It's A Dangerous Time To Buy Apple Products

It's a weird time to buy an Apple product. By that I mean it's a terrible time to buy an Apple product. At least, if you want to own the latest and most amazingest with the least amount of heartbreak. That's the story for three of Apple's biggest products: iPhone 4, iPad, and now the MacBook Pro.

If you're the thrill-seeking sort - and more specifically still, the sort who measures their thrills in an inverse relation to the amount of time that's passed between a fresh gadget rolling off the assembly line in Shenzen and being pressed into your hands by a cute-but-not-too-cute Apple Story employee - we think you'll be happiest if you buy your admission tickets to the new and shiny in the first half of its life-cycle, so you get to ride out its entire life knowing you own the thing to own. Generally speaking, the closer to a gadget's death date you purchase said gadget, the worse you're gonna feel when its hotter, younger, possibly tanner replacement is announced.

Obviously this formula for gadget happiness is subject to the pull of two major variables: price and new hotness density. Sure, the new iPhone might be able to blow you, but can you buy it for $US100? And if the one before it was similarly sexy, the new one's talents may not seem all that great as an upgrade. (Hence, less new gadget remorse.) On the other hand, if the new model does something truly amazing that the previous one did not, the remorse factor can explode so violently it reforms itself into a black hole suck.

Anyway, we've already said why this moment is a dicey one to buy an iPad - a new one is likely less than an iPhone 4 for that matter, though the case is strongest for holding out on the iPad, given that we're in a timeframe measured in weeks before a likely replacement.

But now, you should hold off the MacBook Pros, too. If anything, a MacBook Pro update appears more imminent. Jason and I started thinking about this two weeks ago, mostly because of Intel's killer Sandy Bridge chips, which were unveiled at CES: Even if the new MacBook Pros weren't getting major design overhaul (think more Air-like for true next-gen Pros), they're due for some fresh guts, which are now available.

Cue dried up inventories of MacBook Pros, new MacBook Pro SKUs in Best Buy's computer systems, Apple telling some resellers to expect "sealed packages" this week and Apple getting ready for a "significant product launch" this week. There might be more changes in store than just Sandy Bridge chips, too, according to Apple Insider's sources. All of this might not add up to new MacBook Pros this coming week, but the case looks plenty solid. And even if they don't materialize next week, it seems safe to say at the bare minimum a gut refresh is imminent in the next few months, by June at the latest. I always buy or build my computers around the launch of new generations of chips. The next Pros are the ones to pounce on. But for now, just wait, if you can. At least a week.

Waiting can be painful, especially given how deeply instant gratification can be with new things. I can have almost anything I want from Amazon delivered to my door in hours. So the idea of waiting for a month or two even if it's to make sure you have guts so fresh you can practically eat them raw seems a little off-putting, especially when it comes to technology. But knowing you're so far ahead of the curve it hurts brings its own kind of joy, especially after you've upgraded all of your gear to the newest stuff possible, and can breathe a contented sigh of relieved superiority, knowing you've safely invested in your gear.

For the next eight months, anyway.



    Pity the article does not reflect the dramatic title. Considering Apple's current behaviour I would NOT buy ANY Apple product.

      And I say "Here Here" to that my good fellow! I wouldn't touch "AppleCrap" with a barge pole. Not so much because of the hardware, because in general it has been somewhat cutting edge, but because of the "police state" you have to live in to use it!! :[

        What do you mean police state? I have been a fan of Apple for a long long time but recently bought an Asus laptop just because I can't afford a Mac and I want to be able to play games (without being charged through the teeth for conversions). They are terribly expensive and sometimes restrictive I admit, but the user experience is so much better. It took me a whole day to get the internet working on this Asus, and I'm not THAT much of a luddite... I don't think...

          it take me couple of hours to build a pc from seperate components and install OS to browse the net. But take me a whole day to work out how to right click on a mac LOL. it not really which user experience is better, its just a learning curve jumping from 1 system to another.

          Try modifying any "apple" stuff and see what happens,.. then try complaining about it to "Apple" and see what happens, try getting replacement parts, and see what happens,.. try bad mouthing any "Applecrap" and get your teeth kicked in by an "Apple FanBoy" :[

          The user experience on Apple products is significantly worse than any other product. Apple significantly restrict how you can actually use your product. Without jailbreaking your iPhone, try installing an app that isn't from the app store - you can't. And look at the terms of the app store on what Apple allows and doesn't allow - they don't allow Google Voice or Flash and pulled VLC. And now their new policy of all in-app purchases needing to go through Apples payment gateway - and Apple taking a 30% cut - and making it a requirement that they don't charge Apple users more than Android or Windows phone users, even though those devices don't have the 30% commission that needs to be paid. I'm guessing that's what he meant by police state. The same can be said for the iPad. Look how many companies use Apple gear - hardly any - because it's horrible in the extreme, especially in the corporate environment. The iPhone took forever to get Exchange support. Try taking a spare battery for the iPhone with you when you go away for the weekend - that's right you can't. You void the warranty changing the battery. As a popular Australian technology magazine said "Android is for tech enthusiasts; the iPhone is for tech newbies and people that think they're tech enthusiasts, but aren't"

    Macbook pro for DJ' never see a DJ with a windows PC, they suck for audio production / live performances.

    I love my Mac's for final cut pro and the stability of Photoshop. Mac's kill windows for media production.

    Macbook pro for creative stuff. For everything else, there's a chunky cheap (or beautifully slender and expensive) PC waiting at your doorstep.

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