Client Alert #38 Where are the new Macs?
One of the most critical benefits we offer our clients is advising them on when to upgrade their Macs, and which Mac to buy. Traditionally, this has been a fairly straightforward conversation; we look at each client’s individual use case, and determine the Mac that represents the best fit.
This conversation has become more complicated lately with the delay of the refresh of many of the core models, specifically the iMac, the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air. This also applies to the Mac Pro and the Mac mini, models that have more specialized applications, so we don’t install as often. Traditionally, Apple has made significant changes to each of the Mac families on a fairly regular cycle, with minor updates or “speed bumps” between major model changes. Although lately, major Mac hardware upgrades have slowed down, leaving our clients with a common question, “What should we do?
The tech news sites are full of rumors, some of them may even be accurate. Currently, the best guess are that there’ll be updated laptops announced sometime this fall, with availability by the end of the year. As we all know, however, Apple holds its information very closely, and until they make an official announcement, no one really knows what to expect and when.
Based on the most up to date information available from Mactracker, here’s when the latest changes have been made to each current model family:
- iMac - no updates since October of 2015
- MacBook Retina - updated April of 2016
- MacBook Pro Retina - no updates since March of 2015
- MacBook Air - minor updates in Spring of 2016
- Mac mini - no updates since October of 2014
- Mac Pro - no updates since June of 2013
- Thunderbolt Display - Discontinued June of 2016
Our engineering team feels that unless your machine meets one or more of the following criteria, it’s best to hold off and wait for the new machines to be announced:
- If your machine is 2011 or older
- If your machine has an internal optical drive (an indication of age and features)
- If your machine does not have an SSD (Solid State Drive) or Fusion Drive
- If your machine has less than 4GB of RAM
- If your machine has less than 30% available storage space
- If you’re having any misoperation
- If the machine is not meeting your needs, or negatively impacting your productivity in a meaningful way
- If you’re adding new staff and your organization doesn’t have enough machines
Please note that these are only guidelines, and we’d want to talk with you directly about any purchase decisions. We understand that buying a Mac is a 4-5 year investment, and while we don’t want anyone stuck with buyer’s remorse soon after the new machines are announced, we also don’t want anyone struggling with an older or under-spec'd machine that doesn’t meet their needs.
We know that there are a growing number of you waiting on the new Macs. If, after you’ve read this, you have any questions, please give us a call and we can discuss the best strategy with you.
As always, thank you for your continued reliance on us as your Mac IT resource.
and the CA Helpdesk team