One of the things I like about apple hardware is their longevity. You can use an iPhone >5 years without a problem and the same goes for their computers and tablets.
So I wanted to know how often do you upgrade? This is my 3rd year completely in the apple ecosystem with my macbook air m1 and I want to know your experience regarding this topic.
I upgrade my MacBook Pro and iPad Pro every 2 to 3 years. I upgrade the Apple Watch every 4 to 5 years. In fact, I plan to purchase a new Watch either in November or December.
I have five Apple devices:
- My primary laptop that I use for business is a 2021 M1 MBP. I bought it 18 months ago, and plan to keep it for at least two more years before upgrading.
- My backup laptop is a 2018 MBP (with the infamous butterfly keyboard) that I rarely use, and which I will recycle when I upgrade my primary laptop.
- My iPhone is a 13. I’ll probably upgrade that in two or three years. It’s more than sufficient for my needs.
- My iPad is a 2022 9" Pro that I won in a contest. Prior to that, I had a 4 year old iPad (standard) that I’d probably still be using had I not won the Pro. I estimate I’ll keep the current model until it dies.
- My Apple watch is a series 4 that I have no intention of replacing until it no longer runs.
I have a 2020 iPad Pro and an iPhone 11. A two year old Apple Watch SE and an M1 MBA that functions as a home server. I will replace them when they are no longer supported.
I also have an original HomePod and a HomePod mini and won’t be replacing either of them.
Any trigger that makes you say “I need to update?”
I keep devices based on falling apart or significant improvement in work performance needs.
Until it falls apart. I upgraded from iPhone 5 to iPhone 7 because the iPhone 5 battery was dying. The iPhone 7 it still allows me to make and answer phone calls.
- iPad Pro
Until a significant hardware change is provided to improve my workflow. I upgraded from an iPad Pro A series chip to an iPad Pro M2 immediately because of the specified improvement in SideCar. I do projections using my iPad tied to my computer + screen projector, and the upgrade in performance has been significant.
- MacBook Pro
Until a significant hardware change is provided to improve my workflow without sidelining or significantly impacting the performance for a set of required applications. I upgraded from a 15in MBP intel machine to a MBP 16in intel processor almost immediately after the 16in was out because the larger screen size was important to me and because the battery in the older machine was going out. I did not / will not yet consider a MBP with an M based processor because I need Windows/Parallels apps as well as a macOS app that is not compiled for the M processors.
I anticipate being happy to continue on the above three machines for the next two years or more.
(edit note – I’ve added some additional details on my philosophy)
What’s like your criteria to decide when you should update? When the OS will no longer be updated in your hardware? When support is suspended?
Thanks, I like your philosophy for deciding when to update. I guess I’ll do the same with my macbook air m1 and only update when the next OS stops being compatible with my laptop.
I don’t pay a lot of attention to when support or updates are no longer available. More like, “when it stops being useable.”
Or when Apple introduces something shiny that I really, really want.
Not especially, I like to have relatively new MacBooks and iPads. As to the watch, I don’t feel the need to upgrade as often. However, I’m currently using a series 4 and I cannot get through the day without charging it before I retire for the evening. I have to decide between the series 9 and the Ultra 2.
For me: no longer getting OS updates.
I upgraded my (almost six years old) iPhone X this year because it did not get iOS 17. The phone will still get security updates (so I gave it to a family member who is happily using it), but I could not use it to install watchOS 10 on my (only) 2 years old Apple Watch Series 7.
I do. For example the first update Apple issued in 2023 and the most recent included a patch for Webkit, as did others during the year.
The October 25 update also mentioned:
Impact: An attacker may be able to access passkeys without authentication
Description: A logic issue was addressed with improved checks.
CVE-2023-42847: an anonymous researcher
Security updates are very important to me.
In the past, I would upgrade whenever I wanted a new shiny toy from Apple. More recently I’ve become much more aware of the insane amount of resources that go into making these gadgets and have decided to try using them until they fall apart and are no longer repairable.
For example, when my Mac Studio no longer runs a supported version of MacOS I’ll likely install FreeBSD on it in order to run a current OS. The iphone is only used for phone calls and some texting, so I’m not worried about it’s OS version. The ipad will be a bit more of a challenge, but it’s a pro M2 so it should be supported for quite a while yet.
I upgrade far too often, in part because I am always trying to figure out the most productive approach - one laptop docked when working at my desk, or a laptop and desktop. It seems that whenever I go with one approach, I wind up regretting the change, and so I “upgrade” far more often than necessary.
I have many many Apple devices, but the current lineup is:
- Mac Studio for my desktop with two Apple Displays (although I suppose now I regret not getting the Pro Display XDR…)
- MBAir 15", which is soon going over to my daughter as her now 5 year old Intel MBAir is out of storage and ready to be sold and upgraded
- New MBAir 13" which I just bought to replace my 15" and which will be in my EDC bag
- M2 Mac mini which I bought on sale, lowest end model, and which is now my TimeMachine and Chronosync archive/target for the Studio (which has everything stored on it) and will soon be adding Plex, Homebridge, and other server-type stuff
- iPhone 12 mini (the iPhone may be the only thing that I don’t upgrade often at all - and since I vastly prefer the smallest possible phone, may not see an upgrade for a while even though the battery will need replacement sooner rather than later
- iPad Pro M1 11", which I use all the time for content consumption and for email
- iPad mini which is my carry-around iPad and for reading
- Apple Watch - I’m not even sure which series this is, but it is several years old, the battery dies during the day and needs replacement. This is the other Apple product that I don’t replace often, but I am close on this one as well
- iMac M1 14" which is my wife’s computer, which she seems happy with and probably won’t get upgrade for a while, because unlike me, she is not crazy.
My iPhone I went from the 6s pro max to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, when that came out. I still have the 12 pro max.
Apple Watch I had the original one and used that all the time and upgraded when the Ultra watch came out.
I did have an iPad and never upgraded it. But I miss it and plan on buying another.
But when I do upgrade I always get the newest device at that time.
I don’t feel the need to upgrade all the times.
Some people I know feel they need to upgrade every year or every 2 years.
I think we all know someone like that. But I’ve never met anyone who needed to upgrade every year or two. They are Apple’s favorite kind of people.
Great philosophy that also keeps you on a budget. Thanks!
I definitely do not need to upgrade as often as I do. It’s a want, not a need. I am sure Apple is happy about that.
Interesting topic, it’s a cold snowy day here and I’m bored so I looked it all up. Newest on top. I tend to keep machines a long time.
Most of the old macs and all of both my old and a lot of other folks old laptops are now my husband’s Linux computers. Some have dead hard drives and he runs them with a USB stick operating system. He tends to put each separate development project on a separate machine. There are also 5 or 6 tower computers he uses regularly and we have another 4-5 mothballed right now. This does not include what computer equipment is in the garage or the museum upstairs with SparcStation, GRiD and intitial prototype computers, handhelds and laptops hubby either designed or adapted for use in various projects.
Macs - Missing a lot of the purchase dates but I got the older ones as soon as they came out
M2 Pro bought in 2023 Current Machine
iMac Intel (21.5-inch) bought in 2013
iMac Intel bought in 2006
iMac G4 bought in 2003
Mac 7100 bought in 1997
Mac 8500 bought in 1995
Some Performa Mac can’t remember the model
MacAir bought in 2019 Current Machine
iBook bought in 1999
Powerbook 180 bought in 1992
iPhone 13 Pro 512GB bought in 2021
iPhone 8 256 GB bought in 2017
iPhone 5s 16 GB bought in 2013
iPhone 4s 32 GB bought in 2011
iPad Pro (11-inch) (2nd generation) bought in 2020 Current machine
iPad Air 5th generation bought in 2017
iPad 3Gen bought at end of life in 2012
iPod (5TH GEN) 2012 I think not sure
iPod Touch (4TH GEN) bought in 2010
iPod Touch (2ND GEN) bought in 2010
iMac 27" 2015 model - not replaced, deprecated.
2007 MacBook Pro, 2013 Mac air, 2022 MBP M1
iPhone 3GS, 5, 6s, 10, 13 ProMax, Google Pixel 8 Pro
iPad 2011, iPad Pro 12.9 2018, discontinued using iPads
AW 7, 2021, Pixel Watch 2 2023