Is There a Right Time to Buy a New Mac, iPhone, or iPad?

Because technology advances so fast, a product you buy today could be replaced by your next iteration in a month. Knowing this, is there a "best time" to buy an iPhone, iPad or Mac to get the most benefit for your money?

Let's examine Apple's historical release schedules and try to find out when the right time to buy a new Apple hardware is.

If you can't wait

Image credit: photography33 / Depositphotos

Before diving into details, we must first establish a basic expectation: the right time to buy any technological product is when you need it .

Let's say the Mac you use every day suddenly stops working. At that time, you probably don't care about Apple's launch calendar. It would be silly enough to wait months to get a new computer to get the brightest new model when the current offer works well.

The same happens if, for example, you are starting college and do not have a computer. It is a good idea to buy what is on the market at that time, since you need a computer and fast.

However, if you really want to wait, you may have other options. For example, you could buy a cheap Chromebook to meet your computing needs in the meantime. If you break your iPhone, you may have an old replacement device that you can use if necessary.

If you are not under this pressure, you have more flexibility to wait. By the way, if you often break your device, you may consider AppleCare


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so you can repair it after accidental damage.

See the MacRumors Buyer Guide

Whenever you are thinking of buying an Apple device, you should first consult the MacRumors Buyer Guide. This resource collects information about the average number of days between each version of Apple hardware. Then it tells you how many days have passed since the last device came out in each category, so you can know if it is now a smart time to buy.

 MacRumors Buyer's Guide

See various colored lights on the page:

  • Green means that now is a good time to buy that product, as it was recently launched .
  • Gray is neutral and indicates that a product is in the middle of its life cycle. It is not necessarily a bad purchase, but it may be worth waiting if you can avoid it.
  • Yellow indicates that a product is nearing the end of its sales cycle. If you can wait, you probably should.
  • Red means that you should avoid buying the device. You are likely to have an impending replacement on the horizon, or have been discontinued.

Using the Buyer's Guide wisely

Of course, you don't have to take these recommendations as law. They are definitely a useful tool to make the most of your money, but do not take into account your personal circumstances.

For example, the Buyer's Guide recommends avoiding the 12 ″ MacBook since Apple discontinued it in July 2019. This means that if you want to buy a new device, your money will be better spent elsewhere. But if that MacBook model does everything you need and finds a great deal on a used one, it could end up serving you well.

Apple has a tendency to let some devices remain inactive if they are not particularly popular. . While you can guarantee a new iPhone every year, other units, such as the Mac Pro, spend years without a hardware update. Therefore, the guide is most useful when you recommend buying something.

The best time to buy a new iPhone

 iPhone X

Wondering when to buy a new iPhone? This is the easiest piece to determine from Apple's lineup. For many years, Apple released the latest iPhone in September / October.

When the new iPhone comes out, it is generally released at the same price as the model of the previous year (although sometimes it is cheaper). For example, the iPhone XS started at $ 999 when it launched in 2018. Its successor, the iPhone 11 Pro, had the same price at launch in 2019.

That means your $ 999 will provide you with a better phone at the end. September than him. I will do it in August. Not only will you get a device with a better camera and performance, but you will receive iOS updates for a longer time.

If you always want to have the newest iPhone, you should consider the Apple iPhone Update Program. This allows you to pay a fixed cost each month that includes the latest iPhone and AppleCare + coverage. When the new device comes out, it updates it at no additional cost, provided you have made 12 payments on your current device.

 iPhone update program

This has obvious benefits, although there are also some drawbacks. You cannot keep your old device as a backup or to exchange / sell. Also, the monthly payment never ends.

Of course, if you don't mind the latest and the best, you can take advantage of the new versions to get an agreement on an older (and perfectly functional) device. If Apple does not offer the previous model that interests you, you can still get older devices at a discount from other vendors, such as your provider or Best Buy.

We compare the purchase of an Apple iPhone and its supplier.


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for more information on this.

The best time to buy a new Mac

 MacBook touch bar

The Mac launch cycle is not as clear as the iPhone. In general, you can expect new Mac models to be released mid-year, sometime between April and October.

Mac computers do not usually see major changes with new releases. In addition to the small advances, such as the Force Touch trackpad presented in 2015 and the Touch Bar in the high-end MacBook Pro models from 2016, the changes are mostly internal. In general, the one-year difference generally includes a more powerful CPU, a faster SSD and RAM and a slightly better battery life.

Sometimes, Macs see a great update. Each MacBook Air launch was quite similar from 2010 onwards until Apple launched a redesigned Air in late 2018. Apple also introduced a renewed 12-inch entry level MacBook in 2015, although the company suspended this in 2019. [19659002] Even if you don't want a new Mac, stay tuned during the intervening months of the year. When a new model comes out, you can usually get an earlier version at a discount. Visit the restored Apple Mac page often. In addition, our tips on how to save money when buying a MacBook


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will help at any time of the year.

The best time to buy a new iPad

 Three stacked iPad models

The Apple tablet line is the most difficult to predict, mainly because the company jumps between releases for several different models.

There is the basic level iPad line, plus the iPad Pro in some sizes. Apple also launched a new third-generation iPad Air and a fifth-generation iPad Mini in 2019, after both lines remained inactive for several years.

The fifth and sixth generation reference iPad models were launched in March 2017 and 2018, respectively. However, the seventh generation iPad arrived in September 2019, counteracting the March launch trend. In March 2019, the third generation iPad Air and the fifth generation iPad Mini were launched.

Meanwhile, the iPad Pro has also not been consistent with the launch months. Their third generation models were launched in October 2018, while the second generation arrived in June 2017.

iPad purchase summary

 iPad Pro on the table

Taken at together, we can say that the new iPad models are generally launched between March and October. However, it is often unknown what line Apple will choose to update and at what time.

Because of this, if you are interested in an iPad, we recommend that you observe which lines have received an update more recently. If you are not interested in that device, it is probably best to wait until one you like receives an update, and then buy. See our iPad buying guide


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for more details about them.

Like the Mac, new iPad models rarely offer surprising new features. They usually offer renewed internal components and minor improvements, such as support for Apple Pencil. And since they are less expensive than other Apple devices, do not miss so much buying a slightly older model.

Purchase of other Apple devices

 MacRumors Guide Other Apple devices [19659002] We have seen when to buy an iPhone, iPad and Mac, since they are the three main lines of Apple devices. But you can also ask when to buy other Apple accessories or less popular devices, so we'll briefly mention them.

Since 2016, the Apple Watch was launched annually in September along with the new iPhone models. This trend is likely to continue as Apple presents the latest model at its September events.

The iPod Touch is currently Apple's only iPod offering, and allows you to dip your toes in iOS for a low cost. Since 2015, it is updated every two years: July 2015, July 2017 and May 2019. If Apple maintains the device, this trend will probably continue.

Other devices have inconsistent release schedules. The HomePod has not seen an update since its launch in early 2018. Meanwhile, Apple TV has seen sporadic releases in September or March in recent years. And Apple renewed the AirPods for the first time in March 2019, after its launch in late 2016.

The right time to buy Apple devices

While nobody knows exactly what Apple's plans for new products are, We can be quite good estimates based on past trends. Stay tuned to the Buyer's Guide when interested in a new device to find out when the best time to pull the trigger is.

If you can wait, try timing it to get the newest device. But if not, don't worry, since Apple devices still maintain their value for a long time.

To save money when making your purchase, be sure to take advantage of Apple's hardware discounts


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