So, you want to buy a new iPhone? What do you mean by ‘new?‘ Apple sells more iPhone models now than ever but not many of them are, well, new. In some cases, new iPhones actually are up to four model years old.
What if you want to buy a new Mac? Some of them are new. Many of the Macs you will find in the Apple store are four generations behind the latest hardware, yet Apple sells them as if they are new devices. Choose wisely. Just because what Apple makes is new to you doesn’t make it a new product.
Take a look at Apple’s iPhone line. It used to be that we would get a new iPhone every year in varying colors and storage capacities but prices did not vary much. These days we can walk into an Apple Store and choose from one of five different models as if they were all new. They are not. The only new iPhone is iPhone X and you can’t walk into an Apple Store, look at one, and buy it. All the other iPhones are old.
At the low end of the scale is iPhone SE at $349. Take parts from iPhone 6s, put them into an iPhone 5s case, and you get iPhone SE. iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are the 4th model behind iPhone X. Four model years old. iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are iterations of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus which look much like iPhone 6 and 6 Plus from 2015, Apple’s first larger screen iPhone models.
Apple’s iPhone SE, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, and iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are older models which Apple sells as if they are new models. iPhone X is the only truly new iPhone model.
The Mac has similar issues.
There are seven basic Mac models which range from the Mac mini at the low end, to two relatively newer Mac notebook models to an end-of-life Mac Pro line which consists of a single model with additional memory and core options.
At the entry-level is Mac mini, a line which was downgraded from previous models but retained the same price tag and range. The mini has not been upgraded in three years and still sports a 4th generation Intel Core CPU inside while Intel ships 8th generation CPUs. But not in the Mac. Apple promotes the Mac mini alongside an Apple Thunderbolt display which it no longer sells.
In other words, Apple sells old Macs as if they were new.
How about a new Mac notebook? If money is an object, the MacBook Air might be considered worthy at $999 but the technology is anything but recent. No new Intel Inside. No new Retina display. It’s old technology sold as if it were new technology. A car dealer may have 2018 models on hand, but also has an inventory of 2017 models which have yet to be sold. They are new cars in that they are not pre-owned but sold at a discount and tagged as last year’s models. Apple makes no such differentiation about the Mac.
iPad mini? Four models years old. Watch Series 1? Two model years old. What’s Apple’s problem with new products?
For the aging Mac line, the problems should be obvious. Apple is the iPhone company. Everything else takes a back seat. Remember back when Apple and the Mac were synonymous? That is no longer the case.
For the wide iPhone model line, the problem should be obvious, too. Apple cannot get enough of the latest components in the volume it needs for each new model, so instead, relies on older components for a few years until what’s new becomes old. Again. Still– Mac, iPhone, iPad, Watch– what’s old is sold as if it is really new. It’s not. It’s an older product sold with a newer, usually less expensive, price tag.
Many products come with a manufactured date. Food products have a Use By date. Maybe Apple needs to display a Designed Date along with a Manufactured Date and an Originally Priced date.