Macs have not changed significantly in capability for several years now, at least not for the purposes of many if not most users—a model that is not the latest and greatest will perform essentially the same as the very best and newest model for 90% of what most people do—hence the robust market in used iPhones for the same reason.
Used Macs, particularly ones delivered free with a money-back guarantee and certified and warranteed by MacSales.com offer excellent value: why pay a premium price for some email/web browing or casual work? Like buying a low-mileaged warranteed used car*, used is the new new. Buying new carries a big premium for minimal value (special purposes excepted of course).
Why consider used?
Lots of people have kids who need computers (I do), and businesses are often under budget pressure, etc. It makes a lot of sense to save on such areas. The truth is, Apple has done little to enhance total performance over the past few years (nada for Mac Pro for 3 years now and modest gains on iMac and MacBook Pro). Consider MPG usage:
- Still using the far more than adequate 2013 MacBook Pro Retina for all trips / field work. The new models are a bit faster, but of no real importance.
- MPG server and diglloyd mail server: lowly 13-inch 2012 MacBook Pro (16GB / 1TB). This very web site runs without breaking a sweat on a 4-year old 13-inch MacBook Pro!
- MPG workhorse workstation is a 2013 Mac Pro: approaching 3 years old.
- (non MPG): OWC is offering factory-sealed 2015 MacBooks for about $1135 , versus $1749 for a 2016 MacBook. That huge premium brings minor improvements, just noticeable, barely.
MPG strictly avoids buying new except in the case where the long term value is there (e.g., the 2013 Mac Pro some years ago, or the late 2015 iMac 5K, both of which met specific thresholds not otherwise obtainable for professional photography purposes). The one probable exception coming along this year is laptops: a new high-end MacBook Pro (maybe). But Apple is constrained by Intel chipsets and it’s unclear how it will be appreciably better, or just different, e.g., a hassle for existing users, as in USB-C ports and Thunderbolt 3 requiring adapters—a chore for those with existing stuff already: existence proof being the adapters needed for the Apple MacBook. Time and money rectify such things, but those features may not matter for the vast majority of users, and will not come cheaply.
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* My current SUV is 9 years old, bought used when 2 years old.