In this issue: Now is a terrible time to buy Apple products; Except! Back-to-school products with Apple education pricing; Multiple OS updates released; Seeing too much of the spinning beach ball?; Tip of the Day.
August 2016 Newsletter

Now is a terrible time to buy Apple products

I don't have a good explanation for it, but Apple is weirdly late on releasing new hardware.

For example, the most recent Retina MacBook Pro was released on May 2015—455 days ago. The previous average between releases is 268 days. With the Mac Pro, the average time is 350 days, and we're at almost 500. They're overdue. Really overdue. Some professionals have even moved to “Hackintosh” strategies using PC parts to make a faster, cheaper Mac Pro alternative. (Note: Cobbling together your own hardware solution is not recommended for home users.)

While I don't understand why Apple hasn't released newer, faster models yet, it means we're likely to see new products this fall. This means that if you're looking for a laptop or other Apple product and can wait, you should. Buying a Retina MacBook Pro or other Mac right now, means you're getting 2015 technology. That's okay—these are great computers. However, you will maximize value of your dollar if you can wait a few months for new models which are likely to be lighter, thinner, faster, and otherwise improved.

Apple does have a couple of products it's not a bad time time to buy. When I say “a couple,” I literally mean two: the 9.7" iPad Pro and the 12" MacBook. Those two items are refreshed, up-to-date, and Apple is unlikely to soon release newer models to make them obsolete. For almost every other Apple product, that's not the case. 

As you probably know, Apple doesn't pre-announce products in existing product categories, so we can't know what will happen. My advice is to sit on your hands, have your machines checked out to make sure they're working at optimum levels, and wait a few months.

I continue to believe that Apple is the best stuff in the world. If you have the flexibility, it's worth waiting for to see what they come up with next.

Except! Back-to-school products with Apple education pricing

If you're a teacher or college student and need a new Mac for the school year, there may be no waiting—however long in the tooth Apple’s current lineup might be. The good news is that you don't get better prices than Apple educational pricing. If you're going to buy a laptop, for example, you might pay $2000 retail, but only about $1800 straight from Apple. To use get this special pricing, you do need to provide proof, but it's worth a little extra effort.

There are at least three ways to get Apple's educational pricing. You can go to their website and buy directly through Apple's Education Store. If your campus bookstore is an authorized reseller, you can get the discount there. You can also purchase through a local store like Bridgeport Village with a student ID, letter of acceptance, or staff badge. If you're going back to school this fall, be sure to get your discount!

Multiple OS updates released

iOS 9.3.3 has checked out as okay for all eligible devices that we’ve tested on so far. Those devices include iPhone 6S, 6, 5S, and 5 as well as iPad Air 2, Air, and all eligible iPad models. We’ve had no problems. 

We’ve upgraded and used the watchOS and AppleTV OS as well. No issues to report there either. 

Finally, the macOS 10.11.6 upgrade to El Capitan also appears okay on the Macs we’ve updated. As a reminder, if you’ve not upgraded your Mac to El Cap, now is a really good time for that. You can do it yourself via the Mac App Store—verifying your hard drive through Disk Utility first, of course—or we’re always happy to help if you’d like our assistance.


Seeing too much of the spinning beach ball? 

If your Mac is slowing down, it's important to ask why. Is the hard drive starting to fail? Not enough memory? To keep your machine running at optimum levels. you need to know what's causing problems and solve them. We can help. 

At MacAtoZ, our Sentinel diagnostic service that performs 150 different hourly checks to monitor the health of your machine. Sentinel checks common problem areas like storage space, hard drive health, and memory while maintaining your privacy (it does not and cannot see your personal data). We recommend Sentinel to help keep your machine healthy. If you want more speed and less spinning beach ball, click to learn more about how Sentinel can help

Tip of the day

We love talking about Apple products! If you're looking at buying an Apple product but are not sure about what to buy, call us! We do pre-sales consulting to help you decide which option best fits you and your life.


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MacAtoZ LLC provides technical support, upgrade, installation, networking, training and tutoring, web design and hosting, and remote support services for Apple products like Macintosh computers, iPhones, iPods, and iPads.

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MacAtoZ has been providing computer services for clients in the Salem area since 2006 (and since 1999 as Our technicians are certified by Apple and carry $1 million in business liability insurance. We frequently present and are well-known at the Salem Macintosh Users Group (SMUG). You can count on us.

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