New study shows that iPads are replaced less often than iPhones

By , Mar 21, 2014

ios 7 white iPhone ipad

While most iPhone users look to upgrade their Apple smartphone once every two years, coinciding with the end of their contracts, a new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners reveals that the iPad has a much longer replacement cycle. Based on a survey of 2,000 customers in the United States who purchased an iPhone, iPad or Mac last year, the tablet is believed to be closer aligned to the Mac’s average lifespan of 2 to 4 years… 

iPhone iPad replacement chart

The iPhone and iPad have a lot of usage similarities, especially considering that both devices have access to the App Store. But while 8 out of 10 people will replace their broken, lost or stolen iPhone within two days, only about half will replace their iPads in that timespan. This isn’t necessarily a surprising statistic, considering that most people probably wouldn’t even consider leaving their house for the day without an iPhone by their side.

What buyers did with iPad iPhone

The iPad, on the other hand, is used more like a Mac, TV or iPod. Per Fortune:

“We think Apple would prefer the iPad become a big iPhone,” the report concludes. “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.”

The report provides some other interesting stats about the iPad, including that over 4 out of 10 people will gift their older tablet to a family member or friend after purchasing a new one. iPhone users are far more likely to trade in their smartphones when it comes time to upgrade, supporting the stat that only 1% to 2% of iPhone buyers are purchasing their first phone. Comparatively, the percentage of first-time iPad buyers was 78% in December 2013.

How often do you purchase a new iPad?

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  • Rowan09

    No surprise, I still have my 3rd gen and see no need to upgrade. I bought my fiancé the Air since she had the 1st gen and unless mine dies I won’t be purchasing another one.

    • http://www.jamesgunaca.com James Gunaca

      Totally agree here. iPad 3 gets the job done! A little jelly when I pick up an iPad Air at the Apple store…but no touch ID, no new iPad for me.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        The ipad needs a lot more than touch ID when you look at the competition…

      • Rowan09

        If you look at the competition they aren’t doing much themselves. The Surface Pro is the only tablet/PC that has amazing specs.

      • http://facebook.com/kurtlewisart Kurt

        @aidanharris:disqus isn’t referring to specs but features. Though he was mentioning hardware. One of these days we will get split screen multitasking. Once Apple quits being cheap and gives us more ram. Until then, no split screen for us. Hopefully we will get a wacom stylus like the windows/galaxy note tablets have.

      • Rowan09

        Yeah they should include multi-windows on the iPad, I want them to focus on the iPad being separate from the iPhone. I believe the iPad will get more RAM in the new edition.

      • http://www.jamesgunaca.com James Gunaca

        The iPad could easily handle split screen multi-tasking without more RAM; that’s a software function (albeit on more recent hardware than an iPad 3, I’m guessing).

        I don’t really see any hardware features that the Surface or Surface Pro has that the iPad is lacking. Or any other competition. A higher res display won’t be very noticeable to our eyes, it’s more about quality than quantity for pixels on these hi-res displays now.

    • Antzboogie

      Agreed a new iPad every year seems a bit much. I have an iPad Mini first gen and I love it I see no need to upgrade for a while.

      • smtp25

        Retina

      • Antzboogie

        Doesnt make to much of a difference for certain people defintely not worth another $400+

  • Andy

    I use the iPad mostly at home, while I take my iPhone wherever I go. I got the 16GB iPad 2 (Wi-Fi + 3G) in 2011 and will replace it with the 64GB iPad Air (Wi-Fi + Cellular) while on holiday in Hong Kong (1 of the top 3 least expensive places to buy Apple products) this Summer :)

    • http://www.jamesgunaca.com James Gunaca

      Depending on when you go on Holiday…I’d say wait for the next gen iPad which will certainly include Touch ID. If you’re on an iPhone 5 now, I assume you’ll upgrade to a 6 when it comes out this fall which will also have Touch ID. You won’t regret it!

      • Andy

        I’ll be on holiday from June to July, so will only be able to get the iPad Air as the next iPad won’t be out by then. But I think it’s still a significant upgrade from the iPad 2 which is starting to feel sluggish on iOS 7. I’ll definitely wait for the iPhone 6 though.

      • smtp25

        Yeah but how much cheaper is in HK? If you plan on keeping iPad for a few years better to get all the features than save $50

      • Andy

        I’m not saving $50, I live in the EU. I’m saving €185 which is around $255. Apple products cost more in Europe compared to the rest of the world.

      • http://www.jamesgunaca.com James Gunaca

        From an iPad 2 and for $255 savings, I don’t think anyone can blame you!

  • n0ahcruz3

    I NEED a phone. But I dont WANT to upgrade every year or every 2 yrs just to buy the latest gadget. As long as my phone is still up and running i dont NEED to upgrade. waste of $. I will just donate some of the money to some non-govnt organization like st. Jude childrens hospital etc. Even if its just a $1 a day makes a difference puts a smile in th faces of the people who NEEDS it most. Good day every one :)

    • blastingbigairs

      I feel the same, but if the iPhone 6 has some more screen real estate I am definitely upgrading and donating my 5s to my son :) Charity starts in la casa.

  • http://www.jamesgunaca.com James Gunaca

    I upgrade iPhone every year and pass along my previous one to my wife who doesn’t mind being a year behind (our upgrade cycles alternate annually). The iPad on the other hand…I got an iPad 2 as a gift in Mar. 2011. When the iPad 3 came out the retina display encouraged me to upgrade in Mar. 2012…but I don’t intend on upgrading that iPad until an iPad with Touch ID comes out.

    The iPad Air is an amazing device but it is glaringly lacking Touch ID which is something I constantly miss when picking up the iPad 3 after using an iPhone 5S every day for the last 150 days. A faster and lighter iPad is great and all, but there were no technological advancements beyond that between iPad 3 and iPad Air worth upgrading for.

    iPhone on the other hand…

    4->4S bumped up camera spec + siri
    4S->5 bumped up screen height
    5->5S bumped up camera spec + touch-id

    Meanwhile, over in the iPad camp..
    2->3 retina display!
    3->4 lightning port :( better processing
    4->Air faster processing, new, lighter form factor, nothing else

    The iPad 2/3/4 form factor was/is great. Sure, iPad Air form factor is better, but marginally so. Considering the base model iPad is $500 and 16GB is close to nothing in terms of storage capacity, you’re talking close to $600-700 to upgrade an iPad to 32GB or 64GB (I’ll go 64GB LTE on my next iPad for sure) whereas the phone upgrade costs $200-400 depending on the model. I don’t account for cell charges in the iPhone upgrade cost because I’m paying that cost whether or not I upgrade my phone.

    • smtp25

      Touchid really? I take my iPad air to work most days and I still don’t have pasacode so don’t have a need for it, maybe if I had it I would start locking it. Don’t see it as deal breaker on upgrades

      • http://www.jamesgunaca.com James Gunaca

        When coupled with Jailbreak + iTouchSecure TouchID becomes a LOT better. I can use my TouchID to input passwords for everything.

        And if you are taking your iPad Air to work all the time, I strongly encourage you to password protect that device. Even if you just add a 15 minute delay or something…having unlocked access to email on that device is a recipe for disaster. A their could do a lot more than put you out for whatever the cost to replace an iPad Air would be.

        It’s a deal breaker for me mostly because I know the next iPad will have it and I use it regularly on my 5S.

      • http://www.jamesgunaca.com James Gunaca

        But I will concur that I don’t have a passcode on my iPad but that’s because that device doesn’t leave the house.

  • Adam

    I’ve purchased four in 3-4 years, iPad 2 for my girlfriend in 2011, i bought her the retina iPad mini in 2013 and she gave her mom the old one. I sold my iPad 3 last year (bought it 2012) and i bought myself the retina iPad mini this year.

  • Antzboogie

    Everyone is giving their old iPads to family so why would Apple phase out older firmware and products? Seems a bit greedy to me. I Love You Apple, but damn. Calm down the iPad upgrades, lol.

    • http://www.jamesgunaca.com James Gunaca

      I don’t want them to slow down with upgrades.

  • Mike Colacone Saal

    I just upgraded my iPad 2 to an Air and really don’t see myself upgrading again for 3-4 years. However, I upgrade my iPhone every year.

  • Jonathan

    Why? Because more people have iPhones than iPads. And, you don’t see a person walking around with an iPad as often as with an iPhone, decreasing the chance of dropping it.

    • smtp25

      Plus the whole people buy phones on two year contracts thing

      • http://www.jamesgunaca.com James Gunaca

        Totally. Plus, if people got iPads at contract prices like we get iPhones then it might be different.

        If I could get an iPad Air for $199 with 2 year contract to AT&T for $30/mo data plan I’d buy it. The “NEXT” plans just spread out the cost of the iPad over 2 years without any benefit to the consumer, though, so, no thanks.

  • Dosen’t Matter

    (I don’t know where to request help on IDB)
    please help.
    I have a jailbroken ipod touch 4g with ios6.1.
    cydia is not working, it wont recognize on any PC i tried with several cables (I don’t own a mac). I tried to erase my device but with no luck.
    what can i do to fix it.

    • Marcus

      That has happened to me before. Do you download packages from pirated Cydia sources?

      • Dosen’t Matter

        i think so.. what can i do?

      • Marcus

        Yeah when you do that is messes up your device pretty badly. I used to do that and I bricked my iPad completely and messed up my iPhone 4. I’ve been online and taken it to BestBuy but I can’t get it fixed. I think your screwed. Next time, pay for all of your tweaks to make sure you don’t get any bugs or virus’.

      • smtp25

        Troll much. Pirate sources… Yeah nah. You will need to wipe and start again stock. No permanent damage. And I don’t think think you can hard brick devices now a days.

      • Marcus

        What are you talking about? I spoke from experience and I can’t even understand what you are saying. There is nothing he can do. When I messed up my iPhone 4 I tried literally everything and went everywhere to try to fix it for over a month. There isn’t anything he can do. I have no idea what you are talking about and you wouldn’t say those things if you fully knew what the situation was.

      • dpacemaker

        I’ve never heard of a iPhone that couldn’t be fixed with DFU mode. I’ve had several devices that were “bricked” only to have them fixed by putting them in DFU mode and iTunes sees it as a device in recovery mode.

    • Tikimaker

      Go to jailbreak QA dot com for help

    • smtp25

      Troll much. Pirate sources… Yeah nah. You will need to wipe and start again stock. No permanent damage. And I don’t think think you can hard brick devices now a days. You need to get into dfu mode and then you can wipe. Don’t know why you say you can’t connect to cydia to wipe I assume you mean I tunes

  • Tikimaker

    My wife is still using the original iPad I bought for myself then passed it on to her when I got my iPad 2 which I’m still using. I haven’t been able to justify buying a new iPad yet although I have tossed the idea around. Now that there is no jailbreak for 7.1 I won’t even consider a new iPad until there is a new JB release.
    When I do purchase my new iPad then the circle of life will go on, my wife will get the iPad 2 and I will get the new one and the iPad 1 will be sold or passed on to a child to play games on.

    • http://facebook.com/kurtlewisart Kurt

      You should buy your wife an iPad Air and you keep the iPad 2. That would be a nice gesture.

    • smtp25

      Retina. Number one reason I never bothered with the early iPad. When you use the retina and switch back that’s when you notice the the blockier iPad 1/2

  • Jerry

    ALSO the other reason why they are not replaced as much as iphones is because you can’t just simply walk in with your ipad and walk out with a swapped one like you can with a iphone,

  • Blip dude

    About to get the Applecare on mine because the Air has been so perfect I don’t believe in having an auctual need for an upgrade. I just hope they won’t need to plug it in only to find out it is also Jailbroken. Device is flawless and has a screen protector.

  • http://www.apple.com St3vè Jb

    I’m replace my iDevices every after Release Official
    Cuz I’m RICHER than You‼️

    • smtp25

      Lol most people can afford to replace them, I know I can, I just choose not to and stick with my iPhone 4S because the new ones suck as in they don’t give you anything much new (including touchid). IPad though I brought the air and passed down the 3 primarily because of the weight and bezel reduction. Ip6 hopefully decent screen and worth an upgrade

  • Alan

    Mostly because iPads honestly don’t get big upgrades, basically faster, iPhones get better camera, flash , faster, touch id now, and completely new design compared to an iPad

    • http://facebook.com/kurtlewisart Kurt

      I agree with everything except completely new design.

  • illK†Δ

    I had iPad 2, just got an iPad mini 2. I was tired of the low res screen, also was too big for my liking. I now use my iPad 2 as a DIY car head unit. Works great!

  • Tyler

    Pretty much stating the obvious here. I can think of a plethora of reasons why iPads outlast iPhones

  • blastingbigairs

    Uhhhhh duh?????