Technician Advice for Apple Mac Computers
Traditionally the longevity of Apple Macs has always been considered by many consumers to be Apple’s strength over PCs running successive versions of Microsoft’s Windows operating system, but is this still true? How long can you (realistically) expect your new 2016 or 2017 model Apple iMac, Mac Pro, or MacBook, to last before requiring replacement?
Apple Mac Computer Repairs in Brisbane
We at Affordable Computer Repairs and Service also do Apple Mac repairs as well as repairing Windows-based computers. In fact, over a third of our repair work involves Apple Macs. Thus, we are uniquely positioned to compare both platforms and advise you how long you expect your new (or current) Apple Macs to last and remain serviceable. We base this assessment on a range of past and current repair jobs, on both older and newer Macs (typically models ranging from 2007 to 2015). As computer repairers, we get to see ‘under the hood’ of all computers and know exactly the type and quality of components used in both Mac and PC (branded and custom-built) computers. We also know how they are designed and engineered.
Based on our experience – and backed up by information provided by Apple and others – you really cannot expect that a new model Mac is going to last anywhere near as long as your old trusty Mac (circa 2008 to 2011) may well have done.
Many Apple Mac users are surprised (some even horrified) when we explain that their “recently-purchased” Apple Mac, may only have a service life of around three to four years… This applies to iMac, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, etc. All this depends on numerous factors. None more so than how it’s used and maintained by the users themselves.
What Can You Consider to be a Reasonable Service Life or ‘Useful Life’ of an Apple Mac?
There are many reasons why the newer models of iMacs, MacBooks, MacBook Airs, etc, will not have the same durability as the older models. One of the major reasons is the standard and quality hardware components used. Whilst it is often difficult to quantify and can be a subjective exercise, we do not believe that Apple computers are built to the same standard of quality and durability that we believe was the case only a few years ago.
It’s no different for PCs and other electronic devices either. Let’s face it, these items are a “commodity” – an expensive one – but a commodity none the less. High turn-over of devices and new release products keeps these companies (and the global IT industry) in business. This is because they get you to keep spending on their latest and greatest, and increasing array of niche products.
Reasons Why Macs (and PCs) Now Appear to Have a Shorter Service Life
Compared to a few years ago, Apple Macs (and Windows-based PCs for that matter) have shorter useful service lives. Or so Apple (and Microsoft) will have you believe. It appears that they do everything in their power to “encourage” you to upgrade both your hardware and software. This is because technology is advancing far more rapidly all the time, year on year. Thus a machine built to adequately cope with a broad range of software today, may indeed not be up to the task in four or five years.
As software becomes increasingly sophisticated it also becomes more resource hungry. Especially in terms of memory or RAM. We also now use our computers for much more diverse uses such as storing photos, other images, music, and videos.
Computer games also chew up your memory and hard disk space. There are also far more updates and new games coming onto the market all the time. This means that the hardware of your computer needs to be able to cope with the additional demands of the new software. This can shorten the ‘useful life’ of your Apple Mac.
…. But You Can Still Repair a Mac Computer, Right?
And yes you can still repair a Mac. However with several provisos. There are all kinds of reasons why you would want to repair your Mac rather than replace it. The initial cost of repair versus replacement is the key one for most people. There are, however, other things you need to take into account.
The same kinds of considerations you have to make deciding whether an upgrade is possible and if so, whether it will be cost-effective and money well spent. Most things can be repaired provided you have the skills and knowledge, the spare parts, the available time and the budget. In short, “can it be repaired and does it make financial sense to do so?”. Apple Macs are no different. Whether your computer is an iMac or MacPro, a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, 3, 5 or 10 years old, it’s never “cheap” to repair, regardless of whether it’s a simple or complex repair.
Let’s suppose you have a 5-6-year-old iMac that requires the replacement of the logic board. The replacement part will take 10 days to arrive. It won’t be cheap. It will also only have a limited 90-day warranty as it is a reconditioned item. The total cost of the job is nearly 50 per cent the price of a new computer with similar specifications. This is not only due to the cost of labour. If anything, the cost is going down as more inexperienced/unqualified people compete within the industry. It is rather due to the increased difficulty to repair and the increased cost of replacement hardware components.
So Realistically, What is the Answer?
On average you can now expect that you are likely to replace your Mac every four to five years. This may seem to some to be a relatively very short lifespan especially for those people who have spent a considerable amount of money on what they had hoped would be a durable, long-lasting product. It may also seem a relatively short time for long-time Mac users more used to a service life closer to eight years or more on their older Mac computers. As we said earlier, the way you use and maintain your Mac will impact on how long a Mac lasts.
If you are a ‘light user’ of your Mac you can expect a longer trouble-free run before you need to trade up, but anything older than 6 years in today’s market is going to see you perceived as a bit of a dinosaur – although there is nothing wrong with being a dinosaur by the way.
Owning a Mac has never been a cheap exercise and is unlikely to be so in the foreseeable future. It is after all only a computer and is not designed and built to run indefinitely. However, if you treat it well and look after it, it should last you more than a few years. This is the same for so many other goods nowadays, including electrical and household goods like furniture.
Older MacBooks and MacBook Pros appear to last longer by approximately one year so on average – up to 6 years and often much longer.
If you have a Mac that is no longer working and you are contemplating buying a new computer but are not certain we offer a $75 diagnostic service. This fee is only charged if you decide not to proceed with repair should it be not economical and therefore not desirable.
We will for the diagnostic service provide you with a quote to repair your Mac. We will also honestly advise you whether we believe repairing is in your best interests or not. As stated previously, we are highly experienced in Mac repairs and our rates are very affordable.
Enjoy your Mac experience. View it as the ideal tool for work and entertainment, rather than as an expensive indulgence. Make the most of it, treasure it and look after it. Then you will get your money’s worth. Of course, if something does go wrong, and you live in Brisbane please contact us at Affordable Computer Repairs and Service on 3397 1215 or 0409 974 707 as we are highly experienced in Apple repairs – MacBooks, iMacs, Mac Pros, MacBook Air.
FYI If you are running a business in Brisbane we offer a Managed IT Service that enables you to worry about your business and not your IT environment. If you are interested, we would love to have a chat to see how we could best ensure the security, stability and uptime for your business.