Apple’s sneaky strategy to replace your Mac laptop

Longtime i-Something owners can attest to a common practice from Apple, and that’s the ongoing release of new versions of old hardware. The iPhone and iPads specifically release new models that come with key changes and upgrades, and even if you’re not a “gotta have it because it’s shiny!” kind of consumer, some of the new features might just be enough to make you consider a new model.

iPhone strategy for MacBooks

Now, Apple is applying that same strategy to its MacBooks, specifically in time for the news that certain models are on their way out the door. While Apple, in keeping with certain international legislation concerning consumer protection, won’t be dropping it like a hot rock any time soon, the effort and cost of repairs or updates to discontinued versions will make it not worth it.

Apple's Sneaky Strategy To Replace Your MacBook Pro

Question: How often can Tim Cook and his team get consumers to buy a new Mac?

Upgrade cycle

But Ewan Spence for Forbes has seen through Apple’s veil and pinpointed a little bit of the company’s strategy, one that involves a key cycle to making some upgrades too good to be ignored, while making other new model releases only a little bit of an improvement. It’s a tactic he says is quite common with both the iPhone and iPad, and is now being applied to MacBook.

“If you take the 2016 models as the start of a new cycle, that means a notable step forwards in 2018, with the 2017 and 2019 machines bumping up specifications to stay relevant, but not making too many changes which would upset those who had bought a new machine in the last twelve months. If Apple can create two blocks of macOS fans, with half buying a new macOS machine in years divisible by four, and the other half in the even year that lands in the middle of that cycle, it will have replicated the successful formula that has seen the iPhone generate significant growth and revenue for Apple over the years.”

Business sense

It’s a pretty sneaky concept, but when that much money is at stake in the investment of a new device – for both the consumer and for Apple, albeit the number is vastly different – it makes sound business sense to push the rollout in such a way that older model consumers are happy to upgrade, but recent buyers don’t feel like they got ripped off.