How often have you bought a new Mac only to find that Apple upgraded your model a month after you bought it? Bummers, right? I convinced a co-worker to switch from Windows PCs to a Mac a few years ago. He loved it.
When it came time to buy a new Mac he played the waiting game, and bought a new MacBook when the newer models came out. And he got burned. How long should you keep a Mac before buying a new one?
My friend waited patiently for Apple to upgrade the MacBook line to the aluminum body with the glossy screen. Early this year he ditched his old MacBook for a new one.
Four months later Apple introduced new MacBooks which became MacBook Pro models for less money. Suddenly, I’m the bad guy because I told him to exercise patience and wait for new models. There’s nothing wrong with his new Mac. It works fine.
The problem is the feeling we get when we wait for something new and shiny, the buy it, then feel good, then feel lousy when a few months later the new wears off, a newer models shows up with more bells and whistles and sometimes a lower price tag.
If you’re buying a cheap Windows PC for $449 from Dell you probably can’t feel too bad when newer models are introduced. In fact, if the $449 PC lasts a whole year without causing your pull out your hair, you’re probably feeling pretty good.
There’s a line somewhere between the disappointment that occurs when a new Mac arrives shortly after you buy a new Mac, vs. the pride you feel when your Mac still looks good and works well five years after you bought. Most of us are in between the new and the old.
So, how long should you keep a Mac before buying a new one?
We have a white plastic MacBook that serves as our family netbook; everyone uses it. Email, iChat, browsing, and a few games to keep the kids busy. It started with OS X Panther, went to Tiger, and now Leopard. It won’t make it to OS X Snow Leopard, so the clock is ticking.
Early this year we bought a new iMac and sold our old one to a neighbor down the street, also a recent Windows to Mac convert. There wasn’t anything wrong with it. The hard drive was a little small. It was a PowerPC iMac so it won’t run Snow Leopard, either. Time to go, right?
Since we have a bunch of Macs in our abode, we end up getting a new one every year or two at the latest. The oldest may stick around up to five years, but seldom longer, as there’s always someone in the family or neighbor friends in need.
Selling a Mac has never been a problem, either, regardless of age or model; condition being the only determining factor for the price tag. If it runs the latest Mac OS X and it’s not dinged up or scratched, the Mac always sells quickly. Thank God for CraigsList.
If you’ve been a Mac user for many years, how often do you say, “Out with the old, in with the new?” One year? Three years? Five years?
There’s a school about four blocks away and they have plenty of Macs. Old Macs. And very old Macs; mostly white MacBook models that probably have a hand crank instead of a battery. They look their age. Or, worse. Kids are not gentle with school property.
Once a year the school puts a bunch of Macs out for sale, first to students, then parents, then anyone with a check that won’t bounce. The price? It ranges from $50 to $200, with no guarantee whatsoever other than the school will keep the money no matter what.
What’s your old Mac worth? How long have you had it? When do you plan to get rid of it and buy a new Mac? Share your pleasure and misery in the Comments section below. Inquiring Mac mommies want to know.