How long do Macs receive software updates for?

Ars has an in detail article which may inform some recent discussions we’ve had on the Forum

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Worst case I personally know of for an Apple product was the first generation iPad (which I regret buying). Introduced in 2010 and discontinued early 2011, unless you bought it at introduction it only got one iOS update from iOS 4 to iOS 5, in late 2011.

I had the first iPad for 2 years and sadly replaced it with the iPad 3 (If I’d have waited I’d have got the much better iPad 4.

I equate the first iPad with the first iPhone and the first Apple Watch. All were massively underperforming as Hardware from day 1.

I purchased a PowerMac in ‘03 and the last version of OSX that ran on it was 10.6.3 in ‘09. But by then I was using a company supplied MBP and I don’t recall how long apple supported Snow Leopard.

FWIW Apple has told the EU it will support the iPhone for at least 5 years.

Ars Technica’s coverage on Mac updates has been excellent for the last few years, and maybe longer.

How long do Macs receive software updates for?

Almost indefinitely if you install Linux on them. (Idk why I’m in such a smartass mood today :grin:)

  • The 2018 and 2019 MacBook Airs are getting fewer years of updates than any Mac released since 2008.

All along I’ve expected them to ditch support for Intel Macs as fast as they can. I’m hoping the M series Macs will get supported a very long time.

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I got an iPad 3 as well, the first retina. Apple sold it for less than eight months. Although I used it for a long time (I still use it for a couple of games), I always felt a bit foolish when they brought out the 4 so soon!

The current policy for hardware is seven years after Apple stops selling a product. I wouldn’t expect them to support any product longer than that.

My 2017 Macbook Air was still being sold directly by Apple to education customers in 2019; support ends this year. Chromebooks now have 10-year support.

So… I’m in the market for a new Macbook. I tend to buy refurbished Apple products when I can, partly for cost, partly because I don’t need the latest and greatest for what I do so I may as well reuse someone’s old device.

What is the oldest Macbook Air people would recommend buying today for a reasonable life.

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I went from the 3 to the first 9.7” iPad Pro. The 3 ran really hot.

I’ll believe that when I see it. I’m not convinced that Google will stick to that, and even if they do, will the manufacturers?

I don’t expect Apple will support Intel machines much longer, so the M1 MacBook Air would be my choice.

AFAIK it is 10 years of software support.

I meant support for the latest version of macOS, per the linked Ars Technica piece

I haven’t studied the Ars article, but I used to think each version of macOS was normally supported for three years and got another couple of years of security, etc. patches.

Monterey was released in 2021 and received an update back in January which makes it, AFAIK, the oldest version of macOS to get a feature update.