the base model normal iPad was $599 and it is now $699 due to exchange rates etc.
- Make 32GB the base storage size for all iPads in their lineup with iPad Pro starting at 64GB.
- Make the next storage tier price be only US$50 to jump from 32 to 64GB and then to 128GB, similar to what they are doing on older iPads and iPods. For iPad Pro, make this AU$100 instead of AU$250.
- Offer discounts on certain Apple accessories if you purchase them in the same transaction as a compatible iPad.
A lot of what I and presumably most of the public can think of that needs to change on the iPads in the future, are mostly evolutionary updates. It is normal for the iPhone to get all of the major updates first because of the high turnover they have on their phones to then bring the technology to iPad (hence 3D Touch eventually).
This leaves me to the question for this post:
“What is it going to take to get you to upgrade your iPad or switch to an iPad?”
For me it is mainly wanting to see a 9.7inch iPad Pro, with 3D Touch, that is slightly cheaper then it is today in Australia, and vastly better software that takes advantage of the iPads screen, including improvements to Split View & YouTube also supporting Split View.
That it for this post, thank you for reading and be sure to follow my blog for more posts like this in the future and please give it a like to show your support.
You can also checkout my recent blog post on my iOS 10 Wishlist, where I list a lot more features and changes I want to see for software on the next iPhones and iPads.
Featured Image: https://www.apple.com/au/support/ipad/