Likewise, humans are cyclical creatures of habit, and that means companies run by humans (all of them but Google; Samsung is run by anti-superheroes from Bizzaro World) will tend to be cyclical so products will match up with buying cycles. Here comes the mother of upgrade cycles for Apple customers.
This Runs, That Won’t
Every year Apple introduces new versions of OS X (now called macOS Sierra) and iOS, and every year, just like clock work, some of those devices won’t be able to run the new operating system. Yes, the critical nattering nabobs of negativism running ZDNet say such orphans are now obsolete, but that’s not true since each year they could upgrade to a new OS made them better than the original.
Obsolete just doesn’t mean what it used to mean. Alas, all good things come to and end and 2016 means a whole bunch of Macs and iPads will not be able to upgrade to macOS Sierra or iOS 10.
There are a number of valid reasons that iPad sales have drifted southward in recent years. One is the larger number of larger screen smartphones, including Apple’s own iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and 6s and 6s Plus. Another is device fatigue. We can only manage so many digital devices. Another reason might have to do with how long our Apple products last and still run the latest OS.
iOS 10 is due by Octoberish so that means the iPad 2, the iPad 3, and the first generation iPad mini will not be able to be upgraded.
That alone could cause an increase in iPad sales in the second half of 2016.
What About Mac?
The Mac has continued to sell well while the iPad’s sales suffered, but even recent Mac sales have drifted south so perhaps some of the eye candy in macOS Sierra will cause a larger upgrade cycle to emerge from the shadows.
Every new macOS upgrade drops a few older Macs off the list and macOS Sierra is no different. The late 2009 MacBook and iMac made the cut. Anything before that did not.
Elsewhere, the 2010 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini and Mac Pro made the cut and any of those models prior to 2010, did not.
I have a few theories. First, it’s the nature of the industry to upgrade, and new operating systems need new hardware to implement new features. Old hardware doesn’t work as well and Apple is sensitive to the whole user experience thing.
What About iPhone?
iPhone models have a similar issue though it should be noted that many of iOS 10’s features don’t require new hardware. So, iOS 10 will run on older iPhones dating back to iPhone 5. No, the experience won’t be as good as a new iPhone 7 with a screaming fast A10 CPU, and it won’t be as smooth as the butter coming from last year’s iPhone 6s models, but enough to make some new features run acceptably. But only acceptably.
That means Apple will be getting ready for the mother of all upgrade cycles for iPad, Mac, and– thanks to pent up demand after the upgrades to iPhone 6’s larger screens– even the iPhone.