Thousands of Apple iPhone owners were upset and felt betrayed in September 2007 when just 90 days after its introduction the iPhone 4GB became obsolete. Apple had decided to discontinue the product, to focus on just the 8GB version, which they also dropped by $200 which further infuriated iPhone owners.
This although a rare occurrence for Apple, highlights the dangers of buying the latest and greatest Apple gadget. You stand in line for hours to get the next amazing device, hand over your cash, for it only to become obsolete by a newer model within months. Therefore if you’re to buy wisely, its worth following a few simple steps.
Although Apple can change their products at any time, they do tend to follow somewhat of a schedule. If you’re looking to buy an iPod such as the Shuffle, Nano or Touch, it would be wise to make your purchase around September time, as this tends to be when Apple announce their latest iPod models in time for the Holiday season purchase frenzy. Apple has followed this trend for several years now and did it again this year with the 2010 iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano. However, it was interesting that they did not update the iPod Classic this year which may indicate that they are looking to phase out that product.
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In terms of the iPhone, Apple tends to update the product around June of each year. So if you’re looking at buying an iPhone, it may be wise to wait until June before taking the plunge, especially as you will more than likely be locked into a 2-year cell phone contract.
Apple computers are a bit more haphazard in their product updates. The MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops are extremely popular and because of this, tend to be refreshed much more frequently than their desktop equivalents such as the Mac Pro or the Mac mini. The MacBooks’ tend to be upgraded to the latest specs around twice a year – around Spring & Autumn – again in time for the Holiday season buying spree. So the best time to buy a MacBook or MacBook Pro would be as soon as they are updated – then you’ll know that you’ve probably got a good 6 months before Apple updates them again.
The iMac is also gaining in popularity so it is starting to see more frequent updates, so wait for the next refresh before making a purchase. If you’re after a Mac Pro or Mac mini, again, wait for them to be updated, which tends to be around a year, which is a longer refresh cycle compared to the MacBook or iMac line.
The iPad is Apple’s newest and most sought-after product. It was released in April 2010 as Apple’s latest cutting-edge device. Since then Apple has updated its other mobile devices with faster processors and an amazing new retina display screen. It therefore looks likely that Apple will transition this technology to their iPad range soon, so don’t be surprised if an iPad product refresh happens way before April 2011.
In conclusion, knowing when to buy an Apple product is an inexact science but as I’ve shown there are a number of clues that Apple gives to make that decision easier. You can always wait for the next Apple product but don’t forget while you’re waiting, you aren’t enjoying the experience of owning an Apple device, so don’t be afraid to make that purchase.