Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
There was a time, not too long ago, when phones started transitioning from compact handhelds to 6-inch phablets. That’s when the popularity of tablets started dwindling. Global tablet sales peaked in 2013, but with phones getting more powerful and bigger over time, tablet sales have constantly been declining. It’s clear people aren’t buying as many tablets as before, and it only makes sense because tablets aren’t really daily drivers for most people.
So we asked our readers how often they switch out their old tablet for a new one. Here’s what they had to say.
How often do you upgrade your tablet?
We received over 1,200 votes in our poll about tablet upgrade practices. From the results above, it’s clear that only a very tiny percentage of our readers (2%) upgrade their tablets every year. A two- to three-year upgrade cycle works for 14.11% of the in our poll, while a majority of them (22.6%) prefer buying a new tablet every three-to-four years.
Also read: constant decline
17% of the voters said they can go on without changing tablets for as long as five years. In fact, 16.6% said they haven’t upgraded their tablets in over five years. That’s a pretty long time to keep using the same piece of hardware. It says something about why people use tablets in the first place. Maybe they just serve as media players and internet access machines for folks. But one thing is clear, they aren’t devices people can’t do without.
Adding more fodder to that theory is the fact that 15.1% of the fact wait for their tablets to go bust before they have to buy new ones. 6.11% of the voters care about software updates and switch out as soon as their tablets stop receiving new ones.
Nick V: Still rocking the Nexus 7 v2. Still works and still does what I need it to, and still using stock Android.
Albin: 8″ tablets are “daily drivers” for me at home, where the phone sits on a shelf for voice / SMS communication while the tablet is the main Android screen for reading, browsing and video (including Chromecast). I tend to keep mobile devices until app updates and/or the battery decline to nuisance level. My first Acer (JB-4.3} lasted about 5 years (still on an office bookshelf as a clock and photo slideshow.) Next four years with an Acer (MM-6.0) until I dropped it off the balcony. Current Lenovo (Oreo- 8.1) since 2018 works fine and gets timely updates. Its 4800mAh battery is down to a full day’s active use but hoping for another year or two from it – battery life is less concern for a homebody tablet than for a phone. (I don’ t see a good selection of tablets in 8″ format these days and will be reluctant to go 10″ instead.)
shizuma: Whenever it stops working, or stops working well, which typically is quite a while as mobile OS’s and apps simply don’t use that much performance, that being said I’ve been at the point of wanting an upgrade to my Galaxy tab S3 for a while but they are all simply too large and too expensive, I prefer tablets in the 8-9″ size range, past that I find them too unwieldly to use and would rather just use my laptop at that point.
Joe Black: My kids still use Tab S4 and OG iPad Pro 12,9 … so I guess until it breaks. Tablets just seem to be too useless for me, so they regularly end up as a Youtube/Netflix/Minecraft machine for my kids or my parents. If the iOS or Android tablet experience was worth my time, I believe I would keep one for myself as well, and maybe even upgrade regularly.
Martin B.: Wow, it’s almost decade since I bought my Nexus 7 (2013) and it’s still working and my daughter is playing some light games on it. Lately I’m finally thinking about changing it, but still haven’t pushed myself to actually doing it, since current tablet is still working and I hate to change working things even if they’re morally old.
SStarlight9614: my only tablets are a ipad 2 and a kindle fire hd. neither of which I use, if i were to get a tablet it would be either an iPad or whatever the best big name android tablet available is.
Leander Berg: Nexus 7, then Nexus 9 and then ipad 2018 which I’ll probably keep for another 4 years or so. I don’t use it much apart from YouTube and chrome.
ThatWeirdCarNerd: I actually haven’t used a tablet since I got locked out of my OG iPad Mini, as I have switched to a Acer Chromebook Spin 713 as a laptop/tablet. Its really smooth, fast, and it has a nice feel to it. Once I kill the battery 3x, maybe then i’ll upgrade to a newer ACS 713.
MicroNix: Still have my iPad from 2017. Zero reason at this point to upgrade. Runs as good as when purchased. Its not critical infrastructure for me so until it dies or I can’t run a given app on it anymore, it will continue to be put to use.
Filament: My Nexus 10 is still working for reading and as a YouTube player for my mother. My newly bought Tab S4 (used unit) is still my current and my favorite tablet for content consumption. The performance is great, have no idea when I’ll be replacing it. Just love the S-pen and AMOLED panel. Too bad it’s not in the 5 year Android upgrade plan. Purposefully bought the Tab S4 instead of newer ones because it’s a perfect balance between modern looking (narrow bezels) with newer features (stereo speakers and iris scanner) but still having the headphone jack. Yes I love the headphone jack so much I bought another used S10e to replace my current S10e. It’s another perfect balance between large screen, compact, stereo speakers, powerful, symmetrical camera placement, ultra fast fingerprint scanner, expandable memory, wireless and reverse wireless charging.
mejustsayin: I purchased the Galaxy tab s5e when it was first released and no plans to update it at this time. Guess I really do not need tablets anymore. I still use it daily, but nothing that cannot be done on the smartphone.
thelonius: I bought a 2012 Nexus 7 and the Nvidia Shield K1. Barely ever used them. At 6.7″, my phone is plenty big enough for everything I need to do apart from work, which I have a laptop for.
Chris Laarman: I couldn’t cast my vote: I upgrade my tablets when needed. I consider eight of them in use: four iPads and four Android tablets (three of them Mi Pad 4 Plus (by Xiaomi), and two of each not in use. And two Windows tablets, one considered in use. The only two tablets that I disposed of are a Tom-Tec and (sadly) a Nexus 10. Before you ask: I have the tablets across my apartment, always one or two in reach.