Survey Sheds Light On Upgrade Habits, 28 Percent Will Buy Apple iPad Air 2 Just To Own Latest Model

In terms of marketing, the true genius of Steve Jobs is that he was able to create a consumer culture around Apple products in which current owners would always feel compelled to upgrade to the next version. Part of that is due to the planned obsolescence model -- a theory that says Apple intentionally leaves out desired features to shorten the shelf life of its gadgets. However, it's pretty telling that nearly 28 percent of respondents in a recent Kensington survey said they plan on purchasing the iPad Air 2 simply because of "the desire to own the latest iPad."

What's interesting about that response is that it comes at a time when iPad sales are declining. In fact, other than Apple's retired iPod category, the iPad is the only major product Apple sells in which demand is waning. Be that as it may, it's still the most popular tablet in the world, and there is a subset of users who will upgrade out of a perceived need to own to the newest, shiniest model.

iPad infographic
Click to enlarge full infographic -- Image Source: Kensington

Out of the more than 1,000 customers surveyed, 17 percent pegged the new A8X processor as the reason why they plan to upgrade, 5 percent said they're intrigued by improvements to the display, and just shy of 2 percent are drawn to the iPad Air 2's new cameras.

Around 8 percent don't plan to upgrade until Apple increases the screen size, and 11 percent said they're waiting for the right opportunity to gift their old iPad in order to buy a new one for themselves.

iPad Air 2

"While at first glance the research suggests that the majority of existing iPad owners will upgrade for minor reasons, what we're actually seeing is a growing number of consumers who desire to become a multi-device household," said Jim Murakami, Global Product Manager at Kensington. "We expect that those investing in the new iPad model won't just be doing so to benefit from the new tablet's features. They also want to free up their old tablet for use by another family member, giving them more time on their new primary device."

The iPad Air 2 didn't bring any major surprises to the table. As was rumored leading up to the launch, the iPad Air 2 sports a faster SoC, thinner design, Touch ID sensor, improved cameras, a gold color option, and the removal of a 32GB option (iPad Air 2 is available in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities).