Tomorrow, October 16th, Apple is expected to announce their newest iteration of iPads. Last year, Apple announced two iPad models, the iPad Air and the iPad Mini with Retina Display. This year, a new model of the iPad Air is expected, but whether or not Apple will improve on their iPad Mini model is less clear.

By analyzing Apple’s iPhones and iPads, Localytics uncovered several key findings:

  • 3.5 year old iPad 2 commands the majority share at 27%
  • Last year’s models, iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display, have a 14% and 5% share respectively
  • iPhone apps are launched 36% more times than iPad apps
  • iPad apps have a 23% longer session length than iPhone apps


Just as Localytics reported last month, the iPad 2 is still the most popular iPad, despite being first released in March 2011. The iPad 2 currently has a 27% share of all iPads, though that number will only decrease since Apple discontinued that model earlier this year. Both of the models that were released last year, the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display, have a 14% and 5% share respectively.

One of the main reasons why the iPad 2 is still so popular is because the iPad has a longer lifecycle than traditional smartphones. Apple’s iPhone usually comes locked into a 2-year contract cycle, and most people upgrade every 2 years (or less). For iPads, there are no such restrictions, so the iPad lifecycle is generally much longer.

People Open Apps on iPhones More Often, but Stay in iPad Apps Longer


People use their tablets and smartphones in fundamentally different ways. For most, their smartphone is always on them, whereas their tablet usually stays at home. By having access to smartphones throughout the day, this naturally lends itself to more app launches. On average, iPhone apps are launched 36% more times than iPads.

However, iPhone sessions are typically shorter since people are generally on the go when using their smartphone. The average session length for an iPhone is 5.2 minutes, which is over a minute shorter than their iPad counterparts at 6.4 minutes (a difference of 23%). Whereas a smartphone may be used for quick news or sports updates, people typically use their iPads for longer activities such as reading or watching content.

Previously, Localytics examined the difference in screen size having an effect on time in app, and the same holds true for tablets and smartphones, the larger the screen size, people are more likely to spend more time in apps.

What Category Does the iPhone 6 Plus Fall Into?

As the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple’s first ever “phablet”, becomes more widely adopted, it will be interesting to see if people treat it more like an iPad or an iPhone. Though the iPhone 6 Plus is obviously an iPhone, it is only 2.4 inches smaller than the iPad Mini models. Already, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are showing noticeable differences, with the iPhone 6 Plus showing an “iPad-like” 13% longer session length than the iPhone 6. As more people adopt Apple’s new iPhones, Localytics will continue to monitor if this trend continues.


Localytics is the leading analytics and marketing platform for mobile and web apps across more than 1.5 billion devices and 28,000 apps. Localytics processes 50 billion data points monthly. For this analysis, Localytics examined over 100 million iPhones and iPads from when the iPhone 6 was released on September 19th to October 13th.