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The iPad Replacement Cycle May Be Longer Than Apple Would Like

The iPad Replacement Cycle May Be Longer Than Apple Would Like

March 21, 2014
Apple iPhone owners in the United States are likely to replace their device every two years when their carrier contract expires. Unfortunately for Apple, the replacement cycle is a lot longer for the iPad, according to a new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP). The report, first published by Fortune, shows that U.S. consumers tend to view an iPad more like a Mac or PC when it comes to replacing the device. Instead of upgrading after two years, current iPad owners are more inclined to wait up until four years. “Worse still,” some may wait five to 10 years. CIRP surveyed 2,000 U.S. customers who purchased an iPhone, iPad, or Mac in 2013. Here is what was found:
  • Replacement: Eight out of ten lost or broken iPhones are replaced within two days. Owners of a broken Mac or iPad may not get to it for a week or more.
  • Recycling: iPad owners are more than twice as likely as iPhone owners to give their old tablets to a friend or family member.
  • First-time buyers: Only 1-2% of iPhone buyers purchase their very first phone. By contrast, the percentage of first-time iPad buyers was 78% in December 2013, down only slightly from 84% in March 2013.
The report concludes, "We think Apple would prefer the iPad become a big iPhone. We suspect, though, based on recent CIRP data about how buyers use them, that it's as much like a Mac, TV, or iPod, with less frequent replacement." It will be interesting to see whether these survey results play out in real life, given that the first iPad arrived just four years ago. Equally interesting is seeing what Apple may have to do to shorten the iPad’s replacement cycle. How often do you replace your iPad? See also: What Cannibalization? Mac Sales In Education Have Grown Since iPad's Launch.

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