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When you buy an iPad, how many years do you expect it to work for your needs before you by another o

  • 3 years

    Votes: 60 46.9%
  • 5 years

    Votes: 59 46.1%
  • 7 years

    Votes: 6 4.7%
  • 10+ years

    Votes: 3 2.3%

  • Total voters
    128
  • Poll closed .

marty1980

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 22, 2011
742
654
Compare to PCs where Windows (and sometimes Mac) is supported for decade old hardware. Tablets seem to be intended more to be tossed out every couple years. But if tablets are to be the post-PC devices they were pitched to be, then shouldn't they also be able to be kept updated and secure for as long as Windows PCs?

When you buy an iPad, how many years do you expect it to work for your needs before you by another one?
  • Try to ignore the fact that features of newer devices often convince people to upgrade earlier than planned at time of purchase.
In the comments try to add any feature improvements you believe the iPad could adopt to extend their usefulness.
 

missbing

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2015
351
619
I would say 5+ years, although I plan to replace every 3-4 years. I've had my iPad Air 2 for almost 3 years and its still very fast and works perfectly. I also have an iPad Original and 2 that I've had for over 6 years and they both still work, although slow. I've just given the Air 2 to my son because I purchased the iPad Pro, but the Air should last at least another 2 years. I'm hoping to keep the Pro for 4 years until I decide to upgrade.
 
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KrisLord

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2008
1,741
1,873
Northumberland, UK
iPad and iPhone share a processor family, and so whatever age you come up with has to apply to both.

I think it’s easier to think of it from the phones perspective as they’ve been released yearly at the same time as the iOS update.

The iPhone 5 was the premium phone from September 2012 until September 2013.

It’ll not get an update to iOS 11 so it’ll end up having a maximum of 5 years of OS updates.

I think this is pretty generous. It’s partially because once a major ios version is released, the older version is no longer updated.

Perhaps 3 years of major OS updates and a further 2 years of security updates would be an alternative approach?

It would mean maintaining the older iOS code bases, but mean the main OS didn’t need to support older hardware.
 
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missyagogo

macrumors member
Oct 9, 2016
30
17
I won't use the term "expect." I would hope that they will last as long as possible. I am still using my iPad 3, but am longing for an upgrade. Not sure if I will make the jump now or in the next few months. With the new iPad Pros out, it is very tempting!

Mine is running iOS 8. I briefly tried 9; big mistake. Wish Apple would not recommend an iOS for devices that cannot handle it.

I think it depends on the person--what they are using their iPad for. I like to see an iPad that can last 5-7 years or more, even if I decide to upgrade before then.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,720
12,905
Compare to PCs where Windows (and sometimes Mac) is supported for decade old hardware. Tablets seem to be intended more to be tossed out every couple years. But if tablets are to be the post-PC devices they were pitched to be, then shouldn't they also be able to be kept updated and secure for as long as Windows PCs?

When you buy an iPad, how many years do you expect it to work for your needs before you by another one?
  • Try to ignore the fact that features of newer devices often convince people to upgrade earlier than planned at time of purchase.
In the comments try to add any feature improvements you believe the iPad could adopt to extend their usefulness.
My main reason for updating iPads frequently was they weren't quite good enough before. We've seen rapid performance and feature upgrades in a very short span of time. It's like we leap-frogged from Pentium I/Windows 3.1 to Skylake/Windows 10 in just 6 years.

I believe with A8X, they started matching Intel Atom performance. With A9X, CPU was actually comparable to low-power Intel Core m processors. Even the A7 isn't doing so badly at web browsing, etc. when compared to the performance of an older Core 2 Duo ULV Windows laptop.

For iPhones, the A6/A7 marked the start of longevity (at least at the iPhone 5's resolution). For retina iPads, I think that's gonna be A8X/A9. Reckon 3-4 years of good performance is actually a realistic expectation now. 5+ years with some slowdown.

That said, we're a pretty exacting bunch here. Heck, I know a co-worker who bought iPad 3's late 2012 for his kids and then got them $150 Windows 10 Atom netbooks last year. He ended up returning the netbooks. He mentioned to me that his kids told him the netbooks were too slow and while their iPad 3 was running slower, it was still faster than the netbook. Yes, the much maligned 4-year old iPad 3 provided better performance than a newer Atom netbook.
 
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keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,539
25,302
You can't really give a definitive time slot, but put it this way: the longevity of iOS devices these days is far, far better than it used to be. I'd say since the 64-bit 5S has been a game changer for that.

You won't be forced to look for new device within a couple of years due to newer iterations of iOS crippling performance.
 
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rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,720
12,905
iPad and iPhone share a processor family, and so whatever age you come up with has to apply to both.

I think it’s easier to think of it from the phones perspective as they’ve been released yearly at the same time as the iOS update.

The iPhone 5 was the premium phone from September 2012 until September 2013.

It’ll not get an update to iOS 11 so it’ll end up having a maximum of 5 years of OS updates.

I think this is pretty generous. It’s partially because once a major ios version is released, the older version is no longer updated.

Perhaps 3 years of major OS updates and a further 2 years of security updates would be an alternative approach?

It would mean maintaining the older iOS code bases, but mean the main OS didn’t need to support older hardware.
Agreed. Probably the best option for performance. Caveat there is I think Apple doesn't want to fragment iOS so developers have an easier time targeting new firmware.
 
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mwhals

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2012
429
196
My iPad 2 (right after original iPad) still works fine. I am sure there are apps that would not work, but I do not have them. Even so, I plan to upgrade to a pro.
 

lsutigerfan1976

macrumors 68030
Sep 14, 2012
2,751
1,734
Im just over 3 and a half with my Air 1, I think thats the max I'd like to keep an iPad.

Still on the iPhone 6+ also, holding out for the 8.

I was going to say that my mom still uses her iPad Air 1, and it is still going strong. No issues whatsoever. But I suspect by this time next yr she will need a new iPad. For no other reason than it tends to lag at times, even on iOS 10.
 
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Hankster

macrumors 68020
Jan 30, 2008
2,475
440
Washington DC
This question is relative to how the iPad is used. My wife and I have an iPad that's almost five years old and we use it only to stream Netflix and YouTube in bed. We have no plans to replace it since it works just fine.
 
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Phonzoxd

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2013
635
451
My iPad 2 (right after original iPad) still works fine. I am sure there are apps that would not work, but I do not have them. Even so, I plan to upgrade to a pro.
How? I use my sisters ipad 2 when i go over to her home and its so rediculously slow i wanna toss it at the wall.

This is just for simple task like safari, and opening and closing youtube.
 

AidenL

macrumors 6502
Jan 19, 2013
445
222
Ireland
I was going to say that my mom still uses her iPad Air 1, and it is still going strong. No issues whatsoever. But I suspect by this time next yr she will need a new iPad. For no other reason than it tends to lag at times, even on iOS 10.
Same here, slow app opening and a lot of Safari reloading on some pages.
 
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gobikerider

Suspended
Apr 15, 2016
2,022
1,478
United States
I would say 5 easily, if you bought a new Pro, look back to history both the iPad 2, 4, and presumably the Air will get 5 years of support. The new Pro power is on another level so I'd easily expect 5+ years from it. At this rate though something amazing will make this thing look slow and ill upgrade in like 3 years. Only time will tell
 

TraceyS/FL

macrumors 601
Jan 11, 2007
4,173
313
North Central Florida
I went:

iPad1 cellular 32gb -> iPad Air 32gb cellular -> 12.9 512gb cellular (ACK)

In the interim the kids have owned, iPad1, iPad Mini and 9.7 iPad Pro. The mini has outlasted 2 Dell 8" Windows Tablets, my oldest is still using it while she decides what kind of computer she wants to buy.

I expect the 12.9 to last a good long time, it will take a huge chunk of tasks off my MBP due to health reasons. I should be able to dump my artwork files on it and stop carrying around the portable drive with the MBP. I also expect to now not have to update my laptop for awhile.

We don't resell devices most of the time - they are passed down. My boyfriend has the iPad1 wifi doing something still even, the cellular one was traded in at Target for the $200 deal that was awesome! LOL I'm not sure where my Air will end up - there are 3 uses vying at the moment. Or 4.

ETA: oh and phones, I went from the iPhone 4 -> 6, and I will probably upgrade this fall... maybe
 

Moolani

macrumors member
Dec 18, 2012
87
94
As long as possible since I hand them down to family members. My iPad (original) still works, although it doesn't get used much as it is really slow. My iPad 2 is still used daily.
 

BenTrovato

macrumors 68040
Jun 29, 2012
3,035
2,198
Canada
They seem to be on their last legs in year 4. Three years is a good time of ownership. Apple has this well laid out.

Money wise, I find that if you buy new but from the market toward the end of year 1 and sell right after year 3, you pay the least for cost of ownership. Day 1 purchases are the worst and hanging on to them past three years kills the resale value.
 

ninaco

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2012
335
120
VA
My needs -- depends on Apple's release cycle. I upgrade every other model. So, about 3 years sounds right for me.

BUT, I expect the iPad to be functional longer than that. I turn my old devices over to family members. I gave my sister the iPad 3. And, when I bought her the 2017 iPad in April, she gave the 3 to my niece. The iPad 3 is a little over 5 years old, still going strong, and used every day. Although, I realize it's near end of life. (Still haven't decided if my niece will get my Air 2 now that I've gone Pro. I love her, but she's spoiled and unappreciative. :rolleyes:)
 

valinda

macrumors 6502a
May 16, 2015
956
819
Virginia Beach, VA
I don't go through iPads like I do my iPhones. My first iPad 2, I had 4 or 5 years before I bought a iPad Air 2. I
decided to buy an iPad Pro today(impulse buy), but I'm really liking it compared to my Air 2.
 
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mwhals

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2012
429
196
My father is still using the original iPad 1 that I gifted him in 2010 almost daily and sees no reason to upgrade.
I am still using the iPad 2. It is great for email, internet and some apps.
 
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