When is the last time you upgraded your tablet?

One of the many recurring conversations that crop up when people talk about whether Apple is doomed or not, is the iPad. The tablet was a strong enough product to shake up the market, and, in the years after, we saw one company after another launch their own alternatives. But none of them have left a lasting mark on the market like the iPad have.

That doesn’t mean some tablets haven’t left an impression on individuals, of course. I think the iPad (in every iteration) is the best tablet I’ve ever used, but the HP TouchPad will always have a place in my heart. Remember that fire sale the tablet had years ago? I still think about the TouchPad (and webOS, just because) from time-to-time.

In any event, those questions about Apple and the iPad usually have something to do with sales.

Despite the fact that Apple sells millions of iPads every year, every quarter, there was a semi-constant “but Apple isn’t selling enough!” to go right along with those numbers. Which isn’t wrong, not in the grand scheme of things. Apple’s iPad sales did slow down, and people were eager to chalk it up to the fact that folks don’t upgrade their tablets as often as they upgrade their smartphones.

So while customers, even Apple customers, may pick up a new phone on a regularly scheduled program, that is apparently not the case for tablets. This is a sentiment that I hadn’t considered much, simply because I took it at face value. For some reason it just makes sense that people would hold onto their tablet, and not upgrade to a new one on every year.

Right?

One could argue price. Tablets are pretty expensive after all. But so are smartphones. Especially these days. And then there’s the fact that wireless carriers offer the same monthly installment plan options that smartphones have. Pay off enough of the device –which isn’t even the full price in some cases– and you can trade it in to get a new tablet.

The way some folks use tablets might be the culprit here. When I have a tablet, I use it every day. And, more often than not, all day. It’s a secondary computer to my main unit, and it gets used for messaging, note taking, and, especially with the latest 10.5-inch iPad Pro, watching content. But I know that’s not the case for a lot of tablet owners.

Some tablets get used only for reading, or casual scenarios like sitting on the couch to browse the internet. Some tablets are used for entertainment purposes on long road trips. And some are just coffee table accessories, left around for the majority of the time.

In those types of situations, I can understand not wanting to upgrade every year. After all, a software update will get you most of the new features that get announced a year after your purchase. But if your tablet is something you use as often as your phone, does a yearly upgrade make more sense?

If you own a tablet, and use it on a semi-regular basis, how long have you owned it? Do you upgrade your tablet on a yearly basis, or is this something you can wait a year, or even longer, before you buy something new? Let me know!

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