Originally Posted by AnalogJack
The iPad 2 seems to be seen as a sort of 1980's mercedes benz, a bit long in the tooth but quality nevertheless.
Build quality, and attention to long view details. MB builds cars to serve it's owner for a long time. If you focus on selling a car every 2(lease)-5(loan) years, you build them differently. You see that in the race to the bottom markets of Android, Windows XP.
And when you buy a MB, they retain value, and are 'reused' in the non-retail market (hand down to child, or sold on the private market).
The iPad 2 is like the G5 iMac. Quite limited in terms of current market capabilities, but still quite functional and under normal use, won't wear out. (My G5 is still serving up my mother's email and browsing needs...) Her next computer will likely be my 2 year old iPad 2 and a wireless keyboard (partly because my 14yo nephew is iOS savvy, and I want to get out of the out of state support business). And Apple is still supporting the iPad 2 with the current OS (see developer love below).
my 1999 purchased Lime G3 iMac is still being used by my 8 yo niece and her father (my cheap brother).
my 2008 Macbook titanium is working well on my mother in law's counter... she facetimes, and ebays and yahoos just fine.
Now... Titanium Laptops don't last well for college kids who did a lot of road trips... however, my 2003 G4 867mhz is still booting.
and those White Macbooks... just don't last.... as laptops. My wife's 2009 is dying (graphics and/or screen HW, cover cracked, battery)... my daughter's 2007 died a year ago.
All that said. Apple equipment
a) is built to last
b) is supported longer in reality (better OS support longer) than Windows OEM equipment and definitely better than carrier delivered Android equipment
c) with all the 'limitations' that the HW, iOS and AppStore but into the ecosystem, are evolving as system strengths. Less malware, more stability, more life span (think if you had to support the latest Flash and Java on a 3 year old 16gb iPad), easier developer support of legacy HW (OSes support farther back, less configurations variables to support (screen, networking, cabling, peripherals).
In the end, the bigger issue isn't 'switchers' it's the 'retention' of apple consumers. Once you buy your first, you're more likely to be 'invested' in the Apple ecosystem. In the past this was because you were basically an island (the 1 Mac in 20 in town) and needed to 'understand' your computer platform, but with the ITMS ecosystem, now it's more one of your consumables [passwords, contacts, music apps data] are 'in your phone/ipad/cloud', the 'enertia' to stay within the Apple gravity will be greater.
I did a time series analysis of this a while back... if 20% of (a smaller number) iOS users migrate to non Apple platforms, and 40%-50% of a much larger Android market migrate to Apple... This will come in at about 40-45% of Apple market share of 'users' (not sales). And belaboring the point, these 40-45% are the 'most active' mobile users, in buying stuff, and paying for quality vs quantity (screen size). Read: Most profitable.
The Apple Long Game is not to sell the most, but be 'enjoyed the most.'
Bottom line... Android is the entry level iOS device... low barrier of entry, gets people use to being highly mobile, exercises their finger dexterity, etc. Apple is the 'quality' device (the family car, the home theater system investment)... one that is purchased based on need, not on curiosity, and is more likely to be handed down when is ceases to be of value to the owner (in my home it was the laptop shuffle.. mine to my wife, hers to a child, the childs to my mother(in-Law)), which isn't reflected in retail sales.