Apple iOS

iPad Air 2 Ordered (and cancelled)

I saved my money and ordered the iPad Air 2 as soon as it was available. Then I did some analysis and cancelled the order. Here’s why.

Screenshot of my iPad home screenI saved my money and was all set to upgrade my iPad once Apple released this year’s models. I watched the live event and ordered my iPad Air 2 the next day when they became available.

Then I cancelled the order this morning, before it shipped. There wasn’t one reason that caused me to cancel although price was the most significant factor. I decided the upgrade from my iPad 3 wasn’t worth the cost. I have an iPad 3 (Retina) so after its sale I figured the total cost of the upgrade would be $600, before considering accessories. Here’s why I wanted to upgrade and why I decided to wait another year…

  • The screen: I already have a Retina screen. The new Air 2 has a glare reduction coating and is a fully laminated screen so I have no doubt the screen will look better. So, this is certainly a reason to upgrade but I don’t really have any complaints about my current screen. Ok, maybe a few. Glare and smudges annoy me, so any reduction would be appreciated. But if I was to put a price on this upgrade I would put it at $100 which is generous since I haven’t seen the new screen.
  • Touch ID: It’s a huge convenience on the iPhone and I do miss it on the iPad. I don’t care at all about the purchase related features (or lack of them). Purchase friction saves me money. I just want it to unlock apps. It’s hard for me to put a value on this. I was thinking $100 but realized that was the price difference between the iPad Mini 2 and the new Mini 3 and the only difference was Touch ID. Of the two I’d save the $100 and get the iPad Mini 2 (if I was buying one). I do value convenience so even though this doesn’t add any real functionality I’m going to value it at $50.
  • More CPU Power: My iPad 3 has never been a speed demon but I’ve already upgraded to iOS 8 so I know what to expect. I’m not a gamer and I don’t use a lot of demanding apps. I’d value this at $50, at least until I have specific issues.
  • Improved LTE: My current iPad 3 is the LTE version on Verizon. I subscribe to a data plan about 2 months out of the year. The ability to pick a wireless vendor on the fly is nice, although I’m not sure how much I’d switch vendors. The lack of Verizon isn’t a problem as I’d like some variety as a backup and my iPhone is locked to Verizon. When I do use LTE I don’t have any complaints about speed but I’m mainly getting email and text files, no streaming. I don’t consider this upgrade to have any value for me.
  • Improved Wi-fi: Like LTE I don’t place heavy demands on my Wi-Fi usage. I do stream video in the house but what I have works fine. I do have a 802.11ac router so I could take advantage of the iPad Air 2 Wi-fi. So yes it’s faster and better in theory, in practice I won’t notice a difference in my daily use. So I don’t consider this to have any value for me either.
  • Camera Improvements – I don’t think I’ve ever taken a picture with my iPad. Maybe I tried it once. I don’t think a better camera will change that. Likewise I don’t use the front facing camera for video calls or FaceTime. So this has no value for me.
  • Thinner & Lighter: While Apples obsession with thinness is beginning to bug me this would be a big change from my iPad 3 and I would like it. It would be easier to hold the Air 2 for a longer time but I don’t currently leave the iPad behind because it’s heavy. I’d value this at $50 although I should point out the original iPad Air would have the same value assigned to it.

Adding this all up I’d value the upgraded features at $250. If I’m wrong and some must have feature or app appears where I’d want an iPad Air 2 it will still be around. Maybe by then it will be in the refurb store for less money.

I use my laptop a lot so that lowers the iPads value for me. I tried going iPad only before upgrading my laptop and found I didn’t like it.