I read an interesting article on the Cult of Mac the other day about upgrading from the iPad2 to the iPad3. The short answer is don’t bother. When the new iPad came out some people were disappointed that there wasn’t as big of a technology jump from the iPad2 to the iPad3. Similar to when the iPhone4S was released, people claimed the iPad3 was a failure for Apple because it didn’t make the iPad2 obsolete.
What I found interesting about this article is the author, Buster Heine, compares the iPad to the laptop and computer industry.
“People wishing for product obsolescence with every new iPad are being naive. This isn’t the way technology works, and it would piss people off if it was. We would be outraged if our brand new $1200 iMacs were rendered obsolete within a year by a newer model, yet for some reason many people seem disappointed that Apple hasn’t enacted planned obsolescence for the iPad.”
People tend to upgrade their phones about every 21 months, but Heines says that most people purchase a main computer and use it for 2-4 years or longer. According to Heine, the iPad is “leading the charge into the Post-PC Revolution,” and will one day replace your desktop. The iPad is not a big iPhone it is more of a portable Mac. Therefore, he reasons iPad buying habits should be more reflective of computer buying habits not cellphone buying habits.
Over the years the Mac has changed relatively little from year to year, but over multiple years the difference between an 2007 Mac and 2012 Mac is noticable. Heine speculates the iPad will show the same type incremental growth as the Mac. “The new iPad is only marginally better than the iPad2, just like last year’s iMacs were marginally better than the year before. You shouldn’t feel the need to upgrade, and you never should need to upgrade your iPad every year. The iPad has been magical the entire time, and the iPad you own will continue to stay relevant for 2-3 years. That’s the way it should be.”
I never really thought of it that way, but it makes sense.