Apple’s iPad problem: They don’t wear out

“My three sons share an Apple iPad given to them by Mimi, their grandmother,” Robert X. Cringely writes for BetaNews. “When she bought it a couple years ago the iPad was top-of-the-line with 64 gigs and a Retina display. The boys run it hard on car trips where it functions as a hotspot and under covers in their bedrooms along with a couple iPhones, iPod Touches, various Kindles and some cheaper seven-inch Android tablets.”

“In all we have probably a dozen touchscreen devices in the house but most of the action takes place on iPhones or that one iPad,” Cringely writes. “Great for Apple, right? Not really. Apple’s iPad sales are dropping you see and the reason nobody seems to talk about is they don’t wear out.”

“Apple and the carriers originally expected iPads to last about as long as phones or maybe a little more. But they don’t fail that quickly. At best (or worst depending who you are) iPads may follow a PC three-year replacement cycle,” Cringely writes. “But they haven’t been around long enough to really test that so the big fear at Apple is they’ll last even longer than PCs.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s iPad. Built to last.

Apple’s main objective is to satisfy and delight customers. iPads that take a licking and keep on ticking don’t seem like a “problem” to us at all.

Related articles:
Apple iPad sales are in deep trouble in 2014 or something – May 15, 2014
Apple’s iPad business isn’t collapsing, but the rest of the tablet industry sure is – May 5, 2014
Some desperately needed context surrounding Apple’s iPad sales decline – May 1, 2014
IDC: Apple iPad maintains lead in worldwide tablet market share – May 1, 2014
Apple iPad: Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated – April 24, 2014
Why fret about iPad numbers when there’s no such thing as the Android tablet? – April 23, 2014


    1. Cringely is a tool anyway. “Apple’s iPad sales are dropping you see and the reason nobody seems to talk about is they don’t wear out.”

      Another person who cannot see beyond market share and being cheap crap so you have to buy another. I have read too many stories of people who buy an iPhone on plan, and sell it in two years for more than the cost of a new iPhone on plan.

      PS, just bought a third iPhone 3GS for friends. Great iPod and if needed a cheap emergency phone. Just saying.

      Just saying. PS MDN,, spot on. 🙂

      1. I was thinking the same thing about the iPod. People aren’t buying them because some good used deactivated iPhones are around serving the same purpose. I think Apple was forced to implement the buy back program to remedy this.

      2. My iPhone 3GS continues working strong. Because it runs iOS 6.1.6. many of my apps, twenty at present, cannot be updated; they need iOS 7.x. Those apps are productivity not games. Yes they continue to work as new, however I cannot take advantage of the updates and bug fixes. This year I will purchase the iPhone 6.

    2. Apparently Apple are willing to take a sales hit for deliberately avoiding “planned obsolescence” in their product design.

      That makes them one of the very few.

      1. exactly, very very few.

        is the term, “sticky”? for their platform? no
        other companies have planned obsolescence because they sell by numbers, not experience

    3. Yup. I still have heavily-used iPad 1 and 2 here. Not worth the trade-in value so I keep them. Grandkids use them for learning apps and Netflix. Only bummer is the iPad 1 can’t run iOS 7, but no biggie. I almost wish at least one would die so I can justify a new one!

    4. The other thing people seem to forget is that apple also makes money on the apps you buy, I can say with certainty that people with 2+ year old iPads have not stopped buying apps for them.

    5. Robert X. Cringely…I cringe when MDN stoops to acknowledging this guy.

      Apple’s “big fear”? Bullcrap! Apple has been building durable devices for years. I typically use my Apple laptops and desktops at home for six years or more without any problems or (much) new computer envy.

      I purchased my 24″ iMac in 2007 – nearly seven years of service. All I have done is increase RAM to 4GB (right after purchase), upgrade the internal HDD to 2GB several years ago, and replace the mouse once or twice (kids). The display is beginning to show its age (uneven backlighting), but it is still a great computer and my family uses it daily.

      Apple is making plenty of money selling durable computer hardware. “Big fear” my ass, Cringely.

  1. I bought my wife an iPad 2 almost 3 years ago and it’s still going strong. I have no intension of replacing it for at least another 2 years. The thing’s a truck and takes amazing abuse.

    1. “The thing’s a truck and takes amazing abuse.”

      LOL NO, the pc is a truck. The iPad is a race car that also hauls stuff, looks sexy, and is fun to drive. LOL

    2. I still have the original iPad, which I bought on day 1 (actually one day before, Apple shipped it early.)
      It is still running well, used by me and my kids, on trips, at home, …in a bathroom. I don’t see it dying anytime soon.
      I am still planning to buy a new one, my kids are growing up and they want their own devices, so I don’t think longevity is a problem for Apple.

      1. Ditto… I bought mine on day one as well and still use it daily.

        I almost bought a new iPad Air earlier this year, but couldn’t justify it since my iPad still does its job.

  2. I’ve had to replace the battery on my iPad I, purchased the day it was released by . Way beyond “a good product,” It is the finest electronic device ever created, IMO. It has run virtually non-stop since the day I bought it.

    1. Im also still rolling with IPad 1, 32g. I would have to say it gets average 6 to 8 hours of use a day 5 days a week and still original battery can maintain a good charge. Each night when i go to charge it it usually has around 25 to 35% percent left. So i would have to say they do last.

  3. It so happens that I am very satisfied with my 1st gen iPad Mini and not compelled to get a new one. But if Apple’s stuff was so janky that I had to upgrade because it broke I sure wouldn’t get another Apple product.
    I find it amusing how the click-bait mentality makes some people contort Apple’s strength’s into weaknesses.

    1. BEWARE, samsung trolling going on. A person who buys and likes an iPad mini but hates Apple due to “janky” and references a “click-bait” mentality.

      Either that or he still lives in the basement and is a failure to launch. LOL

        1. The sentence would have been more easily understood if he had used subjunctive mood (“if iPad wereso janky…”), rather than the past tense (“if iPad was so janky…”). A comma after ‘because it broke’ would have helped as well…

          Perhaps as a foreigner and non-native speaker, I tend to over-analyse the language (and grammar) a bit…?

          1. I’d probably have said “Had Apple’s stuff been so janky that I needed to upgrade…” There’s a big, wide forest of declensions and moods out there, on the path to grammar’s house…so sayeth Red Riding Hood…

  4. I still use my iPad one for watching videos on twitch. My son had a iPad three with broken glass and smashed sides that is also still going strong. I don’t want to pay to fix it, since I think I’d rather just wait a little longer and get a new one.

  5. The iPad Air is lighter and faster – very tempted to replace my iPad 2, but not quit enough to spend my hard earned money yet. At some point, the battery will wear out, and new iPads will be so futuristic by then that buying a replacement iPad will be a no-brainer.

    What Apple really needs to fix this “problem” – besides the obvious/lame idea of crapifying iPads into being more breakable – is make more owning multiple working iPads more useful. Make it so I can connect 4 or 16 iPads into making a giant iPad – or just connect 2 iPads to make double touch screen laptop. Make some type of crazy musical instrument by connecting 3 iPads together, or connect 6 iPads into a cube to make an awesome 3D sculpting and animation platform. I’d pull the trigger on buying another iPad much quicker if I could do crazy stuff like that with multiple iPads.

  6. I have an iPad 2 sitting on the kitchen table almost vertically like a little iMac. Three of us abuse that thing each and every day and other than having to wipe peanut butter and finger goo off it weekly, it gives us absolutely no reason to wish for or have to go out and buy a twice as fast and lighter iPad Air. At first it was clunky to type, but now I can fly on it and it is quick and easy. I never have to hold it or even pick it up except to move it somewhere. It is the perfect little iMac. In the car we take a iPad mini with us on road trips, but hardly ever touch the mini at home.

  7. iPads don’t die but they are upgraded and the old ones are passed on. My wife loved her 2g but I got her a 3G and sent the 2g to my parents in the uk. Now I can FaceTime with them without having to deal with Skype issues in their old pc.

  8. I’m the exception. Bought the iPad 1, then the iPad 2, then the iPad 3, skipped the 4, and now own an Air. Still have the 3 in a drawer, the others given away. Bought the Wife a mini, gave one son the iPad 2 and a mini, other son bought a retina mini. Looking forward to the new one. If it is compelling, I will get it and give my air to son one, and so it goes.

  9. It’s not just that they don’t wear out, it’s also that they remain incredibly useful. I just don’t see how my iPad mini could be improved upon other than TouchID and larger capacity.

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