Snippet: Sitting Out Upgrade Cycles ☇

Shared on October 31, 2018

Ben Brooks on yesterday’s iPad Pro updates:

I certainly want them, but I also know I have no need for them. Nothing I do on the 12.9”, aside from playing games, would be made better by the new hardware. And because of that, I think there’s compelling reason to let Apple flesh out this new hardware and Face ID for a bit before I spend quite a lot of money getting one.

I’ve long been saying to people that Apple devices in general have gotten so good, that there’s really not a compelling reason to update them that often. I certainly felt that way with the last round of iPhones, and now after having the iPhone XS for some time, I can say I’ve not noticed any positive impact to my life in upgrading. I think I would mostly feel the same way about the iPad Pro.

This has been my feeling about a lot of things Apple has released lately. On the one hand, it’s amazing that older devices still feel really good after a few years, meaning one can get plenty of use out of them instead of anxiously waiting for the next upgrade. I use an iPad Air 2 at work and it’s still great for everything I ask of it. My home Mac is a 2014 mini (not the base model) and I see no compelling reason to replace it. Devices being useful longer is great because it’s better for your wallet if you don’t upgrade, better for the environment, and keeps a healthy resale market alive.

On the other hand, Apple’s steady price increases to even get in the door on some models is becoming an exhausting experience. What used to be a back-and-forth of iPhone-and-Mac upgrades has grown to a lot more devices every few years. If one was all-in on Apple’s ecosystem, the jump between generations of a similar Mac/iPad/iPhone/Watch arrangement could be over $600 more this time around (the Macs yesterday started at $200-$300 more than before, iPads Pros are $150-$200 more, Watch is $70 more, iPhones are at least $50 more. Accessories like the Apple Pencil have also increased. While few upgrade everything at once, these little increases here or there are a bit concerning.

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