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  • Newsletter Issue #845: Is Apple Losing Its Ability to Make Us Upgrade?

    February 8th, 2016

    On occasion, I’ve read articles suggesting that Apple deliberately wants to make its gear obsolete, as soon as possible, so you’ll rush to buy the latest and greatest. Certainly the upgrade cycle is an important way of doing business. A company cannot always depend on attracting enough new customers, but selling more gear to existing customers — or services — keeps the business going in grand style.

    Now with Apple, the upgrade message has been mixed. If you have an older Mac, from 2007 to 2009, you can still install OS X El Capitan and get pretty decent performance. There are some hardware features that won’t work, such as Metal graphics support, and we already knew that the Handoff feature of Continuity was a non-starter on older hardware. It’s not that Apple will hold back new features because older gear, long out of warranty, isn’t supported. That equipment still otherwise works, however, which is a change.

    The same holds true for the iPhone and the iPad. iOS 9 supports the same gear as iOS 8. Not with the same features, and I wouldn’t shout about performance with the oldest models. But it does show in unusual commitment, although some might suggest that tepid performance may force customers to replace their iPhones, if that’s the hope.

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