For the first time since I don’t know when, none of my Apple hardware is the latest version. My iMac is the 5k model, Mac mini is late 2012 (although only 18 months old), my iPad Pro is the 10.5” version, my MacBook the late 2014 version and my phone is an iPhone 6S. My Apple Pencil is now just out of date and my Apple Watch even predates Series 1.
This is a good thing. All the products still do what I want and while I might “like” some of the things available in the latest product I don’t “need” them. That situation wasn’t always true, and has been repeated in other things before, where the maturity of the product starts to outstrip needs and rather than chasing the upgrade to make doing the work possible, the upgrade becomes a nice to have until the current hardware is starting to fail.
This is not the same situation with the software. I’m bang up to date with all of the Apple software including operating systems, and all other releases of third party software.
And here lies the issue. At some point, often quite early with Apple, the old hardware won’t run the new software. And what then? There is often a short support period for the old software so that security releases combat the latest threats but that is all. And the new and improved features in software are still by and large “needed” not just “wanted”. Software is incredible compared to just a few years ago and my old rule of thumb that the .3 version was probably best as it took a couple of iterations to get it right and 4 onwards was bloated is no longer universally true. The latest release of Adobe Creative Suite is unbelievable when it comes to the power of its image manipulation in Lightroom and Photoshop. Corrections to photographs that could take lots of painstaking work can now be done near instantly.
And this “needs” the power of the latest hardware. And so when I can’t upgrade the software any more I’ll need to get the new hardware. So it won’t be long before I’m back onto the latest releases of all the hardware and telling myself that the £10k or more that I “needed” to spend was really good value and I couldn’t have managed any longer without the upgrades.
This is clever marketing. There is no surprise Apple is about a $1 trillion company based on market capitalization. Can you replicate that in your business