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The Apple iDevice Buying Model
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subego
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Dec 21, 2012, 09:55 AM
 
It seems to me, if you plan on buying a particular iDevice at any time during its market cycle, and you have the money, you're hurting yourself by not pre-ordering for launch.

What I mean by that is it costs the same throughout its cycle. The longer you wait, the fewer days you get to use the device before the next bump. You're getting less use out of it for the same cost.

The calculus changes a bit if you aren't going to buy the next bump, but if you do, the calculus is the same. The longer you wait to buy the bump, the longer you're stuck with the old hardware. The bump is going to cost the same six months from now. Again, assuming you have the money, all you accomplish by waiting is depriving yourself.


What makes this interesting to me is it's the total opposite of what it used to be. There were plenty of reasons to wait to buy a new computer, especially with Apple.


I finally caved on an iPad Mini, which is what made me think of this most recently. It's overpriced, and it doesn't have retina, so I waited. That was dumb. I know I'm getting the retina bump when it happens, so all I accomplished by waiting was lose a month's utility. I'm not paying any less.

Again, I'm not asking for a waaaambulance, I just think it's notable they flipped the model 180.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 21, 2012, 10:01 AM
 
Waiting could get you a discount on a refurb
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 21, 2012, 10:06 AM
 
What's the usual refurb discount?
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 21, 2012, 10:24 AM
 
10-25%. Usually closer to 10

Edit: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/ipod
Right now there are some pods at 30% off, but it's true what it says that this is a special, probably xmas-related price, in my experience.
     
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Dec 21, 2012, 10:37 AM
 
Who (who isn't rich in abundance) buys every bump? Especially for things like phones which are on 2 year contracts.

You get use out of an iDevice as long as you find it useful. That doesn't change with whatever is released later.

My iPhone 4 is out of contract now and I still find it as useful as I did when I bought it. Slightly more so even. I don't feel the urge to buy something else.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 21, 2012, 10:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
10-25%. Usually closer to 10
Edit: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/ipod
Right now there are some pods at 30% off, but it's true what it says that this is a special, probably xmas-related price, in my experience.

That's what I was thinking. Hot items are usually in the 10% range.

Does that really work out? Waiting for the supply chain to ramp up to the point you have refurbs available, taking the gamble the SKU you want shows up, and that you catch it.

For $50-$100 savings?
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 21, 2012, 10:59 AM
 
No it's definitely not "worth it," it's more of a consolation prize if you were already waiting (like for the same reasons you'd wait for a computer, to avoid the risk of a bad product, or if you're just indecisive)
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 21, 2012, 11:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
Who (who isn't rich in abundance) buys every bump? Especially for things like phones which are on 2 year contracts.
You get use out of an iDevice as long as you find it useful. That doesn't change with whatever is released later.
My iPhone 4 is out of contract now and I still find it as useful as I did when I bought it. Slightly more so even. I don't feel the urge to buy something else.
I'll admit, I'm not poor, but this isn't as crazy as you think.

I got the first iPad.
I got the iPad 2 because the weight was really compelling.
I got the iPad 3 because the retina was really compelling.

The phone is a little different, but for me, my iPhone has become my primary computer for everything which isn't the Adobe Suite. Likewise, what "primary computer" means has changed because of the form factor. IOW, I'm doing more computing with it than I would with an old-fashioned "primary computer".

This makes seemingly smaller improvements that much more important.

For my usage pattern, staying with my 4 would be insane. The 5 is vastly superior. It's always in my pocket, so the weight matters. It has a bigger screen. It has LTE. It has 802.11n. It has (for the first time) adequate RAM. It has a processor which can handle the current OS. I'm a photographer, so the camera matters too, and it's really good.

I don't regret paying full boat for that.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 21, 2012, 11:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
This makes seemingly smaller improvements that much more important.

For my usage pattern, staying with my 4 would be insane. The 5 is vastly superior. It's always in my pocket, so the weight matters. It has a bigger screen. It has LTE. It has 802.11n. It has (for the first time) adequate RAM. It has a processor which can handle the current OS. I'm a photographer, so the camera matters too, and it's really good.

I don't regret paying full boat for that.
Huh, maybe that's the distinction with computers, that hand-helds are still way lower on the moore's law life-cycle. There's more room for improvement, so naturally each upgrade makes a bigger relative difference.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 21, 2012, 11:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
No it's definitely not "worth it," it's more of a consolation prize if you were already waiting (like for the same reasons you'd wait for a computer, to avoid the risk of a bad product, or if you're just indecisive)
The bad product part I think is part of the genius of flipping this around.

Rather than try and fix their Rev. A problem, they just paved it over with instant replacements at the retail stores
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 21, 2012, 11:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Rather than try and fix their Rev. A problem, they just paved it over with instant replacements at the retail stores
I'm not familiar (I'm the opposite user as you, more of a luddite). What did they do?
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 21, 2012, 11:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Huh, maybe that's the distinction with computers, that hand-helds are still way lower on the moore's law life-cycle. There's more room for improvement, so naturally each upgrade makes a bigger relative difference.
Absolutely. But handhelds will travel the path more quickly. The 5, IMO, is the first phone which doesn't feel lacking somehow. I think we hit that point in consumer grade computers only five or so years ago.

So it took 30+ years for non-handhelds to get there, and about 6 or 7 for the handhelds.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 21, 2012, 11:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
I'm not familiar (I'm the opposite user as you, more of a luddite). What did they do?
If you get a dud, you walk into the Apple Store with it and walk out with a new one. No questions asked.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 21, 2012, 11:56 AM
 
Oh I see. I was thinking more of a flawed design, but it's true there was/is also the risk of poor QA, and I can see how getting applecare service is not as good as a replacement unit.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Dec 21, 2012, 04:10 PM
 
If a device is worth the money TO YOU that you spent on it, that's not going to change.

If you waited (or got delayed) to buy it, wait for the next generation you're ready to buy. Problem solved.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 21, 2012, 04:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Oh I see. I was thinking more of a flawed design, but it's true there was/is also the risk of poor QA, and I can see how getting applecare service is not as good as a replacement unit.
They are better at not munging the design out of the gate, but I'm sure the iDevice model helps that. The iDevices share a lot of the same engineering.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 21, 2012, 04:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
If a device is worth the money TO YOU that you spent on it, that's not going to change.
If you waited (or got delayed) to buy it, wait for the next generation you're ready to buy. Problem solved.
Huh?
     
Spheric Harlot
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Dec 21, 2012, 05:01 PM
 
You're expecting me to make coherent posts at 3 a.m. in the morning, after a drunken debauchery at the local Greek restaurant with theolein?
     
Shaddim
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Dec 21, 2012, 05:31 PM
 
iOS devices I swap each cycle, but computers are more of a PITA. Our iMacs are getting long in the tooth, going on 3 y/o, and we're going to the new 27", but I'm really dreading it.
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subego  (op)
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Dec 21, 2012, 05:35 PM
 
What do you do with the iMac?

That was a nice part of the iPad Mini. It just let me clone my iPad 3 onto it. Took forever, but all I needed to do physically was plug it in and click a button.
     
Shaddim
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Dec 21, 2012, 05:49 PM
 
The computers and tablets get wiped and donated to the local children's home, the phones get reset and given to our volunteer rescue squad/fire depts.
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subego  (op)
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Dec 21, 2012, 06:01 PM
 


I meant what do you do on the iMac.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 21, 2012, 08:11 PM
 
I'm liking the Mini BTW. The lack of retina is less bothersome than I anticipated.
     
Shaddim
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Dec 21, 2012, 10:33 PM
 
Oh, they do general stuff (surfing, email, some games, office docs, Photoshop), in the shop I use one for parts ordering, service manuals, and screwing around.
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Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 22, 2012, 10:36 AM
 
Then what's to dread? The transfer? Or having to use 10.8?
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 22, 2012, 10:53 AM
 
The transfer could be annoying, but cloud services can help smooth that out.

I've repurchased apps I already own on the App Store just so I don't have to **** with it anymore. Dropbox is also vital to me getting a new baby up to speed.
     
boy8cookie
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Dec 22, 2012, 01:46 PM
 
if that's all you use the iMac for, why do you need a new one?
     
Shaddim
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Dec 22, 2012, 08:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Then what's to dread? The transfer? Or having to use 10.8?
I've never had a transfer go 100% smoothly, ever.
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Shaddim
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Dec 22, 2012, 08:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by boy8cookie View Post
if that's all you use the iMac for, why do you need a new one?
New computer lust, they want new thinner, faster ones.

iDevices are easy to swap out, iTunes is relatively painless.
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subego  (op)
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Dec 22, 2012, 09:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
New computer lust, they want new thinner, faster ones.
iDevices are easy to swap out, iTunes is relatively painless.
The bump to an SSD will not be insignificant.

Do you clone shit to a USB key as you're doing an install? Makes it easier to revert back if things go south.
     
Shaddim
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Dec 22, 2012, 10:12 PM
 
I image their entire drive to the network and to a USB external.

They have SSDs now, I switched all the main systems to Intel G2s quite a while back. They've been bulletproof.
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subego  (op)
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Dec 22, 2012, 10:34 PM
 
How are you on cloud services?
     
Shaddim
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Dec 22, 2012, 11:03 PM
 
Don't use them too often, most of our storage is on our house servers, but we do use iTunes Match.
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subego  (op)
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Dec 22, 2012, 11:07 PM
 
I'm the same, but Dropbox and the App Store are very handy for repopulating a new rig.
     
Sandman619
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Dec 23, 2012, 06:37 PM
 

What's important about Apple's computer refurbs is that any build to order upgrades are in addition to the stated product. That is, Apple lists their base models and discounts them from that price. The model that they may send could have an upgraded hard drive, more ram or faster CPU. Those upgrades are free since Apple doesn't mark up the price for those upgrades

Cheers !
     
Shaddim
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Dec 23, 2012, 07:46 PM
 
That is true. Most Macs I've bought refurbed are beefier than their indicated specs.
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Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 24, 2012, 06:35 AM
 
I've bought maybe 10 refurbs in my life, and I've never gotten a free upgrade
     
Shaddim
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Dec 24, 2012, 07:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
I've bought maybe 10 refurbs in my life, and I've never gotten a free upgrade
If memory serves, it's been about 60% for me.
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