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Posted on August 27th, 2013 by Barry Collins

The two-year lifespan of an iPad

iPad 2 and covers

How long should an iPad last? When you’re paying up to £740 for a tablet, how long can you expect the device to remain in active service?

Judging by my experience – and that of several of my Twitter followers – it’s starting to look like the useful lifespan of an iPad is little more than a couple of years.

I bought my iPad 2 in August 2011, a few months after the device was launched. Only two years later, it’s already creaking. The operating system is continually juddering, apps regularly stutter and crash, and the Home button often fails (although I’ve found an odd, short-term workaround for the failing Home button).

The original iPad is about to be cut loose entirely

I’ve got the OS fully up to date, and a couple of gigabytes of free storage, so there’s no obvious reason why performance is suffering so badly. It appears we’ve simply reached the point where the software is outstripping the capabilities of the hardware.

It’s even worse for my correspondents who bought the original iPad, which launched in the spring of 2010, but was still on sale last year.

“My £700 iPad 1 is virtually unusable now,” wrote @KeithRadcliffe. “I won’t buy another iPad, which is exactly what [Apple’s] Genius told me to do!”

“Was disgusted that my £700 investment in original iPad was toast after 18 months,” wrote another correspondent,” @MarkTechArc72. “Re-sale £200. Pathetic.”

“You should try my iPad 1,” chorused @db298 when I bleated about the sluggishness of my second-generation slab. “Between lag and crashes it’s almost unusable… From warm restart, 13 secs to open App Store, 19 secs before Facebook App is responsive…  No idea how Apple manage such obsolescence.”

Indeed, the original iPad is about to be cut loose entirely: the device won’t be supported by iOS 7, which will likely be released next month. Even the iPad 2 cannot support all the features of iOS 7, such as filters in the Photos app and Siri. (Correction: the original iPad was actually cut loose in 2012, with the launch of iOS 6. Thanks to @CraigGrannell for correcting me.)

I’m not arguing that Apple has misled anyone over the longevity of the iPad, nor that any of the first-generation Android tablets have fared any better. But is two years or so of active service really all people expect from a device costing that much? Certainly, if you’d bought a £700 Mac two years ago, you’d expect it to be ticking along merrily today.

iPads, it seems, are closer to smartphones in longevity than they are PCs. Hardware refresh cycles just started spinning a little faster.

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55 Responses to “ The two-year lifespan of an iPad ”

  1. Nelviticus Says:
    August 27th, 2013 at 11:03 am

    It doesn’t just affect iDevices, it’s a flash memory problem. Basically it gets slower over time unless you reformat it. Only the latest Android 4.3 update addresses this.

     
  2. Gaz Says:
    August 27th, 2013 at 11:23 am

    My iPad 2 is running fine, even with the latest games. Maybe the author should try a complete reset (reinstall ios) to improve performance.

     
  3. Chris Says:
    August 27th, 2013 at 11:57 am

    I’ve had an iPad 2 since launch.

    I’ve used it daily without any special protection (just a Smart Cover) and yes, it’s a bit slower with iOS 6 than it was at launch, but it’s still perfectly usable and battery life is still good.

    As Gaz says it still runs the latest games and apps without any trouble – could the same be said for £400 PC after 2.5 years of use?

    I know a couple of people who bought Motorola Xooms about the same time who had to ditch them after 12-18 months due to numerous problems (although I’m sure more recent Android tablets have better longevity)

     
  4. Neil Says:
    August 27th, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    My iPad2 seems to suffer from the junk games my daughter seems to load on. I have removed a number of these as they seem to eat resource for some reason even when not running. If slow I do a full power off and this seems to solve the issue. Still happy with my purchase.

     
  5. MJ Says:
    August 27th, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Hmm, my iPad 1, 2 and 3 are all working just fine. I wonder what it is that we do differently to these cases?

    And sure, the iPad 1 got cut off, but the number sold is actually quite small relative to the number sold since. My daughter (8) doesn’t seem to complain that it isn’t going to run iOS7 – she is happy cutting lion’s hair still.

     
  6. J400uk Says:
    August 27th, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    You don’t need to spend £700, that’s just the premium for extra storage and 3G. Most people are fine with the standard £400 16gb wifi. A couple of years life and £200 resale value is perfectly acceptable for that and on a par if not better than a pc laptop.

     
  7. Barry Collins Says:
    August 27th, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    @Gaz – I performed a complete reinstall a year ago when things first started getting hairy, but it’s slowly got worse again.

    Barry Collins
    Editor

     
  8. Peter Millard Says:
    August 27th, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    My original iPad1 (40 months old today) is still in daily use. Yes, it will soon be on a 2 generations old OS – so what? It still does everything that it was bought to do, and still has a solid all-day battery life – unlike say, my wife’s year-old Nexus 7, which is a total dog in comparison.

     
  9. Peter Beaves Says:
    August 27th, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    My iPad 1 is still going strong, use for several hours daily, same battery life, plays all the games I want to play, does crash occasionally but not to point of ‘unusable’, plus I love having the original google maps with street view that was lost from ios 6 onwards. Will upgrade eventually but see no need yet. 16gb wifi model cost me £429 3 years ago. No complaints. My mac mini on the other hand………….

     
  10. Chris Says:
    August 27th, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    (I think your iPad just doesn’t like you, Barry.)

     
  11. Chris Says:
    August 27th, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Mmm, my original comment seemed to get lost. Basically: iPad 1, imported on launch day from the States, is still going strong.

    Oh, and Peter – remember that you can get the Google Maps app now for iOS 6 that restores Street View and adds turn-by-turn navigation.

     
  12. Kevin Partner Says:
    August 27th, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Aren’t iPads only really used by kids these days anyway? They don’t care which iOS version it runs, as long as they can watch Lego Chima on it.

    But seriously – I was cross when the original, “magical”, iPad was excluded from iOS6 given the cost. That iPad is now only used by my wife to watch the sort of crappy American sitcoms that aren’t permitted to sully the TV.

     
  13. AdamD6 Says:
    August 27th, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    My iPad2 also still works perfectly with no obvious performance issues. Maybe yours has developed a hardware fault if you have already tried reformatting. Only regret is wasting money on the 3G version as I’ve only used it on Wifi. The fact that I have had free OS upgrades since I’ve bought it is a bonus. There is now of course more price competition which Apple will have to deal with.

     
  14. Muck Says:
    August 27th, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Yeah my iPad 2 is fine too. I’m still not planning an upgrade because it seems to have plenty of life in it. I can’t imagine what has happened to make it unusable. What apps continually crash?

     
  15. MarkTechArc72 Says:
    August 27th, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    For those of us who travel away from home on a frequent (weekly) basis, I paid for extra storage and 3G because it is what I needed and wanted. It was not a unnecessary option.

    If I had spent £700 on a laptop I would have upgrade options AND OS options which would have extended the life well beyond the 18months I had with iPad 1.

    I still use a 4 year old Dell laptop with Ubuntu and it works perfectly after it became too slow with Windows 7.

    If Apple would allow iOS to be downgraded, that would have helped but iOS 5.x on the iPad 1 made it crawl, even after factory reset.

    I cannot consider that £700 for a device that is no longer supported or has become so slow in just 18 months is fair.

    If Apple did allow down grade that may have helped, but since they don’t, I was forced down the road of obsolete device!!!!

     
  16. Fountainhead Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Bought iPad 1 two weeks after US launch. Still does exactly what it did when I bought it. Full reinstall every year, don’t expect to be able to use latest software.
    Only in computers do people seem to expect that they should be able to take advantages of innovations launched after purchase…. “Please Mr. Ford, why won’t my two year old Fiesta run central locking like the latest models?” It’s nonsense. If you bought your iPad for what it would be able to do in two years time you are a fool!

     
  17. Ben Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 9:02 am

    #3- A £400 laptop is different to a £700 tablet. The point is that there is no £400 laptop in existence that will run the latest games and applications. Just doesn’t exist.
    Now a tablet, this is a cycle that runs a lot more slowly. It doesn’t cost as much to get high end products, and most likely it is the same device for £400 as it is for £700, just with varying internal storage size.
    Basically, you won’t pay more than £400 to get the latest iPad. So:
    Highest end iPad= £400
    Highest end PC= A lot more, depending on what you plan to do.
    You buy the highest end iPad. Then you buy the highest end PC. The difference? Cost. If you bought/built the highest end PC possible, it would likely be running the latest games and applications for at least 4 years. Possibly longer.
    You cannot compare a tablet and a PC, because they are designed to do different things.
    However, you can compare the cost/performance.
    A high end iPad will give you the best iPad experience.
    A high end PC will give you the best PC experience.
    You can not compare a high end tablet to a low end laptop. There is no logic.
    It would be like comparing the camera on the highest end phone, to a low(er) end compact camera. In most cases, the compact camera will have the best camera. The phone will be the best phone. They do not compare.

     
  18. Richard Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 9:31 am

    @Ben – jeez mate you do go on a bit!!

    As for the iPad, what did you expect? You bought into a closed system, and surprise surprise you have very few options to prolong it’s life. Compare to my 4 year old Samsung Netbook, it’s running a bit slow but the hardware is still fine. I think I’ll give it some tlc and load Linux on it and reload the original XP (or maybe Win 7 or 8) as well for when I need Windows. Good luck trying to do something similar with an iPhad.

    NOT sent from an iPhone or iPad or iBloodyAnything!! ;-)

     
  19. wittgenfrog Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Wow Mr Editor Collins, that sure stirred-up the natives!
    Whilst I’m sure many people are still enjoying their original iPads, Apple is (nominally) a hardware ‘manufacturer’. It follows therefore that it wants buyers to ‘upgrade’ on a regular basis.

    It should come as no surprise then that (if only subjectively) devices start to slow down after a couple of years.
    The iPad is really only a giant iPhone, so from Apple’s point of view, a two-yearly replacement cycle seems about right. Apple’s PR notwithstanding these gadgets are inherently ‘disposable’ irrespective of whether they work or not. I’ve got a couple of fully working BBC B’s in my study, but I rarely use them for anything other than nostalgia!

    Early iPad owners are starting to sound like beleaguered PC owners at the start of the “post-PC world” :-)

     
  20. Chris Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    It’s a mobile platform problem in my opinion, the hardware is less mature than desktop chips and there is less headroom. I think it’d be noticeable on smartphones too if they weren’t bundled with a contract that expires after 2 years, with a subsidised replacement. There is a comment from me on this site from a few years ago about landfills filling up with discarded iPads. It might have looked cynical at the time but is now starting to look pragmatic.

     
  21. Aaron Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    I got my ipad2 on launch day and it’s still working fine for me, several days battery life, plays XCOM like a charm, browses the web without any problems…

     
  22. Muck Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Would you say your surface RT is a giant phone with a two year lifespan @wittgenfrog?

     
  23. Tom Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Bought an iPad a year ago, liked it initially but the novelty of a tablet has worn off pretty quick for me. Some of the apps are good and handy, but pretty much you can get everything you really need on a normal laptop or my smartphone. The millions of IOS games on offer are also often really poor quality and even the good ones get boring pretty quickly because of the chronic limitations of a touch interface. Won’t be buying an expensive tablet again anytime soon, will use a normal laptop for normal applications and a next gen dedicated games console for games.

     
  24. Arfon Jones Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Bought IPAD3 in May 2012, had it replaced last week faulty battery.

     
  25. Art Jacks Says:
    August 29th, 2013 at 8:16 am

    My original iPad bought on launch had been used daily by my wife following my upgrade to the second generation iPad, both work perfectly with good battery life etc. Maybe the people who are having issues are ‘ power ‘ users who will wear out equipment faster than those used in a more domestic situation, I expect my camera to show signs of wear due to the amount of images I take compared with others, I do not see that as an issue, all things wear out eventually the speed at which this happens is directly related to how they are used and the care that is taken of them during their life.

     
  26. mmjanitor Says:
    August 29th, 2013 at 8:29 am

    The only value I now get from my original iPad is by using jumpdesktop as a dumb terminal to my Windows8 desktop. Last Apple product I ever buy. That said, even when it did work it was sooo limited. Roll on Windows 8.1!

     
  27. wittgenfrog Says:
    August 29th, 2013 at 8:35 am

    @Muck
    No, because there isn’t a 3g\4g version :-)

    But YES, because its a V1.x product, and shares a two\three year replacement cycle with other handheld devices, like ‘phones.

    My point, really, is that obsolescence is BUILT IN to handheld devices until the market matures…..

     
  28. Tunde Says:
    August 29th, 2013 at 10:21 am

    My original ipad, brought in US within days of launch is still in daily use. Mainly browsing, email, Facebook and games. It is slower than our more recent purchases – we have two minis and one second generation models, but still working well.

     
  29. Kim Feldmesser Says:
    August 29th, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    @Kevin Partner et al…yes, kids love iPads, but so do many adults. I like the portability, the clear touch screen, the apps variety which is truly staggering, the simplicity…I could go on but there is a good reason for my enthusiasm for the product. I teach in a college where every student owns an iPad. Some are older models which we have to make allowances for but they still function.
    I think the decision to swap from laptops running Windows to iPads was one of cost initially. However, I think that the versatility of the iPad makes it a perfect learning interface, certainly for what I need it for. It is not as powerful as a Wintel machine which is still clearly a serious tool for Uni and workaday world tasks. I still run a personal Lappy, workstation tower pc and of course my gaming rig. That’s thousands of pounds altogether – my iPad cost considerably less. What’s more, it is family friendly and can please all generations because of its simple user interface as well as it fitting in your handbag or briefcase easily – no chunky charger lead or disc drive. A good investment to my mind.
    Sent from my iPad at the beach

     
  30. Mike Says:
    August 29th, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    For those saying that the lack of later iOS versions doesn’t matter, are the iPad 1 owners aware that they’re running devices with scores of security vulnerabilities because Apple stopped patching iOS 5 when iOS 6 was released?

     
  31. LJ Says:
    August 29th, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Like the comment… could it be said about a 2.5 year old PC. And the answer is yes it could. We have ones older than that now running windows 7. My Netbook is actually running Ubuntu but it was never up to running Windows in the first place.

     
  32. Ben Says:
    August 29th, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    #18 Hahaha I’m sorry about that! I’m (rightly or wrongly) famous for frequently going off on one.

     
  33. Simon Says:
    August 29th, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    I can’t believe that you have written this article based on your personal experience and a few followers on twitter.
    Can you really claim that this is representative of thousands of iPad owners?
    I feel it may be representative of how you have used it and maybe you should clean off any unused apps or do a full reset.
    I am more interested in hearing facts than personal opinion.

     
  34. Ian Says:
    August 30th, 2013 at 12:21 am

    @Muck the Surface RT has official support until 11th April 2017. It’s helpful to know in advance that even buying one today guarantees you 3.5 years of software support. Whether it’s an oversized phone is a different question but having native flash support in the browser makes for an easy answer.

     
  35. George Says:
    August 30th, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    @Barry Collins

    You said you reinstalled your iPad last year when things started to get hairy, which was about a year after you bought it. Why are you surprised that one year on it would need another reinstall? If anything, going on past experience, you should have expected to have to reinstall again around this time.

     
  36. Kane Says:
    September 1st, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Our iPad 1 slowed to a crawl, a very slow one. So I deleted a load of little or unused apps, music and video. I cleared the history, cookies from Chrome and Safari and it has given the machine a new lease of life.

     
  37. Alan Says:
    September 2nd, 2013 at 8:24 am

    I’m still on my first gen ipad (64gb and cellular) that I bought around a month after it’s release and it still works fine.

    Battery life in excess of a working day and occasionally a film streamed to the tv in the evening as well.

    However it doesn’t work as well as it used to. in app crashes are an increasingly common occurance and it can run quite slowly at times.

    I’ve looked into it and the majority of the app crashes seem to be as a result of excessive memory requirements by the software (which is down to the authors of the software IMO) and the slowdowns due to increasingly rich content on the internet.

    Still the tablet does what I need it to do and i’m only now starting to look into replacing it, probably with the next gen ipad whenever it surfaces.

    That said if I took my ipad 1 into the apple store for a battery service does anyone know if it’s get swapped out for an ipad 1 or an ipad 2 due to the scarcity of ipad 1’s?

     
  38. Danny Thomas Says:
    September 2nd, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Confused by this. I use my iPad2 every day and it runs fine, as good as when I bought it (battery maybe not quite what it was). Crapware never helps, also, I do a clear down and restore every six months, also a good plan.

    My iPad has plenty of legs an will last me for years yet

     
  39. MarkTechArc72 Says:
    September 3rd, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I am not sure Barry was pitching this blog post as “a scientific exploration of the life expectancy of the original Apple iPad”. It was to test the waters, and clearly, as usual the waters are pretty muddy.

    I have never criticised the iPad build quality, nor as a power user do I consider 18 months of use sufficient to “wear it out”.

    Clearly, the issue here is the highly subjective “price vs performance” argument.

    For me, a £279.00 iPad mini provides a much better price/performance ratio since the cost of replacement in 2 years is much lower.

    Compare this with £700 for an original iPad, which went from usable device to something that crawled in 18-24 months, this clearly is a much more expensive and unsustainable ratio of price/performance.

    There will always be someone who thinks that their 1st generation product X works as good as the day they bought it, and someone who thinks the opposite. Good luck to those who were and continue to be pleased by their first generation product.

    It’s subjective.

    What I cannot accept, and it worries me that iPad 3 folks will feel this in 12 months, is that these devices will start to experience the same “symptoms” I did on the original iPad, and latterly what Barry has experienced with iPad 2, is that Apple considers the the consumer investment of £500, £600 and £700 for these devices as disposable on a 2 year cycle. Yes, phones are subsidised, so we tend not to notice the bottom line too much, but the UK has not warmed to contract based tablets.

    My comparison with a PC is still valid, if you bought a £700 laptop 2 years ago, I would bet (subject to hardware faults) that in 5 years time, it would still be able to be used and be productive even if you had to change to an alternative operating system. Yes, a PC and a tablet do do different things, but given the price/performance ratio of the tablet, I would now pick a PC every time – UNLESS – the price/performance ratio is stacked in my favour and makes iterative replacements affordable and obtainable to the general masses.

    To a certain degree, I tell myself that I paid for the early adopter wave, as I am sure I am not the only one who sat “smugly” on trains and planes, with my iPad knowing what an exclusive device it was – for this aura, it was priceless, but we all have to come back to reality sometime!

     
  40. AdamD6 Says:
    September 3rd, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    The iPad 1 was a first generation model of what was in effect a new class of computer (in terms of size, weight, and its close relationship to the phone). It was pushing the boundaries of technology but also, as Apple does, some features were deliberately held back to the next model – front-facing camera etc. As said above, it’s perhaps not surprising that it has not lasted as well as more mature technologies. That’s the risk you take by being an early adopter. It still surfs the net. I have to say a Samsung netbook we have is nearly useless. Underpowered from the start with a letter box screen and unable to cope even with iPlayer. Cheap maybe but still a waste of money.

     
  41. Nick Says:
    September 4th, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Another original iPad (bought at launch) still going strong here. It is my wife’s and she only uses is it for email and browsing, but it has never been reinstalled and is still fine (with the occasional ‘quit all apps then reboot’ routine). It gets some hammer as well – used every day for several hours. It sounds like using the storage heavily may be a factor?

     
  42. Nick Says:
    September 4th, 2013 at 9:49 am

    @MarkTechArc72 whilst I agree with some of what you say, you are wrong when you state that “it’s subjective” when talking about performance. It’s not very subjective – you know when a tablet is slowing to a crawl doing basic stuff. My nexus 7 did it, until I uninstalled lots of stuff and ran an app to clear the space. My wife’s iPad is fine.

     
  43. MarkTechArc72 Says:
    September 4th, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Nick,

    What I was trying to articulate (badly) is that for some, an original iPad running today is serviceable and perfectly good for their needs, as they may be less sensitive to the speed reduction that people are reporting.

    Some, like myself, are very quick to notice any speed changes, and like most IT folk, spend time managing the devices for their best performance.

    So, what I was trying to convey is that performance can be perceived differently between two people.

    Yes, agreed, basic housekeeping does help, but in my case, the original iPad became a poor experience in use 18 months after I got it, and iOS5 arrived. Believe me, I made sure it was running lean and clean – no difference!

     
  44. Danny Thomas Says:
    September 4th, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Barry – FOr the sake of accuracy, please clear out Apps you don’t use, backup and re-load and report on the difference – If it is still unusable then fair point.

     
  45. Danny Thomas Says:
    September 4th, 2013 at 11:54 am

    By the way, I am still using an iPhone 4

     
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    September 21st, 2013 at 4:12 am

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  47. James William Says:
    September 21st, 2013 at 11:24 am

    I bought ipad 2 and it’s still fine, maybe that’s because I rarely use it

     
  48. Random Name Says:
    January 25th, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    I’ve used my iPad 2 for at least 6 hours a day for the last 2 and a half years, and I have never come across even 1 glitch or decrease in performance. FYI, I have a 32g with no 3G. I don’t know what everyone is complaining about, or maybe I’m just lucky.

     
  49. Nan Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    The lifespan when used daily, is indeed, two
    years. Mine is two years old, almost to the day, and the camera has quit functioning.
    After a reset and a trip to Apple Care, I was told to buy another one!
    If you use your Ipad professionally, take heed. If you don’t use the Cloud, back up your strorage on your computer from time to time.

     
  50. Mark Williams Says:
    March 11th, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Stuttering performance of an iPad 2 under iOS 7 is precisely the right description. I am hoping that iOS 7.1 will improve things as seems to be indicated. I wonder if the delay between the first release of iOS 7 and the 7.1 release is precisely to encourage the impatient with money to ditch the iPad 2 and buy new hardware. It’s exceedingly well engineered differential pricing.

     
  51. Michael Says:
    March 23rd, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    I think Apple designs bugs into the upgrades so that older devices fail randomly!

     
  52. Jan Says:
    May 3rd, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    I both brand new iPad 4 in 2012 and used up to 3 hours a day since then. It is now completely dead. Probably battery is gone. All by e-books, journal articles stored there and I sadly lost them. This dead machine cost me over £500 when I bought it two years ago!

     
  53. Gryphonisle Says:
    June 21st, 2014 at 8:54 am

    I think more than anything else it’s delusional attitudes. An old man boards a bus with a transistor radio or equivalent and you chuckle. Someone else boards with an iPhone or Droid and plays music—same tinny sound from a distance, but hey, it’s a video! We’re so awed!

    Why?

    It sounds like crap.

    If my early 20th century dad bought a TV for $3000. he’d expect to have it for life—and that big cabinet would probably still be running. But not my iMac after three years.

    We are so bamboozled by technology, and so ignorant of history, that we’re spending a lot of money to support a corrupt business plan of planned obsolescence.

    Detroit did the same thing in the seventies, but at least they paid for it with a loss of consumer confidence.

    There’s no good reason why these expensive machines are so worthless after less than five years, save for the fact that our silly willingness to replace them makes their planned obsolescence hugely profitable.

    It’s not so much the machines as the idiot spineless consumers.

     
  54. jim mcmillan Says:
    July 16th, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    My ipad quit when it was 18 months old.
    Looks pristine but apple store says it’s unrepairable.
    Is this the normal life span of an ipad mini?

     
  55. Scott Says:
    July 21st, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    “iPads, it seems, are closer to smartphones in longevity than they are PCs.”

    Not closer. It is exactly the same. Ipads and smartphones are made from roughly the same quality of components. They are consumer devices designed to last 18-24 months to perform media consumption activities for several hours a day.

    What is even more concerning is those that try to make ipads into business devices. As a work tool, they are 1 year devices. Consumer phones/tablets have a 2000 hour battery and a Touchscreen rated for 15K touches per quadrant. That is why an ipad is £700 & professional devices are £1200-2000.
    It actually costs more to deploy an ipad in an enterprise environment than a more expensive enterprise class devices.

     

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