Apple’s iPad upgrade cycle is longer than most think, but eventually consumers will come back for more

“You’re probably familiar with the argument that Apple’s tablet business isn’t going so hot right now,” Evan Niu writes for The Motley Fool. “Unit sales have been steadily declining for a couple of years, leading to some pessimism and negative press. But the issue right now isn’t specific to Apple; it’s a categorical decline that we’re seeing. The broader tablet market is contracting, and the primary reason is that consumers haven’t yet voted with their wallets what an average upgrade cycle will be.”

“Investors now have more evidence that the tablet upgrade cycle is a little longer than you think,” Niu writes. “Earlier this month, right before the iPad Pro launched, Localytics released some estimates on the composition of the current iPad installed base. Localytics is a life-cycle engagement platform and looked at over 50 million iPads to derive its figures. According to Localytics, the iPad 2 remains the most popular iPad model out in the wild, representing 20% of all iPad models as of October 2015.”

“The encouraging thing here for Apple investors is that it’s incredibly unlikely that iPad owners will never upgrade their tablets again,” Niu writes. “It’s just taking a little bit longer than expected. But when those users are due for an upgrade, we know through history that they’re almost assured to buy another iPad as opposed to switching to another platform.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in July 2014:

iPads simply have a longer lifespan than some people expected. They are not smartphones. There is no driving need to replace them every 24 months or sooner. The length of the iPad replacement cycle is closer to a Mac’s than to an iPhone’s.

Built to last: Why Apple selling fewer iPads is actually a huge achievement – January 29, 2015
Built to last: Apple iPad’s useful life is twice as long as an Android tablet’s – August 4, 2014
No, iPad sales are not slumping – August 1, 2014
No, Apple’s iPad is not dead, it’s just resting – July 31, 2014
Why slowing iPad sales didn’t surprise Apple and shouldn’t surprise you – July 23, 2014
Apple’s iPad problem: They don’t wear out – May 20, 2014
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

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