New Apple?

apple-macbook-pro-office-setup-image-from-appledotcomNew Apple? A reader asks…

I have an iPhone 5s which is still working. The battery doesn’t last as long, but I’ve adjusted my charging habits. I also have a 2011 11″ Macbook Air but the battery expanded so my trackpad doesn’t work right anymore and it’ll only work when plugged into electric. But I generally use it only at my desk. Do you think it’s time I upgraded my stuff? I’ve come into some money (a small inheritance), so I can afford to upgrade now.

So please stand by. No really! Apple just announced new versions of the Macbook Pro, and they’re available for pre-order at Apple.com. I should note that Apple didn’t upgrade the Macbook Air, so apparently that model is being discontinued. But you can still buy one until their existing stock runs out. You might want to watch out for promotions and discounts at places like BestBuy.com or NewEgg.com. Given that the newest Macbook Pros (with the new Touch Bar) are more expensive than last year’s Macbook Pro models, you’ll want to balance your need for power versus your desire for portability and your sensitivity to cost. The new Macbook Pros are a lot lighter and thinner than the old ones, approaching Macbook Air’s feather-weight and size, but with a whole lot more power and capability.

new-apple-imac-image-from-appledotcomYou say you only use your Macbook Air at your desk, is that because the battery is bad? If you only use your Macbook at the desk normally, then you might want to think about getting a larger screen sized Macbook. The Macbook Air comes in 11″ or 13″ and the Macbook Pro comes in 13″ or 15″. I’d certainly go with the largest size screen you can, it’ll make using your Macbook at the desk a lot easier. For that matter, you might want to consider an iMac – you can get a really large screen for about what you’d pay for a new Macbook. For instance, BestBuy.com has a 21.5″ iMac for $1,400.00. Apple will also sell you one for either $1,100 or $1,300 at the Apple Store (or Apple.com).

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I expect that Apple will probably be upgrading their iMacs sometime in the next 3-4 months, so if you want to wait a bit, you can likely either get the latest model for the same price as now, or the current model at a discount once the new models are released. Of course Apple is very secretive on when they will release new models of any of their products, so my guesses are just based on what Apple’s done in the past. The iMac was last updated a year ago, so it’s due for a refresh, but I’m betting that Apple puts this off for a bit so as not to steal the thunder on their Macbook refresh announcement. Fyi, the Macbook Pro line got its last update in March 2015.

gazelle-logoAs for your iPhone, you can upgrade anytime, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were just released a month ago. But if you’re ok with hanging on for awhile, in just under a year I expect Apple to release a new model of iPhone (the iPhone 8?) that will be a significant redesign and improvement over current models. That to me would be a worthwhile upgrade. You’ll want to consider if you prefer the smaller size (your current iPhone) versus the larger sizes that started with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

If you want a newer/larger iPhone but don’t want to pay a lot (saving your money for next year’s iPhone), then you might want to consider getting a pre-owned iPhone 6. For instance, you can get a 128gb iPhone 6 from Gazelle.com for under $400. If you prefer your current size, Gazelle.com has pre-owned iPhone SE models for under $350. The SE model runs just as fast as the larger iPhone 6s, but has the smaller screen size (same as your current iPhone). The iPhone SE is a great value and will be much faster than your old iPhone 5s (and the battery will last longer too!). You can also buy a new iPhone SE if you don’t plan on upgrading to the iPhone 8 when it comes out next year.

There are those who say you should never wait for the newer models, but I disagree, especially when the newer models are going to be released soon. All indications are that we’ll see new iMac models sometime soon. That means that current models will all get discounted. So waiting a few days will certainly either save you money, or give you a healthy bump in capability, depending on whether you choose to take the older model with discount or the newest model without.


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