Why Apple Is Disappointed With The Way We Upgrade Our iPads

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Consumers update their iPhones at a fairly aggressive pace: when a contract expires, usually within two years, most consumers immediately upgrade to another one. But that’s not the way people upgrade their iPhones… in fact, it’s looking like iPads might be, for most consumers, more like Macs, which are replaced every 2-4 years.

It makes sense, if you think about it. Not only are our iPhones the computers most of us always have with us and use most, but if you’re on a two-year contract, there’s no real incentive not to upgrade at the end of the cycle: you’re still paying a monthly bill that assumes a subsidy price built into it.

According to the CIRP, authors of the report: “We think Apple would prefer the iPad become a big iPhone. We suspect, though, based on recent CIRP data about how buyers use them, that it’s as much like a Mac, TV, or iPod, with less frequent replacement.”

  • Michael Edwards

    “consumers immediately upgrade to another one. But that’s not the way people upgrade their iPhones… in fact, it’s looking like iPads might be”

    …not the way people upgrade their IPADS…

    • Anthony

      I’ve given on up corrective typographical errors on Cult of Mac. Unlike the company they report on, they aren’t as committed to perfection as we would apparently prefer them to be.

  • D R

    Yes, Apple would prefer we update our iPads every year. So what? Proctor Gamble wants us to buy their brand instead of the generic stuff.

    Apple works hard to come up with a new iPad regularly, good enough to make people who have one trade up to the new one. Whether it works for any given model depends on how much has been upgraded and the individual.

    Just another analyst making a report stating the obvious but making it seem like he’s come up with something new.

  • AKC322

    Dude, do you ever proof-read any of this stuff?

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    I’d hardly think Apple is upset with consumers holding onto their iPads or any of their products. People talk as though Apple should build their products so that they expire after a certain amount of time so consumers will be forced to upgrade to a new product. That’s the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard. A company should build products to last even if upgrade cycles are lengthened.

    I’ve always gotten great life out of my Macs. I’ve got a late 2006 MacBook Pro I use daily that’s about 7 years old. It no longer charges the battery so I just keep it on the power adapter. My iMac is five years old, ran 24/7 the entire time and works perfectly. I’ve got a 2006 30GB iPod I use every day that I keep in an iHome clock dock and it’s still working fine although the battery needs to be replaced for a second time. Apple products seem to be built to last and I think Apple is correct in building their products like that.

    • Ellen H.

      That’s what I love about Apple products. I’ve owned them since 1995 and never had a problem.

    • mahadragon

      Brownlee fails to point out the fact that people who own iPads buy apps and this contributes to Apple’s bottom line as well since Apple keeps 70% of the profits from every app sale.

  • Homophobe Jesus Christ

    how about we protest apple by not buying any products for just a year see if that hurts them. then coca cola should be next.

  • TheBasicMind

    Cult-of-Mac, one independent research companies opinion statement,

    “We think Apple would prefer the iPad become a big iPhone. We suspect, though, based on recent CIRP data about how buyers use them, that it’s as much like a Mac, TV, or iPod, with less frequent replacement.”

    …does not justify your headline. You don’t have a first clue if Apple is disappointed with the rate of upgrades of iPad. There are two things I can’t abide about this type of story.

    1. You are an established wordsmith, you know how your words will be taken and you know the words you have used in this headline are wrong and will mislead.

    2. The fact that because you have written this, there are so many comentards who are frankly a bit thick, who start dissing Apple for their “attitude” when Apple have taken no actions and have made no statements whereby they can fairly be said to have expressed such an attitude and such is clear from the story if they bothered to read it and apply even a modicum of intelligence. This shows your story has had an unjustified negative effect.

    It probably won’t matter to you but you are now on my “potentially inauthentic writer” list. Another infraction and I will avoid you like the plague. Keep this up and you will be left with the kind of comentards who have taken your headline at face value. You will still have volume, but you will be one of the Internet’s many, many inconsequential pedlars of bull. What kind of writer do you want to be? How does a writer like John Gruber establish his reputation? Hint : never, ever writing crap like this.

    • Jared Porter

      @ TheBasicMind. Very well stated, on both points. These headline writers have no right to attempt to state what Apple “thinks” as fact without any tangible, direct information. Half the tech press feeds at the rumor and misinformation trough, nibbling on negativity regarding Apple at every turn, knowingly dishing out the height of speculation if not down right lies. I saw a commentator on one of blogger Daniel Erin Dilger’s excellent posts stating that someone should start a “Hall of Shame” listing or ranking journalists (and analysts) who consistently spread FUD and drivel.

  • Quentin Jersey

    Stockbrokers are pissed people don’t upgrade their iPads. More outsider bullshit. Apple is still selling millions of units and is still highly profitable. My favorite is always “Failed to meet projections” (as set by others, not Apple).

  • Mykeljon

    Another badly written crap article. I am seriously considering totally ignoring any further articles from Cult of Mac. In fact, I am going to tell Zite to stop feeding me C of M articles.

  • NoelSarah

    Of course they’d prefer if we upgraded more often. How is this even remotely newsworthy? #wasteoftime

  • Skeptical

    This is almost as bad as that idiotic S5 post last week.

  • sevangrim

    I’m not sure why they keep posting Brownlee’s stuff. Its always shameless fanboy pandering, and on top of that most of the time its pointless dribble like this that even Apple Fanboys find fairly ignorant.

    • lucascott

      Like everything else on this site is any better. It’s not

  • Jeff McCann

    I’ve had 3 ipads. I also had 3 iphones up to the 4. I upgraded my iphones through Rogers every time a new one came out, because I could sell it for full price and then use the cash to upgrade to the next model. It was a great system. However, the problem occurred when i decided to break the cycle and wait out another model because one particular model didn’t appeal to me as a big enough upgrade from what I had. As soon as I broke the cycle, I lost big. I treat my ipads the same way now. Every time there is a new ipad announcement, I throw my ipad up for sale at the going price (they are usually mint) and for an extra hundred dollars, I’m into the newest ipad. I find this way cheaper and more cost effective than using an ipad for 4 years and then selling it for next to nothing and having to fork out a huge wad of cash to get the next model.

  • lucascott

    What a BS headline. No comment from Apple at all. it’s all some 3rd party, likely hack, research and their guess as to what Apple wants.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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