iPad longevity and value

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Richard8655, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. Richard8655, Nov 11, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017

    Richard8655 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    As we’re seeing and buying pretty expensive iPads these days approaching $1k or more, I wonder what the practical longevity of these are? Is it worth spending that kind of money if it’ll lose much of its value in a few years? Or stick with base and less expensive models and just replace more frequently?

    For example, before starting to get sluggish and difficult to use, I’m thinking a regular 2017 iPad (A9 chip) maybe 4-5 years. iPad Pro (A10x chip) 5-6 years? Maybe that’s too optimistic. Any thoughts?
     
  2. akash.nu macrumors 68030

    akash.nu

    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    #2
    Yeah a bit too optimistic I’d say. It really depends on your requirements. If you just do basic stuff on your iPad then just get the iPad 2017 and you’ll be fine for 3 years I’d hope.
     
  3. macgeek18 macrumors 68000

    macgeek18

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Location:
    Northern California
    #3
    I have the original 12.9” Pro. I have had it through iOS 9.5 to iOS 11 and have had no slow down and I’m going on almost two years of ownership. I think it will last 4 years at least as long as it keeps working.
     
  4. Ntombi macrumors 68040

    Ntombi

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Bostonian exiled in SoCal
    #4
    It really does depend. I don’t do heavy duty stuff on my iPad mini 2, I mostly stream videos and do light word processing, emailing, surfing, etc. Mine is perfectly fine still. I can’t see replacing it for at least another year, if not longer.

    I’ll probably get sick of not being able to use swipe gestures and replace it before it’s really necessary.
     
  5. gobikerider macrumors 68000

    gobikerider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    United States
    #5
    With its 4gb of ram the relevancy of that device will continue easily past the 4 year mark. I mean a lot of people are still using iPad 2’s and albeit a little slow they work fine for their uses.
     
  6. s2mikey macrumors 68020

    s2mikey

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Location:
    Upstate, NY
    #6
    I agree - RAM is a big deal, IMO. My Air1 has been great and still is but its lack of RAM is what will "do it in" so to speak. Thats whats so nice about the 10.5 and 12.9 models. They got the RAM! :) There are great deals on the 9.7 Pro and the 2017 regular iPad, both of which have 2GB at least versus the 1GB in the Air1.

    iPads will "work" for a long time after you buy them. As others have stated, it depends on what you do with it and what your expectations are.
     
  7. Richard8655 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    #7
    Yeah, I agree with everyone. It really depends on your needs and maybe how robust the model you have is. 5 years would be a good run, if possible.
     
  8. Darmok N Jalad macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Tanagra
    #8
    Our Air1 is still going strong after 3 years, even with a couple cracks in the display. I think your biggest concern is going to be a drop in battery life if you plan to keep one for 5-6 years under heavy use. Battery replacement is possible, but not trivial.
     
  9. aneftp macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #9
    iPads are a lot like what laptops were in the late 1990s through mid 2000s. Meaning laptops lasted about 3 years roughly back in those days (I mean u can still use those laptops. But I felt the slow down with most windows upgrades)

    But I think iPads these days are designed with a 4 year real life cycle (real life before u feel it slowing down:barely usable). Except iPad 3 which we are knew was a dud. That thing slowed down after 2 years big time.

    So iPad Air (2013) is nearly end of real time use. In 2018. It’s almost certain to be end of life in terms of iOS support. Sure u can use it. But no more iOS updates.

    So the answer is 4 years for macrumors users. 5 years is really pushing it.

    That’s why I sold my iPad Air (2013) and recently sold one of my iPad Air 2 (2014).

    I’m always trying to resell and rebuy.

    So my current iOS lineup in my family includes
    iPad Pro 9.7 lte (2016)
    iPad Pro 10.5 (2017) WiFi (just purchase)
    iPad Air 2 lte
    iPad (2017 A9)

    I completely moved away from the 1gb ram iOS devices.
     
  10. Richard8655 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    #10
    Similar here. Went from iPad 3 (dud is too kind a word) and Air 1 to 10.5 and 2017 9.7. What’s interesting to me is the Air 1 ran relatively fine under IOS 11, and seemed to have a ways to go. It was probably one of the best longevity bangs for the buck, I think.
     
  11. NoBoMac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #11
    Still using the much maligned iPad 3. Come March, will have had it for 6yrs.

    For my media consumption, web browsing, email, reading, and occassional minor word processing, still works well enough for on the couch or on a plane. That said, will be replacing with the next refresh.
     
  12. tambur123 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    #12
    It depends of the direction the iOS is headed. Given the curent pace I would say it’s about 4 years for the pro models.
    If the future iOS versions will converge towards macOS then it’s gonna be less.
     
  13. max2 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    #13
    What version of iOS are you on?
     
  14. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #14
    Given that the iPad has the same specs as the iphone 6S, it's probably good for another 2 years of software updates (iOS 12 and 13). You can continue using it long after the fact though, but then you may start running into problems with unsupported apps and the like.

    I am guessing the iPad Pro (2017 models) should be good for at least 4 years of updates, maybe 5 (iOS 11, 12, 13, 14). Plus, with the improved specs, you should generally see better performance across the board.

    And if you want to be able to use the pencil and Smart Keyboard, the pros are really your only option.

    Ultimately depends on your use case. What do you see yourself using your iPad for?
     
  15. Sunshoopa macrumors regular

    Sunshoopa

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    #15
    I think I’ll make my 10.5 Pro last at least 5 years this time around. My Air lasted a little over 3 and half years and pretty much mainly replaced it because it needed a upgrade due to the RAM limitation (nothing more frustating than losing progress in something due to it killing it).

    Since the iPad Pro 10.5/12.9 have 4 GB of RAM they’ll last much longer than previous devices, unless Apple implements something that is really ram heavy in future iOS versions. I’m sure 2 GB devices will last a good while as well.
     
  16. aakshey macrumors regular

    aakshey

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    #16
    Everybody in this thread is delusioned and in for a shock. Just because Apple provides you updates doesn’t mean the decide runs it better than crap. The last proper iOS iPad Air 1 ran well was iOS 8. iOS 9 sucked balls on it. Sorta unusable. The same goes for iOS 10 and iOS 11. Each worse than the last.
     
  17. Ntombi macrumors 68040

    Ntombi

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Bostonian exiled in SoCal
    #17
    Just because it doesn’t work you doesn’t mean it’s the same for everyone.

    My iPad mini 2 runs 11.1.1 just fine.
     
  18. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #18
    Your experiences with the Air 1 are exactly why us "RAM-sters" beat the drum of buying an iPad at the uptick of RAM in a generation.

    I've purchased the iPad, iPad 2, (*) iPad 4, iPad Air 2, and 1G 12.9 iPad Pro. Each were the first generation for that RAM capacity. All of those iPads are still in daily/weekly use today. Which ones did I skip? Air 1 and 9.7 Pro. If I ever buy another iPad it will be the first generation that offers more than 4GB RAM.

    Even with how poor iOS 11 is, my 1G 12.9 Pro powers through it. If Apple ever gets it cleaned up, it'll be even better.

    Having said that, I think that the low end iPads have the greater value if one doesn't need Pencil support. The fact that Apple produced a 2GB RAM iPad in 2017 indicates that 2GB iPads will continue to experience a long life.

    * -technically the iPad 3 had 1GB RAM before the 4, but the 4 was released to quickly after the 3 to be considered.
     
  19. Macalicious2011 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Location:
    England
    #19
    The longevity of iPads remain poor because iOS updates slow devices down and downgrading is still not a possibility. Sometimes updates to the latest iOS are even forced if you want to run the latest versions of some apps.

    To keep it short, the iPad is device with planned obsolescence, and will depreciate and get slower over time.
     
  20. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #20
    Good observations. Even if one holds off in updating iOS to a new version, the requirement by some apps for the latest version will put pressure on people to update iOS in order to use those apps.

    When most people think of "planned obsolescence" they're thinking of an explicit decision made in some back room in Cupertino to limit the lifespan of their iOS devices. That is not how it works. It is a multifaceted approach of small on-the-surface innocent or defendable actions that individually don't draw attention, but in combination accomplish the goal.

    Here are a few of those actions that contribute to planned obsolescence...
    • New hardware features introduced in gen x that are then perfected in gen x+1 (the inferior experience of gen x incentivizes a person to get gen x+1).
    • Preventing the customer from downgrading to a previously supported version of iOS.
    • New features introduced in iOS that require more resources than previous version.
    • Requiring apps to incorporate OS-level features (eg. multi-window)
    • Default settings in development tools set to require libraries of latest version iOS (that could otherwise work with older versions)
    All of these topics have been discussed in various threads and there are "innocent" explanations for all of them that a reasonable person could agree with or accept. But they have a cumulative effect that results in obsolescence. No one is forced to buy a newer model device. The customer has to make the decision to do that.

    I won't even get into the psychology of people saying that their "upgrading" their iOS devices to describe buying a newer model, as if they're popping in some more RAM or swapping in a faster processor. ;)

    If someone thinks that Apple has short-changed them on the life of the product they purchased, the LAST thing they should do is reward the company for that action by buying ANOTHER (and probably more expensive) device from that company. But that's me, and I'm an oddball.
     
  21. Macalicious2011 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Location:
    England
    #21
    You outlined some very good points there but when a device that was lightening quick when new, all of a sudden is so slow that even basic activities like browsing the web or checking email, there are few options but to buy a new one. This is not the case with laptops. My 15 inch 2012 MacBook Retina is as lightening quick as when I bought it and I could easily not replace it for another 3-5 years.

    My 10.5 iPad Pro on the other hand, run a huge risk of being slower in 3-5 years but this time I will pushback on updates as much as I can.

    This multifaceted obsolesce is what what pushed me to swap from Apple to Samsung and surprisingly my 2 year old phone has nearly all the software features of the Galaxy S8 but is faster then when new. My iPhone 5S became slower with time.
     
  22. Falhófnir macrumors 6502a

    Falhófnir

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    #22
    You’re talking about the 2017 iPad? It’s going to be supported well past iOS 13. Might start getting sluggish at some point (though since the uptick to 64 bit the slow downs haven’t been quite so dramatic - 2gb ram and onwards will probably mean devices will last most of their supported life with acceptable performance). Apple are unlikely to cut off a modern device after just 3 iOS updates - even the iPad 3 got 4 updates (iOS 5 to iOS 9) if there’s going to be app compatibility issues it’ll stem from lack of tech like 3d camera systems and that sort of stuff - which even the very latest iPads will suffer from just as much, not from having software support cut.
     
  23. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #23
    Apple typically supports their products for four years. The iPad may have been released this year, but it uses the same specs as the 6S, a 2-year old phone, so that should be your reference point.

    It’s possible that Apple will continue supporting these products for far longer because like you said, of products like the iPad which are technically new products, at least from a consumer standpoint. And also because 2gb and A9 professor is pretty decent by today’s standards.

    I have played with the iPad at the Apple store and it feels surprisingly smooth. Either way, I would advise you not to get your hopes up too high.
     
  24. Falhófnir macrumors 6502a

    Falhófnir

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    #24
    You’re right to say that Apple have previously gone by chipset generation when dropping iOS support - the A5s and A6s have so far all been dropped together, but I really can’t see them cutting off this iPad that early, especially as it’s catering to the basic iPad crowd that might just now be updating from iPad 2s - more likely would be giving the 6s series an extra year of support (they are also still being sold, as is the SE) - so we might see another year or two where no devices are dropped between when the A8s go out and when the A9s go out.

    I guess you’re right in saying there’s no guarantees, but I’d like to think Apple would continue offering the generous support they have been known for until now.
     
  25. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #25
    Here’s the thing - given how cheap the iPad is (relative to how much Apple products typically cost), how long should users reasonably expect Apple to keep supporting them anyways?

    This is where I suspect Apple’s decision to sell older hardware at lower prices may come back to bite them in the future. It’s not an issue now; iOS 11 still runs respectably well on 6S specs, and the iPad gets most of the new functionality in iOS 11, missing only the Apple Pencil-specific features (which I don’t think anyone is complaining). But it also means that Apple is obligated to support them for longer down the line.

    Cut support too soon and people accuse Apple of forced obsolescence. iOS 12+ may just be the equivalent of maintenance patches for the iPad. You get bug and security fixes but no new features, because the hardware can’t support it.

    I guess it’s better than nothing?
     

Share This Page