What it is: Apple tends to release products on a fairly predictable schedule. By timing your purchase, you can buy the latest products or the previous generation’s products at a discount.
It’s easy to predict that Apple will release a new iPhone model every year, usually in the fall. However, it’s much harder to predict the release dates for other Apple products such as the iPad or iMac. If you want a fairly accurate gauge of various Apple products, visit the Mac Buyer Guide that tracks the days since the last release for each product. By tracking how much time has leaped since the last release date and the average refresh cycle for that product, you can guess when Apple will likely release new models of any particular product.
It’s not hard to guess that Apple will release a new iPhone this September. However, rumors also indicate that Apple may introduce a new Apple TV, iPad, and iMac models as well. The iMac models in particular are more than a year old, which is ancient by computer standards. The 27-inch iMac models have been refreshed with retina displays, but the 21-inch iMac models have not. That means you’re essentially buying almost two year old technology if you decide to get a 21-inch iMac, so if you’re in the market for an iMac, wait.
What has caused the delays in new iMac models has been the repeated delays of Intel’s latest skyline processors, which were officially announced August 5. Now that Apple can finally use updated processors, you can expect new iMac models this September or possibly even as late as October as well. If you can afford to wait, wait. Skyline processors will provide a substantial boost in power and battery efficiency for laptops, so you really want the latest Macintosh models using Skylake processors.
As far as the rumors go about the iPad and Apple TV, the only sure thing is that they’re coming but nobody knows when. If they’re not announced by October, you can safely bet that they won’t be released until early next year so that way Apple can concentrate on the holiday shopping season. That means the next best buying time will be early 2016.
Timing your purchases will save you money and spare you from frustration as you avoid buying a product only to have a vastly superior one appear at the same price the next day. As always, patience can go a long way towards helping you save money and buy the best possible technology at the lowest possible price.