On November 2nd, 2012, the iPad 4th Generation was released; the last of its kind and an incalculable amount of accomplishment for Apple was implemented into this device at the time. But, that was 5 years ago. We are now ready to move on and grasp at a new thing; a new idea, and a new type of mentality.
Just recently, 9to5Mac was told that Apple will no longer be sending back customers their iPads in service if they are 4th generation or earlier, as they will be forced to upgrade when Apple sends them back a new iPad Air 2, no charge.
Now let’s talk about what this means for Apple geeks and enthusiasts. Well, to be frank, it doesn’t mean anything for them. This actually is more about the people who got an iPad about 4 years ago, and have told you countless times, “There’s nothing wrong with it, so there’s no reason to get a new one”. Well, yes, it’s extremely smart to be frugal with your money, and what doesn’t fit into that mindset like getting a new iPad for free?
I see this as a great idea coming out of Apple’s side. If you were to imagine being in their corner, think of this: what’s a way to keep our outdated users on the newest software without pressuring them to buy it themselves? [insert cheesy “Aha!” here]. From that standpoint, it’s a fantastic idea. But I can also envision another issue arising from this new opportunity.
Let’s say you did use to have an old iPad and upgraded before this announcement. There’s a big chance you would be outraged that you paid more than a couple hundred dollars in order to get it, and now people are getting the same one you have but without surrendering a single dollar to the tech giant. If it were my decision, I would have made this announcement either at the previous or following iPad unveiling, in order to pump up your potential customer’s morale and expectations of you.
What I’m guessing Apple was trying to do with the timing of this announcement is either try to sweep it under the rug, attempting to keep it nonchalant, or they are candidly announcing this as soon as they heard the idea from an employee and had everything prepared to execute it. It was just bad timing in general.
Now, we could start talking about how this could also inflict on their possibilities of more scamming occurring, buying defective older iPads and asking Apple to take a look at them, in order to essentially pay a lot less to get a much better piece of technology. The reality of the situation is that these things will occur either way and who’s to say Apple really needs to pay attention to that side of the argument? I’d say they haven’t checked their couch cushions for money since the 90’s and parts of 2000’s, so why start now?
The point of this is not just to get more future consumers or even more short-term revenue. Like anyone who’s familiar with restaurant waiting, you’re not just being nice to the customer for the tip today; you’re being nice for a cash flow that is willing to come back again and again in order to partake in your customer service, bringing back tips in a steady rhythm. Gaining regulars in a business takes just a couple of right moves to be added on the good list. Aside from the timing of it, hats off to Apple for a fundamentally sound PR move.