iMac: Buy or wait?


#1

Hello everybody!

I still use an old Mac Mini (Late 2012) as my daily driver and its time is definitely over. Therefore, I decided to buy an iMac. I hoped that Apple would update the iMacs in last fall which didn‘t happen. Now I wonder whether I should still buy one (my Mini works but it‘s a real pain in the butt) or wait?

The online store I would buy it from offers a 150€ discount until January 9, so I have to decide quickly…

I am torn between waiting and hoping for the next generation (presumably coming with higher prices) and just buying the current 2017 iMac, including the 150€ off.

Any advice/personal opinions? Thanks a lot! :blush:


#2

The current iMac is quite a nice computer (I’m running a 27” as my main machine). That said I think we’re almost certain to see an update this year. In addition to a processor bump, the new model will very likely this will include the T2 chip (all new Macs seem to include T2 these days). Possibly other enhancements like a redesigned cooling system based on the iMac Pro, maybe even FaceID.

I think it really depends just how well your Mac mini is working for you at the moment. If it’s not getting the job done, then I’d say to go ahead and buy the current iMac. If you can nurse it along then I’d probably recommend you try and hold out for the new model.


#3

If the discount is for the model with the Fusion drive, my advise would be to wait. I don’t think you will be happy with a fusion drive in the long run.

If the discount covers a SSD model, then as ChrisUpchurch writes, if the Mac mini you have now is not cutting it, then go ahead.
The earliest I think we will see a new iMac is WWDC. And if the Mac Pro is coming this year, it would make sense to announce that at WWDC, meaning an iMac update will either be non-existent at that time or a minor spec-bump announced in a press release after.

If the iMac does not get any attention at WWDC, it will most likely happen in a September or October event. And if I was a betting man, that would be my bet. So if you intend to nurse your Mac mini, there is a good wait for a new model.


#4

I’d definitely second the recommendation to get an SSD, whether you wait or buy the current model (and I would not be surprised if new models are SSD only).


#5

I think it’s easy to get caught up in this desire to have the latest and greatest tech available, but the desire to avoid feeling regret that we didn’t wait just a teensy bit longer is even more powerful still.

Here’s my suggestion: get what you desire and need now, and when the tech you thought you wanted finally drops you have 3 options: 1) hold onto what you have, because it works for your process and gets things done; 2) Buy what you want right now and see if that feeling of needing the latest and greatest subsides; 3) You decide that you did want the new thing after all, and can sell your nearly mint-condition, months-old tech and put those funds toward the purchase of the new thing.

Options 2 and 3 are where I suspect most of us are when Apple Keynote days happen :upside_down_face:


#6

The CPUs Apple could use include at least a 6-core option, which would be a nice addition to the 27-inch. Cooling may be an issue, but as long as they ship an iMac with a spinning disk, I don’t think they can replace the cooling with what’s in the iMac Pro.

(I wouldn’t hold my iMac breath for Face ID. When it shows up on the Mac, I’d expect it at the high-end first.)

The iMac of today is a great machine (def. go all SSD if possible), but the next model should be better on the multi-core front. I think it could be a spring release, but as someone said, WWDC may be more likely. Who knows.


#7

New iMacs out almost certainly within 4-5 months. Same prices? Higher? (Apple hardware prices have been trending up, you know.) Would you have a use-case for more powerful hardware (perhaps with niceties like TouchID or FaceID) - or just want the latest-greatest - or can you see the current hardware at this lower price being usable for the next few years? That’s really up to you to decide.

I don’t sense the urgency in making a decision that you do. Remember, Apple Germany also sells a rotating stock of refurbished iMacs, with full, as-new AppleCare warranties, even eligible for purchasing with AppleCare+. Apple Germany’s refurb store doesn’t have any iMacs in stock right now, but as you can see the average discount is around 16%, so that sale effectively continues on if you buy refurb.

I’ve bought refurbished Apple hardware for years. It’s always looked and acted like it was new, and I don’t think I ever had a problem with anything I bought refurbished from Apple.


#8

MacRumors’ Mac Buyers Guide says “Don’t buy” since the last update was 576 days ago (June 2017).

I’m waiting (and hoping my current PC does not break before Apple releases the new iMac).


#9

I’m convinced that it always pays to wait until your current gear doesn’t do the job (dead or no longer up to the task). Otherwise it’s just spending money needlessly.


#10

I’m convinced (and have long recommended to other Mac users) to get add-on AppleCare then sell your machine when it expires in three years: it results in always having a Mac under warranty, always having a relatively speedy machine, and able to get a decent resale price on the older unit that can be applied to the new one, reducing the end-cost. By waiting until a Mac is dead or too slow to properly work you not only forfeit any reasonable resale value, you also gamble on your machine working without being under Apple’s generally excellent warranty… and if the machine dies you may be extremely inconvenienced, have to rush (at possibly an inopportune time) to get a replacement, and possibly encounter data loss with a suddenly-dead machine if your backup strategy isn’t current.


#11

I’ve yet to see an actual analysis looking at depreciation, maintenance costs, and the subjective value of something new. If selling a Mac just before it reaches 3 years (and buy AppleCare for it) is too advantageous then buying that used Mac would be a bad deal, and the high prices for them could not be maintained after the used Mac buyers realized they were suckers. The only concrete data I’ve seen (and this is from Consumers Reports a few years ago) was that the failure rate of MacBook Airs in years 2 and 3 were so low that when averaged over many units it was less expensive to throw out a MacBook Air that failed in years 2 or 3 than to buy AppleCare for it so to have a free repair. Seems completely counterintuitive!


#12

Really? Tell that to this forumer.


#13

Thank you for your replies, these are very helpful! I think I‘ll buy a 2017 27‘‘ iMac in the next days. Although, I like „new and shiny“ I don‘t NEED it. Perfect example is my iPad Pro 12.9 I bought last year. Does it do the job perfectly fine? Yes. Do I really like the new iPads? Of course! But in the end, I need a new machine rather sooner than later and the 2017 iMac is a great machine which is WAY more capable than my current Mini. And if Apple offers a super-duper new iMac next month? I‘ll probably sell my then almost new iMac and get the new one. But if it takes them until WWDC or even fall to update them, I am more than happy to make the purchase now.