Folks hold onto iPads longer than ever these days


iPad buying cycle slows - M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air now on sale
Folks may have just been waiting for the new M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air.
Image: Apple

The iPad buying cycle has slowed because iPad owners increasingly hold onto their old tablets for longer periods than in the past, a new analysis showed Wednesday.

However, the just-ended wait for the latest iPad Pro and iPad Air could be a big reason why. It was a long one. The previous generations both came out in 2022.

CIRP data shows users waiting longer to upgrade to new iPads

The new data shows iPad buyers waiting longer between tablet purchases, especially leading up to the current release of M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners reported Wednesday.

“Buyers of new iPads in the past three years have waited progressively longer to replace their old iPads,” CIRP said, describing its research findings. “We ask new iPad buyers who are upgrading from another iPad how long they had their previous iPad. Since 2022, the age of that previous iPad has increased steadily.”

iPad buying cycle slows

In the most recent 12-month period, almost two-thirds of new iPad buyers who already owned an iPad had that prior tablet for two years or more. In 2022, only about half of those buyers had their old iPad for two years or more, CIRP said.

“Most of the change was driven by consumers who kept their iPads for three or more years before upgrading,” the group said. “40% of recent buyers had their old iPad for three years or more, compared to 28% in 2022.”

Consumers for tablets to break — or for huge improvements

CIRP added the caveat that people usually stick with an existing tablet until it breaks or declining battery life or other problems arise. It referred to others — “non-frustrated owners” — upgrading when new features or big performance upgrades come up. But given the recent lengthening iPad release timetable, “the iPad market slowed down while Apple slowed their launch schedule for new models.”

“Now that iPads have some new features, form factors, and prices, we expect dedicated iPad users to begin to upgrade a little faster,” CIRP said. “Of course, since many have been waiting, we may still see a lot of older iPads in the upgrade queue.”


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