New Apple 9.7-inch iPad aimed squarely at iPad 2 owners looking to affordably upgrade

Posted:
in iPad edited March 2017
While the rumored iPad Pro refresh has yet to happen, Tuesday's 9.7-inch form factor update serves as an affordable enticement to older iPad users from the iPad 2 to the iPad 4 to retire out-of-date equipment -- and to do it now.




An oft-cited mantra of the tech press has been that the iPad 2 is the most populous model of iPad. While that has changed since 2015, the numbers still aren't all that far off from that moment in time.

As recently as December of 2016, a large amount of iPad users are still using pre-iPad Air hardware. According to analytical firm Localytics, users of the iPad 2, iPad 3, and iPad 4 are a whopping 30% of the installed base. The iPad mini sits at 28%, and the iPad Pro, including the 9.7-inch model sits at only 7%.




Personal reasons have probably kept most of the old gear alive. However, with the new iPad, there has never been a better time to upgrade.

Specs alone blow away older devices

When it's been a while since the last purchase in a family, the new gear tends to have better specifications on the surface -- and the new iPad is no exception.




Those numbers don't always add up to real-world performance gains, but in this case, they do.

Performance

We've come a long way from the iPad 2. RAM has doubled, and processor clock speeds have as well. Plus, advancements in GPU technologies make newer devices that much faster.

We don't know about performance on the A9 processor in the new iPad yet. However, the iPhone SE with an A9 processor has a Geekbench rating of 4014. The iPad 4 has a benchmark of 1281, and the iPad 2 has a measly 570.

Security

The security reasons to buy the new iPad are clear -- Apple's latest operating system is unavailable to the iPad 2 and iPad 3 owners, potentially leaving them open to some vulnerabilities discovered recently.

The iPad 4 is the oldest iPad that can run iOS 10. There are no guarantees that iOS 11 will maintain iPad 4 compatibility.

With more and more threats popping up, keeping users on an up-to-date platform who may not be interested in conventional computing countermeasures against threats has clear benefits. In all likelihood, the new 9.7-inch iPad will be able to get all the latest iOS updates for another five or six years.

Aging batteries

The last iPad 4 rolled off the production lines at some point in late 2013. That means that barring a battery replacement, we're looking at a three-year old battery.

Batteries rely on finite chemical processes. As a result, they have generally a three-year useful life on the average. While some will last longer, none of the surviving iPad 4 population should be anywhere near maximum capacity.

A new battery for an older iPad from a trustworthy vendor runs about 10% the cost of the new iPad, not even including the cost of labor or tools necessary to do it. Apple charges $100.

No reason to wait anymore

The only reason at this point to hang on to an older iPad is because you already own the older one. The next few years won't be kind to Apple's first four iPad models, with the original iPad basically put out to pasture with iOS 5 and of little use to anybody anymore.

Nobody's saying that you should toss your old iPad. Here at AppleInsider we'd be lying if we said that we didn't have an old iPad or two still kicking about performing some function or another -- but none of them are connected to the internet, at all.

Security is paramount. The only way to guarantee that in internet travels is to be sure that you've got an up-to-date system -- and Apple's new iPad is the same form factor as the original, and at its cheapest price point yet.

The iPad 2 and 3 just aren't safe anymore, and the iPad 4 isn't far behind.
lolliver
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 64
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,897member
    If the iPad 2 still does everything someone wants then there's still no compelling reason to upgrade. There's no wow factor here. Nothing that makes someone say I gotta have this! Sure, maybe the price will lure some in, but as I've said before, I don't think price is an issue. If you release an iPad with features that make someone want to buy it, they'll buy it at yesterday's prices. I don't really see where at least on the consumer side where price has been an issue as of late. Even when the US was in a recession Apple had record sales. 
    tjwolf
  • Reply 2 of 64
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,635administrator
    macxpress said:
    If the iPad 2 still does everything someone wants then there's still no compelling reason to upgrade. There's no wow factor here. Nothing that makes someone say I gotta have this! Sure, maybe the price will lure some in, but as I've said before, I don't think price is an issue. If you release an iPad with features that make someone want to buy it, they'll buy it at yesterday's prices. I don't really see where at least on the consumer side where price has been an issue as of late. Even when the US was in a recession Apple had record sales. 
    I think you're approaching it from the wrong perspective. Today's iPad isn't loaded with features, and never was intended to be so. There are compelling reasons for an iPad 4 owner to upgrade, not the least of which is that the end of the security line is approaching very fast.

    The iPad 4 is four and a half years old. That $70 less today, with more speed than the previous cost? That's pretty compelling to an end-user "iPad as Appliance" user.
    patchythepiratelolliverration alstanthemanicoco3ewtheckmanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 64
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,143member
    sog35 said:
    macxpress said:
    If the iPad 2 still does everything someone wants then there's still no compelling reason to upgrade. There's no wow factor here. Nothing that makes someone say I gotta have this! Sure, maybe the price will lure some in, but as I've said before, I don't think price is an issue. If you release an iPad with features that make someone want to buy it, they'll buy it at yesterday's prices. I don't really see where at least on the consumer side where price has been an issue as of late. Even when the US was in a recession Apple had record sales. 
    the weight and A9 makes this an insta-upgrade from iPad2-4


    Not for most people that don't care about that. They watch Netflix, Email, web surf and play a few games. Pretty much all the want to do, so no need to upgrade. 
    samian5747macxpress
  • Reply 4 of 64
    tyranntyrann Posts: 6member
    Why'd they take away anti-reflective coating and the laminated display? My iPad 2 v2 still gets 10-11 hours battery life, i picked up the version with the shrunken die which at launch gave me around 15 hours battery life. The negatives now is that i can only have 1 tab open in safari now and it sometimes crashes if i load too much by continuously scrolling down. Netflix works fine still. I would of upgraded if they put 2GB of ram and made the minimum 64GB of space. Maybe the extra thickness in the new ipad is for more battery? hopefully tested. I'll wait another year till my ipad 2 dies.
    indiekidukbrakken
  • Reply 5 of 64
    While some users of iPad 2 are hanging on, it's the battery that will kick them off in the end. If you rely upon the device for casual consuming, then decent battery life is part of the package - and a 4-year-old machine is probably getting funky in that regard. These people are mainly using wifi-only models with the minimum 16GB of storage. That means that they can get a massive upgrade for only $329, a whole lot less than they paid for the original. Not bad, and clearly aimed at this crowd. This product really helps to distinguish the Pro line with a sharp delineation between consumption & productivity. I expect all the marketing around this new iPad to be about fun fun fun and content consumption, and the Pro marketing to be all about making stuff. Case closed (if I'm correct).
    edited March 2017 patchythepiratelolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 64
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,448member
    macxpress said:
    If the iPad 2 still does everything someone wants then there's still no compelling reason to upgrade. There's no wow factor here. Nothing that makes someone say I gotta have this! Sure, maybe the price will lure some in, but as I've said before, I don't think price is an issue. If you release an iPad with features that make someone want to buy it, they'll buy it at yesterday's prices. I don't really see where at least on the consumer side where price has been an issue as of late. Even when the US was in a recession Apple had record sales. 
    I think you're approaching it from the wrong perspective. Today's iPad isn't loaded with features, and never was intended to be so. There are compelling reasons for an iPad 4 owner to upgrade, not the least of which is that the end of the security line is approaching very fast.

    The iPad 4 is four and a half years old. That $70 less today, with more speed than the previous cost? That's pretty compelling to an end-user "iPad as Appliance" user.
    He was talking about the iPad 2. But the Retina display alone is worth the upgrade to me, so that's a non-starter. However, the iPad 3 & 4, are still plenty useful, regardless of these added features. I'm considering upgrading my Mom's iPad primarily due to weight, which is only about 30 grams heavier than the 9.7" Pro. But for me, I'm ready to upgrade, but this budget offering isn't really going to help me, because I'm willing to spend the money on some of these features which are missing from this offering -- namely the Pencil support and True Tone. I'm not really sure what other features you're referring to that make it so much more compelling than an iPad 4, but I'm not missing them at present (other than I've stated), and my mom certainly isn't. 

    This to me is basically the iPad SE, though I think the SE was a much more compelling upgrade over the 5s than this iPad is over its predecessor.
    edited March 2017
  • Reply 7 of 64
    frugalityfrugality Posts: 410member
    My 69-year-old mom is still happy with her 5-year-old iPad 2.  It's still fast enough for what she does, and with old eyes, the non-retina screen is fine, battery still going strong.  The only problem is that Apple isn't supporting it software-wise anymore.  They could.  But that doesn't make money.  Make it obsolete, it makes money.  The only feature a new iPad has that she would find to be a benefit is TouchID.  She's still entering a 4-number screen unlock.
  • Reply 8 of 64
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,751member
    sog35 said:
    macxpress said:
    If the iPad 2 still does everything someone wants then there's still no compelling reason to upgrade. There's no wow factor here. Nothing that makes someone say I gotta have this! Sure, maybe the price will lure some in, but as I've said before, I don't think price is an issue. If you release an iPad with features that make someone want to buy it, they'll buy it at yesterday's prices. I don't really see where at least on the consumer side where price has been an issue as of late. Even when the US was in a recession Apple had record sales. 
    the weight and A9 makes this an insta-upgrade from iPad2-4


    No it doesn't. This heavily used iPad 4 (currently main home machine as iMac video card died and I won't pay a premium price for two gen old current iMac. Waiting, waiting) still works OK, starting to lag a bit, not as bad as our iPad 2 though, so OK. But increased snappiness is not enough. I will keep on plodding with the iPad 4. Maybe if the iPad 2 was all we had..

    What this enforced iPad only experience has taught me is that what iPad needs is a better, more flexible and powerful iOS. The hardware is fine. But it will not be a desktop replacement until it can manage groups of files, as one example of a long list that is pretty much all software based with the exception of maybe, a USB port. But a non phone iOS is what it needs to be an Insta-upgrade.
    edited March 2017 avon b7
  • Reply 9 of 64
    The price and features are very welcome indeed, but this discussion is very personal—in a lot of aspects. I still use my iPad 2 (I bought it in May 2011), and up to a year ago (when I bought my Mac), it was my primary computer. Of course it is slow, but my need for it decreased since I bough the MacBook Pro. As for the battery, for some reason or other, it still give me more than 8 hours, after almost 6 years of daily use!!! I just hope that my iPhone battery was that reliable—I have an iPhone 4S, got it in March 2012, and the battery is shot to hell and beyod... which is quite expectable. But for that, I'm having the new iPhone SE with 32 GB when it launches here in May.
    edited March 2017 pscooter63icoco3
  • Reply 10 of 64
    I'm most surprised by the weight difference. It's *slightly* heavier than the Air 2, but with lots more guts. Is the Air 2 off the market now?
  • Reply 11 of 64
    FatmanFatman Posts: 300member
    The chart leaves out a bunch of specs that matter ... wifi will benefit from ac speed & Bluetooth 4.2 if you connect to external speakers/other devices (much better throughout, fewer drop outs). Touch ID for faster login & great for secure/banking apps, much better camera, double the memory, stereo speakers... all for $329!
    Also, good spec'd hardware that is affordable will 'raise the lowest common denominator', pushing the installed base to newer OS, faster graphics and 64bit ready. App developers can develop for better devices - better performance, graphics, features.
    StrangeDaysbrucemcpatchythepirateration alwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 64
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,635administrator
    mac_128 said:
    macxpress said:
    If the iPad 2 still does everything someone wants then there's still no compelling reason to upgrade. There's no wow factor here. Nothing that makes someone say I gotta have this! Sure, maybe the price will lure some in, but as I've said before, I don't think price is an issue. If you release an iPad with features that make someone want to buy it, they'll buy it at yesterday's prices. I don't really see where at least on the consumer side where price has been an issue as of late. Even when the US was in a recession Apple had record sales. 
    I think you're approaching it from the wrong perspective. Today's iPad isn't loaded with features, and never was intended to be so. There are compelling reasons for an iPad 4 owner to upgrade, not the least of which is that the end of the security line is approaching very fast.

    The iPad 4 is four and a half years old. That $70 less today, with more speed than the previous cost? That's pretty compelling to an end-user "iPad as Appliance" user.
    He was talking about the iPad 2. But the Retina display alone is worth the upgrade to me, so that's a non-starter. However, the iPad 3 & 4, are still plenty useful, regardless of these added features. I'm considering upgrading my Mom's iPad primarily due to weight, which is only about 30 grams heavier than the 9.7" Pro. But for me, I'm ready to upgrade, but this budget offering isn't really going to help me, because I'm willing to spend the money on some of these features which are missing from this offering -- namely the Pencil support and True Tone. I'm not really sure what other features you're referring to that make it so much more compelling than an iPad 4, but I'm not missing them at present (other than I've stated), and my mom certainly isn't. 

    This to me is basically the iPad SE, though I think the SE was a much more compelling upgrade over the 5s than this iPad is over its predecessor.
    Oh, I know what he was talking about. However, if its a compelling upgrade from an iPad 4, then it's even more so from a 2.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 13 of 64
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,635administrator

    Fatman said:
    The chart leaves out a bunch of specs that matter ... wifi will benefit from ac speed & Bluetooth 4.2 if you connect to external speakers/other devices (much better throughout, fewer drop outs). Touch ID for faster login & great for secure/banking apps, much better camera, double the memory, stereo speakers... all for $329!
    Also, good spec'd hardware that is affordable will 'raise the lowest common denominator', pushing the installed base to newer OS, faster graphics and 64bit ready. App developers can develop for better devices - better performance, graphics, features.
    Left out by design. The "iPad as appliance" crowd probably doesn't have AC, and doesn't care about BT4.2.
    cornchip
  • Reply 14 of 64
    macxpress said:
    If the iPad 2 still does everything someone wants then there's still no compelling reason to upgrade. There's no wow factor here. Nothing that makes someone say I gotta have this! Sure, maybe the price will lure some in, but as I've said before, I don't think price is an issue. If you release an iPad with features that make someone want to buy it, they'll buy it at yesterday's prices. I don't really see where at least on the consumer side where price has been an issue as of late. Even when the US was in a recession Apple had record sales. 
    I think you're approaching it from the wrong perspective. Today's iPad isn't loaded with features, and never was intended to be so. There are compelling reasons for an iPad 4 owner to upgrade, not the least of which is that the end of the security line is approaching very fast.

    The iPad 4 is four and a half years old. That $70 less today, with more speed than the previous cost? That's pretty compelling to an end-user "iPad as Appliance" user.
    If you don't need speed, then there's no compelling reason to upgrade. My mom uses an iPad 2 plugged into the wall to draw, paint and browse the web. It does everything she wants. Unless the screen dies, there's no reason for her to upgrade. Security? Not one person I know - ever - since iPads have existed has ever had a security problem.
    cornchippscooter63
  • Reply 15 of 64
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,635administrator

    I'm most surprised by the weight difference. It's *slightly* heavier than the Air 2, but with lots more guts. Is the Air 2 off the market now?
    Yes. I'm sure it'll still be in the refurb shop for a while, though.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 64
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,751member

    I'm most surprised by the weight difference. It's *slightly* heavier than the Air 2, but with lots more guts. Is the Air 2 off the market now?
    Yes. I'm sure it'll still be in the refurb shop for a while, though.
    It is like an original iPad Air with a one gen old chip. I wonder if the screen is an original iPad Air screen or like an iPad Air 2 screen? Those negs made up for with lower price. I think Apple is trying to more clearly differentiate iPad and the iPad Pro, which will be the best with features.
    Note camera will now be flush with case.
    edited March 2017 cornchip
  • Reply 17 of 64
    supadav03supadav03 Posts: 451member
    My grandmother is using my old iPad 2. Think for Mother's Day I'll upgrade here to this new iPad. Great price abs specs are perfect for her needs. I've heard some negativity but to me this was a great move by Apple. I'm excited about it.
    ration alwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 64
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,993member
    frugality said:
    My 69-year-old mom is still happy with her 5-year-old iPad 2.  It's still fast enough for what she does, and with old eyes, the non-retina screen is fine, battery still going strong.  The only problem is that Apple isn't supporting it software-wise anymore.  They could.  But that doesn't make money.  Make it obsolete, it makes money.  The only feature a new iPad has that she would find to be a benefit is TouchID.  She's still entering a 4-number screen unlock.
    Just stop. Apple devices have the longest support and useful lifespans in the business. Flagship Android devices are killed after 18 months. I doubt you can even find any other brand's 5 year old tablets. 
    mike1bb-15brucemcration alpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 64
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 950member
    If it was more powerful software wise, I'd upgrade from my iPad 2, which I never use now. Its OS is just way too limited as I've said before. I spend more time fighting the OS than actually producing anything on it. My Macbook on the other hand I can do anything I want, easily. iPads force you into an Apple-mandated workflow, which is great if your workflow fits Apple's idea of how you should work; if not, iOS is hell to use. Multitasking is still a pig, and a touch interface is simply much slower for many things than a mouse-driven one, mainly because iOS is waiting for a double tap all the time which might not happen.
    avon b7
  • Reply 20 of 64
    While some users of iPad 2 are hanging on, it's the battery that will kick them off in the end. 
    I have an iPad 2, and it was still very usable apart from a few websites (notably eBay) giving me trouble,  but then a couple of months ago I made the mistake of downloading the latest OS (I think I had stopped at 6), and since then I have found it basically unusable for anything I want to do (mostly Internet browsing). The new OS also made the battery last nowhere near as long, and I haven't really gotten used to the idea that suddenly it has to be recharged much more frequently even though I'm almost never using it. It's definitely not the fault of the battery, it's the OS. I guess you just need a lot more power with this OS, so you could make the argument that it's the battery, but not because it's old--it's because the OS isn't suited to the hardware.
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