Are the Old Apple iPads Really Obsolete? Discussion

Discussion in 'Apple/iOS' started by Vince Font, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. Vince Font

    Vince Font TabletPCReview.com Contributor Reviewer

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    The masses love the third-generation iPad, which was officially released on March 16 in the US, as evident by the fact Apple sold more than 3 million units within the first 72 hours.

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    Reviews were glowing, but on top of the much-publicized Wi-Fi and temperature issues, the tablet has original iPad and iPad 2 owners wondering if Apple's rabid release schedule is a planned obsolescence scheme that may ultimately render earlier generation devices useless devices that cost at least $499 just one or two years ago. But is the release of the new iPad a cunning plan orchestrated by Apple to compel users of a soon-to-be-outdated technology to double their money down for the latest and greatest offering? Or are the criticisms simply a case of sour grapes from iPad owners who should have known that a leaner, meaner technology would be here sooner rather than later?

    Read the full content of this Article: Are the Old Apple iPads Really Obsolete?

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2012
  2. excalibur1814

    excalibur1814 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    "if Apple’s rabid release schedule is a planned obsolescence scheme that may ultimately render earlier generation devices useless"

    Wondering? It's how apple has done things for a very, very long time. If it's not via hardware changes it's via software updates that slow the older device. Typical stuff and it seems to work for them and consumers lap it up. Sour grapes? Probably but people keep on buying. (I used to work for Dixons so I understand how silly the general public can be when faced with something shiny)
     
  3. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy Editor, TabletPCReview Staff Member

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    I'd say a first-generation iPad is still good for the basics --email, web-browsing, etc. -- but it's true that can't handle the latest, high-end games. But the same is true of many two-year-old notebooks, especially ones in the same $500 price-range as the iPad.
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  4. Jamison Cush

    Jamison Cush TechnologyGuide Editor Staff Member

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    There is no right time to ever buy a mobile product thanks to the rapid release schedule, but it's a bitter pill to swallow for Apple iPad owners. I accept it with my smartphone because of carrier subsidies -- but Apple does not play that game with the iPad.

    I don't know what the answer is, but I think any reasonable person agrees that a product that costs at least $500 should have more functionality and be more relevant than the original Apple iPad in its current state. It's not like an older laptop, because I can easily track down older versions of high-end programs that will run on it. There is no way to get older apps that I know of.

    Perhaps we can say the first-generation iPads issues are a price early adopters pay -- but Apple sold so many of them, can we really call all the original iPad owners early adopters?
     
  5. bdeloach

    bdeloach Administrator Staff Member

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    Doesn't "obsolete" imply that it isn't functional? Or has no use at all? I can't see how that's the case. We have an original iPad and still use it every single day, for hours at a time. It still displays websites, still plays Netflix and Hulu, still plays games, the apps we've always used still work and we're always adding more apps.

    I know there are apps/games that we couldn't run with this first gen iPad; just like there are certain things my current desktop, smartphone, printer, car radio, refrigerator, oven, etc can't do that newer models can. I don't see that as a flaw with the products, it's just the way it is. Technologies change and improve and if you want to have the latest features you are free to purchase the latest versions of the products. If you don't, your older products will still work they just won't be as capable as the newer ones.

    Apple is simply following the Detroit model of product marketing: release a new version of the product each year with enough differentiation to make the previous release look outdated. It's just marketing. It doesn't mean that what came before it is no longer functional.
     
  6. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member

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    As you say, just the same in any technology. You could for example buy a top of the range Windows gaming machine and find in a couple of years that it's struggling with the latest software.

    The other side of the coin is to just keep waiting for the next big thing, meaning you never buy anything in the meantime.
     
  7. Jamison Cush

    Jamison Cush TechnologyGuide Editor Staff Member

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    ... but apps so vital to the iPad experience, without them, you essentially have an expensive semi-portable and now sluggish web viewer and email device.

    For all the complaining over slow ICS adoption, this problem is not as pronounced with Android smartphones. Any phone running Gingerbread, some of which are getting up there in age (the original Sprint EVO 4G will be 2 years old in June) can run most of the apps in Google Play (yes, there are some ICS exclusives), and it's not nearly as crippled as the original iPad in that regard. In addition, any user still with an EVO 4G who bought it at launch can upgrade to a more powerful device soon, if not now, to a high-end device for $200 or so with a new contract.

    The car comparison doesn't work for me, because a 20-year-old car can get you places just as well as a new model fresh off the line. The older car won't have the fun features, but at its core, both the new and the old deliver on the core promise of transportation.
     
  8. Jamison Cush

    Jamison Cush TechnologyGuide Editor Staff Member

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    Just to pile on -- the notebook comparison doesn't work for me either. If I have an older machine, I may not be able to run Adobe CS 6, but I can easily track down a copy of CS 4 and basically accomplish the same tasks.
     
  9. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Apple plans on obsolescence. Apple has master the ability to hang a pretty picture in front of users, while gouging their pockets. Just the very basic concepts of the memory in the iPads is a great example. $200 for an additional 48GB of memory (that I can buy for <$48)! $130 for a wireless modem that should be 100% subsidized!
    Apple has created a marketing machine that highly optimizes revenue. They do indeed have a few good ideas, but they are actually few and far between.
    Now the problem is that Apple and the cellphone providers (thou who rip you off better than anyone) are now in bed with each other, bolstering the position of each other. Cellular providers and their desire to sell phones (which really shouldn&#8217;t be what they are doing, they should only sell service) have created an infrastructure where device prices are kept artificially high and limited lifespan is advantageous. There is no incentive for competition to reduce the price of the devices, just add a bell or a whistle every year.

    Compare this with the good ole PC which still runs quite well after 5 years or much longer! XP is just starting to phase out, 10 years after being introduced.
     
  10. NYCundrgrnd

    NYCundrgrnd Pen Pal - Newbie

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    The most obvious failure of the yearly release is...each keynote or release press release, the "claim" that the ultimate level was reached and the best product was released but low and behold...cut and paste is added or a camera or multitasking, etc. Really?!

    If such GREAT minds were truly thinking about a product, make it RIGHT, make it AWESOME the first time. Maybe a 2.0 revision now and then.
    But an "ultimate" iWhatever each year is HARMFUL to the planet with ALL that e-waste. The reality that it wasn't truly the best since critical features were omitted on purpose to force sales the VERY next year!

    You aren't making a "MAGIC" device or the most mature product. Apple is the WORST company when it comes to creating throwaway tech AND it's expensive to boot.

    Yes they do have an eye for design, but solely driven to populate the planet with redundant devices with ZERO upgrade path.

    That is reprehensible.
     
  11. bdeloach

    bdeloach Administrator Staff Member

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    But this is a different argument. If you want to argue that Apple should allow more control over what versions of apps you use on the devices or that the older versions of apps should still be available, then fine, I'll go with that. But Adobe doesn't do that with Photoshop. If I wanted to buy Photoshop 7 I could probably track it down but not from Adobe. So again, if you want to argue that Apple should allow side loading of apps and allow more control over what apps you use then I can go with that. But it's a different conversation.

    The conversation here is whether the original iPad is obsolete. Like I said, we still use ours every day and I'm guessing millions of other people do too which by definition means it is not obsolete.

    Also, if I wanted to get ride of my iPad I could sell it fright now at Amazon for $230. I could probably get more on eBay or Craigslist. If it was obsolete, that wouldn't be the case.
     
  12. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy Editor, TabletPCReview Staff Member

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    Like all companies, Apple is making the best products it can at the time it is making them. These have to sell at pre-selected price points. This means the company can't put in everything it can think of, ignoring the price.

    There's no way Apple could make a device today with the same features the iPad 5 will have, and also sell it at $500. As time goes by, technology gets better (and smaller) while prices go down.

    This is true of every company. Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. make dozens of new laptops every year, virtually all of them mildly updated versions of their predecessors. Would anyone argue that each of these companies should just make one ULTIMATE laptop and leave it at that?
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  13. NYCundrgrnd

    NYCundrgrnd Pen Pal - Newbie

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    It's not about making an ultimate device with NO improvements ever. But it IS about calling a device the ULTIMATE and then adding a SIMPLE feature that should have been included in the first place. (i.e. cut and paste, camera, etc.) Adding a camera...should have been included from day one. Retina Display...that is a upgrade worthy improvement NOT adding cut/paste.

    I realize as time passes, the size of good tech decreases and the power of said tech increases. I get that. But the issue I take with Apple is the egotistical ads stating they have MADE the best possible TODAY. But wait 10-12 months and low and behold they have made it "AGAIN". Really?

    The part that concerns me is the extreme waste. I upgrade my desktop in spurts. Part here/part there. To keep it mostly modern NOT entirely current though. There is a difference. The main "issues" I find with Apple's throwaway products are the effect to the environment and the consumer.

    YES they can style the heck out of something and make it LOOK like you must own it. But notice something interesting. Even though the design esthetic is present in its entire product lines, there is NO mass conversion to MAC based PC's. Why...because the price point for the name vs. same parts in a WinTel box just can't compete.

    The point being as iDevices are smaller/cheaper items more accessible to the public so thy DO sell. I don't knock any company for marketing a product. I would knock ANY company that claims to have created the PANULTIMATE whatever and next year...and now we made it thinner/added camera/added delete/etc. That is disgusting IMO.

    I guess I would say my problem is HOW Apple markets (and that all the throwaway e-waste is SO bad.) They can upgrade whatever they like. But calling it the best for TODAY. Then wait for it...several months and we added a dedicated camera button. WTF?! LOL
     
  14. NYCundrgrnd

    NYCundrgrnd Pen Pal - Newbie

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    More to the question about being obsolete...

    In my ideal "tech" world...things like tablets would be built with certain upgrades in mind. i.e. Camera module can be replaced. Maybe even the processor. I realize a screen is not a simple swappable part. But memory, cpu/gpu, battery, camera, 3G/4G radio, etc are all items people could buy to upgrade. Clearly it works as laptops are upgraded all the time, albeit in a limited range. But they should be changed too. (i.e. CPU's)

    Imagine an iPad with a back that COULD be removed, stay with a tool you buy from Apple(nod to their constant need for finding coins). And you could add 3G/4G, more RAM, etc.

    Now that is the ULTIMATE tablet with a REAL usable product life span!
     
  15. Octavean

    Octavean Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I have a first gen iPad 16GB WiFi model and I still use it every day. I also now have a new iPad (latest gen) and haven’t used it much at all save to quickly check it was without defect. The reason for this in part is that I hadn’t ordered a protective case and screen protector for the new unit and wanted to be cautious. Also the first gen iPad really does everything I want and it does it well.

    Obsolete, no I don’t think so.

    I’ll likely sell my first gen iPad via Amazon’s buyback program at about ~$230. I think it retained its value fairly well over the years.

    I’ll also point out that the first gen iPad was going to receive a front facing camera at the very least. You can see the opening reserved for the camera. So I don’t necessarily believe that Apple deliberately leaves features out to foster sales of future versions. In the case of the first gen camera there likely was a technical reason behind the omission. Something that made them stop midway,….
     
  16. JaneL

    JaneL Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    My iPad is a first generation model, and so far, everything seems to be working fine. That makes it not obsolete to me! :)
     
  17. oldiPadbuyer

    oldiPadbuyer Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I have the first version of the iPad. Recently it would not download updates for iBooks, Pages, Bible and one other app.

    Guy at Apple Store said original iPad could not have new operating system and thus could not download and use these updates.

    OK, but I cannot open the old version of these apps, and I have books on iBooks I want to read and documents on Pages I want to use. How can I do that?
     
  18. CF77

    CF77 Love Tablet. Senior Member

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    a jail break ipad?...
    if not
    try delete ibook app and re-install...
     
  19. benroveno

    benroveno Pen Pal - Newbie

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    In my opinion, the most prominent downside of OG iPad is its game and app compatibility. I mean, if you own an old-gen iPad, iPad 1 or 2 maybe, you'll likely find some problems to run some next-gen apps or games.

    I know - even the latest-gen games like GTA San Andreas doesn't run so smoothly on iPad mini 2 with Retina, while some users reporting that this game can be played smoothly on iPad mini 1 (maybe it has optimization issue with the developer or maybe it's has something to do with the highest-resolution screen on the latest iPad mini 2).

    But given that the current-gen iDevices have much higher hardware (like 1GB of RAM, powerful PowerVR G6430 and 64-bit A7) and the next-gen games will deploy some advanced sophisticated graphics and visual effects (with Unreal 4 maybe), then it will be harder for OG iPad to be capable to handle next-gen games.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  20. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy Editor, TabletPCReview Staff Member

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