I think a good pairing with this question is “and what factors cause you to upgrade”… to some extent it’s “the quest for new and shiny”, which isn’t great but not as bad as some people say out.
Ideally it’s “this new thing lets me do something I couldn’t do before”, or doing it much better. For laptops that’s kind of rare for me these days- and so getting the battery replaced has extended the usefulness of my 2013 MacBook Air. (And the new Macbook clearing out ports diminishes the appeal and offsets the terrific form factor)
Phones – they’re subject to more wear and tear. Mine has definitely seen some water damage too – from a few days of band events during deluge. (Had one of those Monday, a political protest rally in the rain with my tuba, and for the rest of the day the phone didn’t recognize the headphones being unplugged from it.) Plus, “oh but this camera is REALLY keen” seems like an excuse for every generation, even though iPhone camera have been absolutely great for a number of years.
Anyway, I guess I’m trying to aim for 3 with my iPhone 6, and maybe should try selling this SE experiment…
Tablets… won’t upgrade the iPad Mini ’til they get one that size with Pencil support. And by the bedside I have a fullsize Pro that might last forever because of how light its usage is… the odd movie and “Draw Something” and occasional other art project.
Come to think of it, wear and tear is one of the biggest factors. Your iMac is long lived because A. mid-tier desktops have been adequate for their tasks for some time, and MacOS is pretty good at getting good use of old hardware B. There’s no battery to degrade, so must of the solid state stuff can have good longevity C. it’s perched on a desk so doesn’t even get battered around like an otherwise well-taken care of laptop will. Kirk
Kirk wrote the above in response to this. Some very good points raised. And so did Bob…
It depends on expectations and what I use it for. I lived through Windows from 3.0 through Windows 7, although I have Windows 10 running in Bootcamp. Often it was a case of having to upgrade the hardware to run Windows. Other reasons were because apps grew to defeat the latest performance upgrade. And I wanted to play graphically intense games.
I bought my Retina iMac in late 2014. I expect at least 5 years out of it although I’m already seeing that I can’t run the latest games even on high, even though they do run quite acceptably. I still have my old macBook Pro bought in 2009. It still runs well but I don’t use it much. I upgraded it to an SSD and now it performs well enough for what I need it for. Likewise the iMac has an SSD.
For phones, it’s been every 2 or 3 years when my contract runs out. I now have an iPhone 6S. I probably won’t bother with the 7S or 8 or whatever they call it. Or even the next one. It still does what I need and is fast enough.
I bought new iPads for the first 3 years, then bought an iPad Mini 2. It’s noticeably slower than the phone of course, but I mainly use it for reading, so it’s hard to justify something new, although the new iPad is tempting at that price.
As for my Apple Watch, it’s a Series 1 and is fine. It would be hard to justify anything new for a good few years. In fact the main reason would be that I’m used to having it. Bob