iPad Ipad 10.2: now it finally makes sense!

Digitalguy

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For those in a hurry: this thread is about why Apple decided to go with 10.2in and with A10. Apple has a clear strategy and it's explained below.

We have been speculating in this forum about the ipad 10.2 since the CoinX leak in Spring, with some dedicated threads to the rumor. And you had several lines of thought, but nobody had a easy time understanding why Apple would make a 10.2in ipad. I have been thinking about it this morning and now it’s clear.
The rumors seemed to point to a replacement to the entry level ipad (CoinX called it the ipad 7), for which Apple has been using the Ipad air 1 body since 2017. After the ipad air 3 in Spring (mid tier) it became hard to understand why Apple would go through the effort (and cost) of making a 10.2 screen and supposedly eat into Air territory.
At that time I had supposed A11 to keep some distance, but a A12 with 10.2 would be way too close to the Air 3 to make sense (You would just give up 0.3 in for $200 less… especially as the Air is definitely a current model and is going to stay current at least until next year). Some people thought Apple would raise the price, but that made little sense too, given that this ipad has (also) an education target.

So why 10.2 and why A10? Why do they both make perfect sense?

The strategy is clear and started with the ipad 6. Adding pencil support would allow apple to sell extra pricey accessories without increasing the base price of the ipad 5 and make the ipad more compelling, therefore also selling more of them. The strategy went on with the air 3, where the connector was already there.

For the 9.7 they could have taken the 9.7 pro body, but that would have meant resuming production of the discontinued 9.7 keyboard, which in addition was not a great experience.
So what Apple did is stretch the ipad air 1 body to the 10.5 size, without reducing the bezels and the 10.2 was born, and compatible with the 10.5 keyboard.

The size alone was a compelling argument, even more than the keyboard connector. But it was an additional cost. So to maintain the cost down, the best option was A10 (it’s still probably cheaper than A11 and keeps the necessary distance, given the increased screen size).
It was an obvious choice that make perfect sense… for Apple.
For us enthusiast it’s still a disappointment, but I guess most ipad users don’t even know what chip is inside their ipad. A bigger screen size is instead a compelling argument. It comes at the cost of additional overall size and weight, but few people are going to notice or mind that.
Some people will keep complaining, but Apple strategy makes perfect economic sense.
 
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nicho

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They made it compatible with the smart keyboard for productivity and at the same time crossed the threshold at which Office is no longer free.

It doesn't make a difference for education - where office 365 is free. But it doesn't make perfect sense at all for consumers. I'm not sure it (also) has an education target. I think education is the primary focus and consumers are secondary. Accept the tradeoff or buy a more expensive iPad.
 
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Digitalguy

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They made it compatible with the smart keyboard for productivity and at the same time crossed the threshold at which Office is no longer free.

It doesn't make a difference for education - where office 365 is free. But it doesn't make perfect sense at all for consumers. I'm not sure it (also) has an education target. I think education is the primary focus and consumers are secondary. Accept the tradeoff or buy a more expensive iPad.
Well, maybe in the US education is the primary focus. Here in Europe, not so much. Having said that nobody has statistics to say for sure how many ipads are sold to schools and how many to consumers.
As for consumers, I don't think Apple really cared much about Office being free or not. You have google docs, pages etc. for free. I don't use them as I am a teacher and have office for free, but I know a lot of people that do and don't care about office.
 

muzzy996

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Feb 16, 2018
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Well, maybe in the US education is the primary focus. Here in Europe, not so much. Having said that nobody has statistics to say for sure how many ipads are sold to schools and how many to consumers.
As for consumers, I don't think Apple really cared much about Office being free or not. You have google docs, pages etc. for free. I don't use them as I am a teacher and have office for free, but I know a lot of people that do and don't care about office.

Yes, percentage of MS Office usage is market sector based. I’m a project manager and can say that I know a lot of people using Office on iPads who would care that they will eventually have to pay subscription fees in the future to retain the use of the applications on future iPads they upgrade to.
 

theonekcrow

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Jul 12, 2009
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Yes, percentage of MS Office usage is market sector based. I’m a project manager and can say that I know a lot of people using Office on iPads who would care that they will eventually have to pay subscription fees in the future to retain the use of the applications on future iPads they upgrade to.

I don’t think this was put into consideration during the development of the iPad 10.2, but this actually gives Apple an advantage to market the seamlessness of iWork and iCloud, which is included with the purchase of an iPad.
 

JPack

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Mar 27, 2017
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A $150 Fire HD tablet has a 10.1" display, so Apple had to at least match that size.

Apart from that, it seems this 10.2" update was revenue driven. Adding a Smart Connector gives Apple the opportunity to sell a $159 Smart Keyboard, but how many users are willing spend that on a $329 iPad?
 
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MyopicPaideia

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A $150 Fire HD tablet has a 10.1" display, so Apple had to at least match that size.

Apart from that, it seems this 10.2" update was revenue driven. Adding a Smart Connector gives Apple the opportunity to sell a $159 Smart Keyboard, but how many users are willing spend that on a $329 iPad?
Well, you basically now get the previous gen 10.5” iPad Pro (minus 0.3” and 2 speakers) for the price of the budget iPad. The Air 3 only gives you back the 0.3” and the A12.

It seems this new model has a lot to offer as far as value for money. Lots of pro and con discussions about the A12 vs the A10X - so the A10 shouldn’t be a problem with performance or longevity. For light productivity and gaming, media consumption, email web browsing, etc, it will be just as zippy as the Air 3.
 

Powermax

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Aug 11, 2006
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I don't like the crappy 1,2MP front camera of this new iPad, so I prefer the new Air.
 

ondert

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The new iPad Air just ruined the product line. We have a mini version of something with a proper A12 chip, laminated screen etc. and normal sized version of that thing comes with much inferior specs. Clap.. clap.. clap.. That was only possible under Tim Cook's greed. Steve Jobs definitely would not accept such an absurd thing.
At maximum, Steve Job's Apple could name the iPad Air just a regular iPad and call the low end ipad something different, like ePad.
Since last 3 years, Tim Cook's actions really annoy me. March event and this one really pissed me off. I swear to him everyday and night probably. I'll be so happy the day he goes away.
 
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jonblatho

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The new iPad Air just ruined the product line. We have a mini version of a something with a proper A12 chip, laminated screen etc. and normal sized version of that thing comes with much inferior specs. Clap.. clap.. clap.. That was only possible under Tim Cook's greed. Steve Jobs definitely would not accept such an absurd thing.
At maximum, Steve Job's Apple could name the iPad Air just a regular iPad and call the low end ipad something different, like ePad.
The iPad Air serves well those who want a full-sized iPad — but not an iPad Pro — at the long-standing iPad base price of $499. It’s an excellent half-step between the two extremes for users who don’t want to shell out a few extra hundred bucks for essentially a nicer design and ProMotion display.

Speaking as an owner of an 11” iPad Pro, if the current iPad Air that “ruined” the lineup were available when I made my purchase, it would have been a very strong contender to replace my 9.7” iPad Pro.
 
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Hym tix

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Sep 21, 2012
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Well, you basically now get the previous gen 10.5” iPad Pro (minus 0.3” and 2 speakers) for the price of the budget iPad. The Air 3 only gives you back the 0.3” and the A12.

It seems this new model has a lot to offer as far as value for money. Lots of pro and con discussions about the A12 vs the A10X - so the A10 shouldn’t be a problem with performance or longevity. For light productivity and gaming, media consumption, email web browsing, etc, it will be just as zippy as the Air 3.

huh, i totally disagree. The more logical comparison would be to say: "you get the 2018 iPad 9.7 a little bigger"
Specs and internal hardware are the exact same as the March 2018 iPad 9.7.

There's nothing new or pro about this new iPad, its the same old "cheaper" 2018 iPad in a bigger box with a bigger screen that lets you connect the 10.5 Apple Smart Keyboard.
I'm not saying thats a bad thing... for anyone in the market for the cheaper iPad, they now get it with a larger screen and better keyboard cover options. Just don't imagine it is any more than that.
 

Digitalguy

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Apr 15, 2019
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Well, you basically now get the previous gen 10.5” iPad Pro (minus 0.3” and 2 speakers) for the price of the budget iPad. The Air 3 only gives you back the 0.3” and the A12.

It seems this new model has a lot to offer as far as value for money. Lots of pro and con discussions about the A12 vs the A10X - so the A10 shouldn’t be a problem with performance or longevity. For light productivity and gaming, media consumption, email web browsing, etc, it will be just as zippy as the Air 3.
You get much less that the ipad pro 10.5
huh, i totally disagree. The more logical comparison would be to say: "you get the 2018 iPad 9.7 a little bigger"
Specs and internal hardware are the exact same as the March 2018 iPad 9.7.

There's nothing new or pro about this new iPad, its the same old "cheaper" 2018 iPad in a bigger box with a bigger screen that lets you connect the 10.5 Apple Smart Keyboard.
I'm not saying thats a bad thing... for anyone in the market for the cheaper iPad, they now get it with a larger screen and better keyboard cover options. Just don't imagine it is any more than that.
Totally agree with Hym tix on this. But the comment from MyopicPaideia shows what I was saying in my original post. People don't realize they are just getting a stretched ipad 2018 (in order to make it compatible with the 10.5). And if people on this forum don't realize it, I guess a lot (probably most) ipad buyers won't realized it either.
So Apple strategy does work.
By the way ipad pro 10.5 is thinner and lighter (same weight as the 2019 9.7) with thinner bezels, has a laminated and less reflective screen at 600 nits, it has a much faster chip, pro motion, double the storage, better camera, USB 3.0 and fast charging support (in addition to speakers and screen size). Anyone will attach the importance that they want to each thing, but many people are simply not aware of (or do not think of) all these differences.
[doublepost=1568242652][/doublepost]
The new iPad Air just ruined the product line. We have a mini version of something with a proper A12 chip, laminated screen etc. and normal sized version of that thing comes with much inferior specs. Clap.. clap.. clap.. That was only possible under Tim Cook's greed. Steve Jobs definitely would not accept such an absurd thing.
At maximum, Steve Job's Apple could name the iPad Air just a regular iPad and call the low end ipad something different, like ePad.
Since last 3 years, Tim Cook's actions really annoy me. March event and this one really pissed me off. I swear to him everyday and night probably. I'll be so happy the day he goes away.
In my opinion the ipad line makes perfect sense. I explained why the mini has its place and why its specs make sense in a post some time ago (in short, it's not worth it for apple to make different tiers of the mini (contrary to air and pro 11), so mid-tier specs are the best compromise for everyone, especially at 399).
 
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muzzy996

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Feb 16, 2018
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huh, i totally disagree. The more logical comparison would be to say: "you get the 2018 iPad 9.7 a little bigger"
Specs and internal hardware are the exact same as the March 2018 iPad 9.7.

There's nothing new or pro about this new iPad, its the same old "cheaper" 2018 iPad in a bigger box with a bigger screen that lets you connect the 10.5 Apple Smart Keyboard.
I'm not saying thats a bad thing... for anyone in the market for the cheaper iPad, they now get it with a larger screen and better keyboard cover options. Just don't imagine it is any more than that.

Agree. For those looking for a new base model iPad there are improvements to be had.

What the model line up boils down to for me is that the 10.2 has made the 2019 Air an odd fish, and a refurbished 10.5 more attractive.

32gb iPad 10.2 - $329
128gb iPad 10.2 - $429

64gb iPad Pro 10.5 REFURBISHED - $469

64gb iPad Air 2019 - $499
256gb iPad Air 2019 - $649

64gb iPad Pro 11' - $799


The Air certainly sits in the middle price wise but I'm not sure the cost difference is justified until refurbished 10.5 models are no longer available. And yes, I am aware there are spec differences.
 

Digitalguy

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Original poster
Apr 15, 2019
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A $150 Fire HD tablet has a 10.1" display, so Apple had to at least match that size.

Apart from that, it seems this 10.2" update was revenue driven. Adding a Smart Connector gives Apple the opportunity to sell a $159 Smart Keyboard, but how many users are willing spend that on a $329 iPad?
329 is just the entry level, some people spend more and I guess spending it "after the purchase " like 6 months later hurts less...
[doublepost=1568242929][/doublepost]
I don’t think this was put into consideration during the development of the iPad 10.2, but this actually gives Apple an advantage to market the seamlessness of iWork and iCloud, which is included with the purchase of an iPad.
Yes for apple free office is not a big argument. For some people it may well be. Thinking of it, I may add this to the sale arguments when I sell my 9.7 pro ;)
 
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Hym tix

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Sep 21, 2012
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You get much less that the ipad pro 10.5

[...]

People don't realize they are just getting a stretched ipad 2018 (in order to make it compatible with the 10.5). And if people on this forum don't realize it, I guess a lot (probably most) ipad buyers won't realized it either.
So Apple strategy does work.

Yeah, I'm sure the strategy will work. Now Apple has a "brand new 2019 iPad" and that will be enough to draw a lot of buyers.

and that is just frustrating because its great when a large company applies their resources toward innovation and this... is not. I mean, wasn't the 2018 iPad released as a lower -spec device? and now the 2019 iPad has the same exact lower specs 18 months later?
 

ACG12

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Jun 9, 2015
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The only way the new 2019 iPad 10.2 would’ve been worth purchasing is if the base storage would’ve been 64gb and had 3gb RAM (which I doubt Apple did).

Quite disappointed in Apple, 32gb is a joke in 2019.
 
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Digitalguy

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The only way the new 2019 iPad 10.2 would’ve been worth purchasing is if the base storage would’ve been 64gb and had 3gb RAM (which I doubt Apple did).

Quite disappointed in Apple, 32gb is a joke in 2019.
Again the strategy makes perfect sense for Apple, not necessarily for consumers (who will buy anyway).
Apple had to recoup the cost of stretching the device (to make it compatible with the 10.5 keyboard and therefore cross-sell more pricey accessories) by keeping all other costs down as much as possible.
The strategy is working as most people so far are considering that the 2019 ipad has more value than the 2019, which had already "a lot of value" (what they don't think about is that a spec bump for the same price is the norm in new generations, and here there is no spec bump, and that the 2018 one is almost $100 cheaper new)
 
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Macintoshrumors

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A $150 Fire HD tablet has a 10.1" display, so Apple had to at least match that size.

Apart from that, it seems this 10.2" update was revenue driven. Adding a Smart Connector gives Apple the opportunity to sell a $159 Smart Keyboard, but how many users are willing spend that on a $329 iPad?
I doubt the FireHD was on apples radar.
 
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Nshstephan

macrumors newbie
Sep 28, 2019
10
1
For those in a hurry: this thread is about why Apple decided to go with 10.2in and with A10. Apple has a clear strategy and it's explained below.

We have been speculating in this forum about the ipad 10.2 since the CoinX leak in Spring, with some dedicated threads to the rumor. And you had several lines of thought, but nobody had a easy time understanding why Apple would make a 10.2in ipad. I have been thinking about it this morning and now it’s clear.
The rumors seemed to point to a replacement to the entry level ipad (CoinX called it the ipad 7), for which Apple has been using the Ipad air 1 body since 2017. After the ipad air 3 in Spring (mid tier) it became hard to understand why Apple would go through the effort (and cost) of making a 10.2 screen and supposedly eat into Air territory.
At that time I had supposed A11 to keep some distance, but a A12 with 10.2 would be way too close to the Air 3 to make sense (You would just give up 0.3 in for $200 less… especially as the Air is definitely a current model and is going to stay current at least until next year). Some people thought Apple would raise the price, but that made little sense too, given that this ipad has (also) an education target.

So why 10.2 and why A10? Why do they both make perfect sense?

The strategy is clear and started with the ipad 6. Adding pencil support would allow apple to sell extra pricey accessories without increasing the base price of the ipad 5 and make the ipad more compelling, therefore also selling more of them. The strategy went on with the air 3, where the connector was already there.

For the 9.7 they could have taken the 9.7 pro body, but that would have meant resuming production of the discontinued 9.7 keyboard, which in addition was not a great experience.
So what Apple did is stretch the ipad air 1 body to the 10.5 size, without reducing the bezels and the 10.2 was born, and compatible with the 10.5 keyboard.

The size alone was a compelling argument, even more than the keyboard connector. But it was an additional cost. So to maintain the cost down, the best option was A10 (it’s still probably cheaper than A11 and keeps the necessary distance, given the increased screen size).
It was an obvious choice that make perfect sense… for Apple.
For us enthusiast it’s still a disappointment, but I guess most ipad users don’t even know what chip is inside their ipad. A bigger screen size is instead a compelling argument. It comes at the cost of additional overall size and weight, but few people are going to notice or mind that.
Some people will keep complaining, but Apple strategy makes perfect economic sense.
I have ipad 6 which I bought 3 weeks ago now I want sell it and buy ipad 7 because of 1gb extra ram. Will that extra ram be noticeable?
 

Digitalguy

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Apr 15, 2019
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I have ipad 6 which I bought 3 weeks ago now I want sell it and buy ipad 7 because of 1gb extra ram. Will that extra ram be noticeable?
Yes, now that we know that it has 3GB RAM, that alone makes it worth it. But maybe not in the sense most people think about it. Let me explain.

People think of RAM in terms of speed, because the project their laptop experience into their ipad.
IOS does not work the same way as Windows and MacOS.
The ipad 6 will be exactly as fast as the ipad 7. No difference in terms of speed.
A laptop with low RAM will become slower as it will use the hard disk (often an SSD these days) as an additional source of memory (so called paging). Windows 10 added another way to face low RAM, which is memory compression, but paging is still the main tool.
Ipad does not use paging. It uses memory compression and memory ejection. When an app (or tab) it’s not in use, it’s memory usage is compressed and IOS is very good at compressing and decompressing (think of it like zipping a file), better than Android for instance.
However past a certain level it will eject from RAM so the app or tab (and its contents) will reload (and contents reset with any data deleted, without any warning of low RAM to the user, contrary to windows for instance).
In 2GB devices this happens quite often, in 3GB devices (I have the mini 5 to compare) much, much less.
Why so much less?
Because of the fact that IOS itself uses a good deal of the first 1GB of RAM (that‘s from IOS 9 on, even 1GB devices became painful to use, and where never allowed to do split screen).
On 2GB devices apps have more room to breath (a full GB more) and you can use 2 at the same time but refreshes happen relatively often if you use a lot of different apps/tabs. 3GB is like doubling the RAM, since, again, the first GB is taken mainly by IOS itself and apps use mainly the “2nd” and “3rd” one. In my experience 3GB is much closer to 4GB than it is to 2GB (even if in theory it is in between).

One last point, will IOS get to a point where it alone will take so much RAM that 2GB will become slow like 1GB devices?
We cannot know for sure, but I don’t think so. Apple is doing a great job of optimizing IOS and IPadOS in terms of RAM. And IOS 13 actually doesn’t seem to take more RAM than IOS 12 despite all the changes, and IOS 12 itself took less RAM than IOS 9 (I did a comparison some time ago). Will IOS take more RAM in the future? Maybe, but not to a point to slow down 2GB devices (at least not before discontinuing them). Take IOS 11 for instance, which was the version that took most RAM. It did not slow down much 2GB devices, but did increase refreshes.
So I think refreshes will be the big differenciating factor going forward, not speed.
 

Nshstephan

macrumors newbie
Sep 28, 2019
10
1
Yes, now that we know that it has 3GB RAM, that alone makes it worth it. But maybe not in the sense most people think about it. Let me explain.

People think of RAM in terms of speed, because the project their laptop experience into their ipad.
IOS does not work the same way as Windows and MacOS.
The ipad 6 will be exactly as fast as the ipad 7. No difference in terms of speed.
A laptop with low RAM will become slower as it will use the hard disk (often an SSD these days) as an additional source of memory (so called paging). Windows 10 added another way to face low RAM, which is memory compression, but paging is still the main tool.
Ipad does not use paging. It uses memory compression and memory ejection. When an app (or tab) it’s not in use, it’s memory usage is compressed and IOS is very good at compressing and decompressing (think of it like zipping a file), better than Android for instance.
However past a certain level it will eject from RAM so the app or tab (and its contents) will reload (and contents reset with any data deleted, without any warning of low RAM to the user, contrary to windows for instance).
In 2GB devices this happens quite often, in 3GB devices (I have the mini 5 to compare) much, much less.
Why so much less?
Because of the fact that IOS itself uses a good deal of the first 1GB of RAM (that‘s from IOS 9 on, even 1GB devices became painful to use, and where never allowed to do split screen).
On 2GB devices apps have more room to breath (a full GB more) and you can use 2 at the same time but refreshes happen relatively often if you use a lot of different apps/tabs. 3GB is like doubling the RAM, since, again, the first GB is taken mainly by IOS itself and apps use mainly the “2nd” and “3rd” one. In my experience 3GB is much closer to 4GB than it is to 2GB (even if in theory it is in between).

One last point, will IOS get to a point where it alone will take so much RAM that 2GB will become slow like 1GB devices?
We cannot know for sure, but I don’t think so. Apple is doing a great job of optimizing IOS and IPadOS in terms of RAM. And IOS 13 actually doesn’t seem to take more RAM than IOS 12 despite all the changes, and IOS 12 itself took less RAM than IOS 9 (I did a comparison some time ago). Will IOS take more RAM in the future? Maybe, but not to a point to slow down 2GB devices (at least not before discontinuing them). Take IOS 11 for instance, which was the version that took most RAM. It did not slow down much 2GB devices, but did increase refreshes.
So I think refreshes will be the big differenciating factor going forward, not speed.
Thanks for a brief explanation, I will try to sell my 6th gen as expensive as I can and buy 7th gen, I want it to be more future proof since before 2018 ipad I own ipad air 1 and on iOS 12 it was pain.
 

nicho

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Feb 15, 2008
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I want it to be more future proof

Looking at it from another perspective... why throw away $X on 'future proofing' when you could save it, and put it towards a model which is inevitably far better than either the 6th or 7th generation in a couple of years time?

I had a 32GB 6th gen ipad which i bought for work, and was looking to replace it with something with more storage since I found it useful. It was my first iPad since the Mini 2. In the end I realised that "future proofing" by buying more than I needed and getting an iPad pro was a fools game, as I could buy an ipad that was good enough now, a new one in a couple of years time and a new one a couple of years after that for the same money. Yes the ipad pro would probably still be plenty powerful in 4 years but the battery will be another story.

I wouldn't upgrade to the 7th gen for the sake of it, the 8th will likely improve on it in some way.
 

Nshstephan

macrumors newbie
Sep 28, 2019
10
1
Thanks for a brief explanation, I will try to sell my 6th gen as expensive as I can and buy 7th gen, I want it to be more future proof since before 2018 ipad I own ipad air 1 and on iOS 12 it was pain.
Looking at it from another perspective... why throw away $X on 'future proofing' when you could save it, and put it towards a model which is inevitably far better than either the 6th or 7th generation in a couple of years time?

I had a 32GB 6th gen ipad which i bought for work, and was looking to replace it with something with more storage since I found it useful. It was my first iPad since the Mini 2. In the end I realised that "future proofing" by buying more than I needed and getting an iPad pro was a fools game, as I could buy an ipad that was good enough now, a new one in a couple of years time and a new one a couple of years after that for the same money. Yes the ipad pro would probably still be plenty powerful in 4 years but the battery will be another story.

I wouldn't upgrade to the 7th gen for the sake of it, the 8th will likely improve on it in some way.
Nice advice, but I will only sell it, if that amount of money will be sufficient to buy 7th gen without any additional costs, I am from Armenia and i bought that ipad for 250$ , but new one here costs ~400$ so even used one I can easily sell for ~ 330$.
 
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