Most of us who harbor Apple products have some kind of built-in upgrade cycle going on. Whether it’s a new iPhone every two or three years, or a new Mac every three to five years, we end up with a need to dispose of older products to make way for new products. Here’s the question. What do you do with your old Mac, iPhone, iPad?
Sell, Recycle, Inherit
What to do with an older Apple product– Mac, iPhone, or iPad– often depends upon a variety of factors. Economics is one. If you need the money from a sold Mac to help finance a new one, then giving the Mac up to the recycle bin may not be an option. I’ve sold six year old Mac notebooks for one third of what they cost brand new. Try that with a Windows PC.
Sell – Macs, iPhones, and iPads, though they’re priced higher than the competition with the initial purchase, gain some of that investment back when sold. There is a flourishing, thriving secondary market for used Apple products. Craigslist, eBay, or anything in between usually gets a response. Apple products are known as good resale items and command a good price.
Recycle – Sooner or later a Mac dies; usually that’s when nobody is interested in paying for what’s running or not running and the recycle bin is the only option. Ditto for iPhone and iPad. Fortunately, I’ve never kept an Apple product long enough to know where to recycle. There’s always someone who seems to want an old Mac or iPad or iPhone and that leads me to the hand-me-downs.
Inherit – This is where most of my outdated Apple products go thanks to a growing number of nieces and nephews nearing high school age, and more than a few younger ones who benefit from older iPads (parents know what a child can do to a childproof device). Mac, iPhone, or iPad, my usual methodology is to wipe them clean, then scour the family records to see who is deserving for a device that can still run the latest OS and has a few more years to give.
- More Options – Now, let’s get creative with older Apple products to see what else can be done with devices that have been replaced but not relegated to closet, relatives, Craigslist, or the junk yard.
- Security Camera – perfect for an old iPhone. Add a small tripod and get a longer cable and you have a ready-made security camera.
- Alarm Clock – this is one I have now; an older iPhone 5 that I keep in the bedroom acts as a music box and an alarm clock. Just add the right app to an old iPhone and you’re good to go.
- Remote Control – until Apple TV 4 came along with the new controller, I used an old iPhone instead to control Apple TV.
- Travel Phone – there are some issues and considerations with using an old iPhone when you travel, but the premise is worthwhile. All you have to worry about is going to a country that has cell phone carriers that match your iPhone. Otherwise, travel wherever, pick up a sim card and a short-term cell phone plan, and you’ll save a bundle on roaming charges.
- Car Play – this is a take on Apple’s CarPlay system, but a perfect outlet for a family with children because an old iPad or iPhone makes a good travel-sitter. Load up the older device with movies and TV shows, and the trip won’t be an every sixty second version of ‘Are we there yet?‘
I have friends and family members who live on the dark side and often end up with Windows PCs or various and sundry Android devices that they cannot get rid of short of the trash can or recycle bin.
My husband took an older Mac mini that we planned to give away and turned it into an email machine. All our accounts are installed on Mail with SpamSieve to filter out junk mail. That keeps spam off our iPhones and iPads. It’s been sitting there doing just that and nothing else for years.
What do you do with your older Apple devices? Sell? Recycle? Inherit? Or, Repurpose?