No purchase, no cry

I know many here are suffering from post-keynote disorder, but the fact that you might not upgrade this year could definitely be the right choice.

Many of you will be familiar with Merin Mann. I remember him once asking “What can’t you ship?” The question refered to what task or activity that you can’t perform today, but that will be magically enabled by a new shiny Apple device or software update. Thinking of it this way, and being honest with yourself, you probably can’t think of all that much essential stuff that you can’t live without for another year.

While moaning about the prices of Apple hardware, we might fail to see the vaule. Yes, the devices do come with a hefty price tag. However, they are also super powerful. So powerful in fact that they SHOULD be able to last you for several years. If you get a current iPad/iPhone/macOS machine today, it will still perform just as good as it does today for years to come. Battery life will reduce over time, but that is about it. There are people who will trade in their car every year for the latest model. This is certainly a luxury, but also not cheap.

The most important factor for me is reliability. These things are not giving me much trouble at all, and they are delightful to use. Open the lid, launch app - get to work in seconds. I am also forced to use a corporate Lenovo craptop that is a total nightmare to use. Boots in 7-8 minutes, then 3-4 more to get basic apps off the ground (email, browser) The difference in UX is mindboggling.

Back to the value: My previous iMac lasted me for 8 years before I chose to upgrade. My original iPad Pro is fast approaching 3 years, and I use it all the time. This is the year I upgrade, but then I expect this investment to last me for another 3 or so years. Knowing my usage patterns, I went with a moderate spec of 256GB, WiFi only. Still rocking the iPhone X as I commit to a two year cycle.

So, is there anything you can’t ship?


Well said — you make some good points.

Not judging anyone for upgrading often (heck, I do for my phones!). But it is also helpful to keep things in perspective.


That question made me realize I should go macOS-to-iOS :thinking:
And the same question is the reason I’m not upgrading any Apple tech before a device starts to fail🙂

Not really. The best non-customized iMac ships with an i5 processor, a technology that began in 2009 and has been updated since. To get an i7 processor (again, introduced in 2008, update early 2017, so nearly 2 years old now), costs an additional $200. The i9, introduced in 2017, is not an option, and the Xeon certainly is not.
To get a Xeon will cost you $5000 in the form of an iMac Pro.

Except when Apple throttles performance to encourage you to upgrade, or for more battery life, depending on whom you ask. This also only holds true if you don’t update the OS or apps.

The car analogy doesn’t really hold up, as roads don’t change as much as operating systems and apps do.

I agree that Apple makes good equipment that is durable and fairly reliable (nod to keyboard and battery issues of late), and much better than laptops that ship with Windows. They also cost more, so they should last longer and be more durable.

I think there is room to grow in the tech realm, more current processor models, etc.

Also, storage is grossly overpriced. The 1T iPad Pro is $800 more than the 64GB, while a 1T SSD is about $225.

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I’m looking to replace my 8 year old iMac so I’ll list the reasons as examples of what goes wrong after 8 years.

  • The hybrid HDD is too slow and the machine either beachballs or does nothing whenever I ask something of it. Maybe I went one too far with OS upgrades.
  • It is not allowed to run Mojave.
  • Can’t use an external disk effectively. The displayport socket is not Thunderbolt 2, so it works with an external monitor but not an external disk. Apart from ethernet, that leaves USB2 or Firewire.
  • Bluetooth chip is ancient, doesn’t do handoff and works badly with AirPods.

Other issues with an iMac versus alternatives

  • while it’s definitely the best value for what it does, it is not portable. Having a low powered MBA for travel is my current solution, but it would be better to have the same system wherever I go.
  • my iMac can be used as an external display by another Mac (not sure whether recent MBPs can do this) BUT, it can’t be used as an external display by a Windows machine. So when I’m working at home with my work windows laptop, the iMac is simply taking up space on my desk for no benefit.

I could replace the internal HDD with an SSD but I’d still be left with a machine that has all the other downsides.

I have been waiting for all the new models to come out, and we still don’t have an iMac upgrade, but my conclusion is I will switch to an MBP, and get an external display that can be used by both the MBP and the Windows laptop.

What to do about disk size? When comparing prices of 1TB SSDs, I looked at the Samsung T5 with max data transfer speed of 540MB/s. The internal storage in a 2018 MBP has a write speed of 2,519MB/s (

So you get what you pay for. Are these speeds important? Yes, if you use your Mac for photo and video editing because file sizes continue to increase.

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I think for me personally my only thing is that similar to you @Diane I’ve had my white MacBook for 8 years now as well. I’d want my next purchase to last me at least 3-4 years as then I can financially afford to upgrade every 4 or so years. That’s my worry given the present keyboard issues etc.

I have a 2012 Macbook Pro 15’. I love this laptop! I have been wanting to upgrade because my current laptop only has 8GB of RAM. But I can’t stand the new keyboards and I find the touch bar useless and a step backwards. I use my current laptop for both work and play. I lug it to and fro work. Not that it has gone problem free. I have had to replace its battery, screen and keyboard. The latter I had to pay $650 because it was out of warranty and I spilled a cup of coffee on it :frowning:

In all honesty, if not for the Windows 10, the surface lineup looks very appealing.

If it’s a non-Retina, you can upgrade the RAM to 16GB. That plus an SSD will help you stretch its service life. I got my 2012 as a refurb in 2013, put 16GB and an SSD in it and it handles everything I throw at it.

It is a retina! I wish I could up the RAM to 16GB. That is all it needs.

I’m still running my 2012 Retina MacBook Pro (it’s got 16gb :wink:).

If you really like the 2012, but being limited to 8gb is hurting, you might consider buying a used 2013, 2014, or 2015 model. Same body style, same keyboard, a bit faster, and you could probably find one with 16gb of RAM.

great post, I have everything I need but are still tempted for the new products. However, they are no way close to necessary. I can still “ship” regardless…


I’m one of those people that probably upgrade stuff a bit too often… :laughing: I view it as my contribution to continued Apple R&D.

But this time my upgrade reasoning is solid. My first gen 12.9" iPad Pro, even though it’s still a nice device, doesn’t fit into the dedicated iPad side-pocket on my Icon Pack backpack from Incase. The new 12.9" iPad Pro should fit nicely in there if my measurements have been right. So not only do I get an enormous spec bump with the new one, but it will also be much easier to get it out and do some work while commuting etc. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: …and I hope the new Smart Keyboard lives up to expectations in that it will be much less wiggly to work on while having it in the lap.


That must be some expensive backpack. :sunglasses:

Don’t ruin my justification! :smile: (In all honesty though, my current iPad Pro only has 128 GB Storage, and with the way I use it I’m all out of storage and then some. Which is probably more important than the backpack storage.)

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I get Merlin’s line of thinking, and I adhere to what he’s saying for most of my devices (my Mac and iPads are both a couple years old or older) but I have the ability to update my iPhone and Watch yearly, so I factor them both into my budget. Additionally, since about the iPhone 6, I’ve sold my equipment back to Apple and have gotten gift certificates or store credit that go towards and most (almost all) of my iPad refreshes have been refurbs, so my actual purchase of “new” equipment is more like “new to me” purchases.

I think there’s an overall point to be made about consumerism and why upgrading yearly isn’t necessary, but overall Apple is sort of my hobby. I like getting the latest and greatest and will continue to do so until it’s no longer fun.


Uh-oh… with the Smart Keyboard on, this doesn’t really work. If anyone has a tip on a new backpack with a dedicated iPad Pro pocket let me know. :rofl:

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As a fellow Norwegian, I totally get the importance of a great backpack. Not sure what you’re looking for, but I really love my Peak Design Everyday Backpack. Mine is two years old now, and it still looks, feels and works like new. As I carry a lot, the 30L size is right for me.

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I have a Waterfield Designs Sutter Tech Sling on order for my new iPad Pro.


I have the Icon Backpack from Incase. I’m really happy with it and it’s got plenty of room. There’s a dedicated sidepocket for an iPad - but it’s not meant for the 12.9. With the new size it fits… but not with the Smart Keyboard. I was careful to not check this in too much detail upfront, since it felt like an additional excuse that this purchase was needed. But now that I’ve got the device in hand, the fact that it doesn’t fit is obviously not a strong enough reason for returning. :smiley: It will just live in the same internal pocket that the old iPad Pro has been using.

Yeah. I am in a similar position to Katy; made the same choice was about ready to go iMac; I will wait now till the next one. I am not going on to the new MacBookPro, I had already decided that. My current mid 2014 MacBookPro 15 inch is the best computer I ever had. I will keep it as my main one for a few months then run it as long as I can with a new iMac. I can wait for the iMac I decided pretty much like Katy.

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