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Report: iPads Retained and Repurposed Much More Often Than iPhones

iPad owners are more likely to keep or repurpose their old devices compared to iPhones, according to data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP).

The data, covering the twelve months ending in March 2024, shows that 67 percent of repeat ‌iPad‌ buyers keep their old iPads or pass them on to family and friends. This is a notable contrast to iPhone users, where only 41 percent keep or hand down their previous phones. About one-third of old iPads are handed down to family members or friends, compared to about 10 percent of old iPhones.

This suggests that iPads, even when they are replaced, remain highly desirable and usable, which diminishes the urgency to upgrade to a newer model. This behavior contrasts with ‌iPhone‌ users, who are much more likely to trade in their old devices. Nearly half of ‌iPhone‌ upgraders trade in their previous phones, taking advantage of the secondary market and higher trade-in values. In contrast, fewer than 10 percent of ‌iPad‌ upgraders opt for trade-ins.

23 percent of ‌iPad‌ upgraders report replacing their old devices due to loss, theft, or damage, whereas only six percent of ‌iPhone‌ upgraders cite these reasons. This indicates that iPads are frequently replaced out of necessity rather than a desire to upgrade.

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CIRP’s report also sheds light on the upgrade cycles for these devices. Forty percent of ‌iPad‌ users wait three years or more before upgrading, a figure that has steadily increased over recent years. This is in stark contrast to ‌iPhone‌ users, who typically upgrade more frequently and are influenced by a much stronger trade-in market.

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These trends suggest that iPads continue to serve valuable roles within households even after being replaced by newer models. The secondary market for refurbished iPads appears to be much less developed than that for iPhones, possibly due to the high retained value that old iPads provide to their owners. While Apple may prefer customers to be motivated to upgrade to the latest models for their new features, the data indicates that many ‌iPad‌ upgrades are still driven by necessity rather than desire.

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