Apple products are expensive. Even the cheapest laptops cost thousands of dollars and if you settle for an older iPhone 12 you will need to spend at least 699 more. The cheapest Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Series 3, will still cost you $ 199
But if you just bought an Apple Watch Series 3 from the Apple Store now, it will be obsolete in about three months. Apple has announced that watchOS 9, which will arrive this fall, only supports the Apple Watch Series 4 and later, although Apple still sells the Apple Watch Series 3.
That’s not a great look. As an Apple writer, I know better than to cut অংশ 199 on a piece of four-year-old technology, but the average consumer who wants to bargain probably won’t. That’s why Apple still sells it: for those of you who don’t want to spend $ 399 on the Apple Watch Series 7 or $ 279 on the SE, there’s the Apple Watch Series 3.
It may be a “budget” device, but when you buy an Apple product there is an expectation that it will not become obsolete immediately. However, this is basically the case with the Apple Watch Series 3.
And other relatively recent devices are hitting the consistent chopping block this year as well. As for the iPhone, the iPhone 7, iOS 16 sold until 2019 will not be available. A similar 1.8-GHz Core i5 MacBook Air 12-inch MacBook was also sold in 2019. And while Apple TV HD has escaped obsolescence at the moment, it probably won’t be able to support the next tvOS update in 2023.
A relentless pace
You could argue – especially on the Mac – that the speed of innovation is responsible. Apple’s Silicon Transition has led to a huge leap in performance and power for Apple’s Mac, so it’s not surprising that lower-end Intel chips just a few years ago couldn’t handle the same OS features. And Apple Watch has undergone several major changes since launching the Apple Series 3 in 2017.
But for a company that is highly aware of the longevity of older devices, the lack of support is related. Someone is buying an Apple Watch Series 3 from the Apple Store and out of a watchOS 8.7 update that will probably come later this month, they will not receive any new features, updates or security patches as long as they own it.
Apple has eroded the trust it has cultivated year after year. Apple doesn’t offer explicit upgrades guaranteed like some manufacturers, but users expect their device to be supported as long as they own it. A Mac bought in 2019 or an Apple Watch bought in 2022 that doesn’t get the latest OS update rarely reassures anyone buying an older iPhone or SE device.
For the Mac, the transition to a new processor made those waters a bit murky, but Apple backed PowerPC chips for six years after Intel announced the transition. We’ve been in Apple Silicon Transition for two years now and Macs are coming down like flies. At the rate things are going, no Intel Mac will support the 2025 macOS 17 still being sold (Mac Mini and Mac Pro). And when it comes to the iPhone and Apple Watch, the Apple Silicon Transition doesn’t hold water, since they’ve been using Apple Silicon all the time.
And then there’s the iPad Pro. On the one hand, iPadOS 16 happily supports every iPad Pro model released, going back to 2015, the most exciting new feature, Stage Manager, can only be used on three models: the latest 11-inch iPad Pro, 12.9-inch iPad Pro and M1. IPad Air with processor.
That means the iPad Pro, released in 2020, barely two years ago, is already behind the times. Apple explains that Stage Manager requires “large internal memory, incredibly fast storage and a flexible external display I / O”, which requires an M1 chip, but it’s not very reassuring for people who have spent thousands of dollars on an iPad. Just 18 months ago Pro.
So how do we know that the next round of hardware will last more than a year or two before Apple declares it obsolete? Apple TV HD, iPhone 11, Ninth-Genre iPad, Intel Mac Mini: All of these devices can now be purchased at Apple stores.
Will they get next year’s update? Maybe. But I’m less sure than a few weeks ago.