Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

Bodhitree

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 5, 2021
1,994
2,111
Netherlands
It seems to me that with yearly M-series chips we are also going to see a different kind of sales pattern. Instead of a Mac being on sale in its exact configuration for multiple years, people are expecting the newest M-series chips to trickle down to all configurations, or to get substantial discounts if this doesn’t happen. You can see it in the M1 iMacs and MacBook Pro’s being on sale at steep discounts on Amazon while we wait for the M3.

I can see there are several different groups of Apple customer: those who always want the latest gear and are prepared to pay for it, and those who buy the gear they need when they need it, and price sensitive customers who wait for a bargain. In shifting away from Intel and wanting to do their own chips on a yearly cadence, Apple are catering for the first group, and providing more opportunities to buy discounted gear for price sensitive customers who don’t have to have the latest stuff.

So I wonder if the yearly refreshes are actually a success in driving sales of the Mac? With the recent dip in sales one has to ask, is that a consumer reaction to an underwhelming update, or is it part of the post-Covid supercycle where people have spent their tech budget.

Maybe its too early to tell…
 
  • Like
Reactions: cmChimera

salamanderjuice

macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2020
548
593
No, it's not yearly and Apple has done a pretty terrible job "refreshing". Where's the M2 iMac for instance? HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc. all refresh like 100 SKUs every time a new AMD/Intel/Nvidia chip drop within a few months but Apple who makes both the computer and the chip now can't. I would have thought the switch to AS would have helped here. But nope.
 
Apr 12, 2023
627
519
I think Apple does not need to do yearly updates. I will take the M series iMac for example. The M chips are so good for most things, that people are not going to need to update as fast now. If you bought a new imac today, it will chug along fine for years without issue! Heat is no longer killing chips now.
 

Bodhitree

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 5, 2021
1,994
2,111
Netherlands
Heat is no longer killing chips now.

A reminder of the bad old days… I recall my stepfather’s 27” iMac (2009) and its eventual failure due to a heat problem with the graphics card.

Certainly the M-series had other benefits besides just controllable updates, like performance-per-watt, better low-power states, and video codec engines.
 
Apr 12, 2023
627
519
I have tried Mac 3 times previous to failure each time. i do not like the OS as a whole. But......I do see benefits to moving to it, since everything else I own is apple. The tipping point was "the greatest" ad they put out. I have a son with autism and that ad hit me in the feels. So much so, I am moving all my devices to apple, and my services will stay with mcirosoft as they do alot for people on the autism spectrum too.

But, I cannot deny the draw of a new macbook air and mini for my content creation devices.
 

neuropsychguy

macrumors 68030
Sep 29, 2008
2,516
6,167
No, it's not yearly and Apple has done a pretty terrible job "refreshing". Where's the M2 iMac for instance? HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc. all refresh like 100 SKUs every time a new AMD/Intel/Nvidia chip drop within a few months but Apple who makes both the computer and the chip now can't. I would have thought the switch to AS would have helped here. But nope.
Apple could work like that but historically hasn’t. Why would Apple start now? That approach is a mess. It gives options but all those companies have shotgun product lines. They hope something will hit a target. Apple takes a more precise and pragmatic approach.
 

senttoschool

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2017
2,596
5,400
It seems to me that with yearly M-series chips we are also going to see a different kind of sales pattern. Instead of a Mac being on sale in its exact configuration for multiple years, people are expecting the newest M-series chips to trickle down to all configurations, or to get substantial discounts if this doesn’t happen. You can see it in the M1 iMacs and MacBook Pro’s being on sale at steep discounts on Amazon while we wait for the M3.

I can see there are several different groups of Apple customer: those who always want the latest gear and are prepared to pay for it, and those who buy the gear they need when they need it, and price sensitive customers who wait for a bargain. In shifting away from Intel and wanting to do their own chips on a yearly cadence, Apple are catering for the first group, and providing more opportunities to buy discounted gear for price sensitive customers who don’t have to have the latest stuff.

So I wonder if the yearly refreshes are actually a success in driving sales of the Mac? With the recent dip in sales one has to ask, is that a consumer reaction to an underwhelming update, or is it part of the post-Covid supercycle where people have spent their tech budget.

Maybe its too early to tell…
If Apple can do a yearly update for the M chips, sales will increase overall. Period.

The biggest reason for Mac sales drop is the covid cycle and/or global economic downturn. Apple doesn't have control over that. The second biggest reason is that there's no compelling reason to upgrade from the M1. Apple does have control over this. We should actually be on M3 right now, with M4 about 4-5 months away. Instead, we're still on M2 and rumors are that the 15" MBA will launch with M2 next month.
 
  • Like
  • Angry
Reactions: Gudi and krell100

wanha

macrumors 68000
Oct 30, 2020
1,617
4,611
Some thoughts on this:

1. Apple products have improved considerably thanks to the switch to AS and away from Intel, so this is a success on the product front.
2. Making their own chips allows Apple more control, better differentiation, and higher profit margins than before. Strategically, this is definitely a success.
3. Will this result in higher sales? It seems too early to tell, as sales are a function of the totality of the product, not just the silicon that powers it.
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: Tagbert and Gudi

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,360
19,433
Heat is still the mortal enemy of electronics and will shorten their lifespan.

Yep. With the mac M series systems running cooler for the most part it lengthens the lifespan.

All of this is pure conjecture. Yes, higher temperatures will shorten their lifespan, that's an empirical fact. The devil is in details — what's "temperature" and what's "lifespan". You can run a modern CPU at 100C pretty much round the clock and it's lifespan will get reduced from 20-30 years to 10-15 years. Does it really matter? I'd say not at all. You'd need to run the chip well over 105C to see really rapid deterioration. Current industry standard is 105C for safe operation. Not surprising that every chip manufacturer — including Apple — has adopted this limit. And yes, Apple Silicon will routinely hit 100C when running demanding tasks, just like Intel's chips. Heat output is lower, temperature is the same.

P.S. Of course, there are indirect benefits from decreasing the heat output — less stress on the auxiliary components etc. But please, stop claiming that the efficiency Apple Silicon will result in a better lifespan.

1685014976186.png


Source: https://www.ti.com/lit/an/snoa994/snoa994.pdf
 

PsykX

macrumors 68030
Sep 16, 2006
2,508
3,460
I think Apple does not need to do yearly updates. I will take the M series iMac for example. The M chips are so good for most things, that people are not going to need to update as fast now. If you bought a new imac today, it will chug along fine for years without issue! Heat is no longer killing chips now.
While being the fastest iMac I've ever owned, it's also my most problematic device. Not enough speed, not enough RAM, not enough storage. Storage has been a real PITA.

I had a 2013 iMac before and couldn't really see a bottleneck. The bottleneck became the computer as a whole.
 

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,360
19,433
How is my statement conjecture when you just said in the very next sentence that its an empirical fact?? :oops:

Because your statement is akin to saying "oxygen is harmful to biological systems and will decrease your lifespan". Which is most likely true according to the state of the art medical research, but hardly helpful or useful. What you do is reiterating facts without putting them in a relevant context, which is a form of manipulation. A more complete version of the statement is: "Heat is still the mortal enemy of electronics and will shorten their lifespan, but this is not practically relevant at the temperatures of 105C or lower consumer electronics operates on".
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,718
Because your statement is akin to saying "oxygen is harmful to biological systems and will decrease your lifespan".
No its not and you're splitting hairs to make a point that really isn't there. You literally said I'm conjecturing but my statement is also a empirical fact.
 
Last edited:

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,360
19,433
No its not and you're splitting hairs to make a point that really isn't there. You literally said I'm conjecturing but my statement is also a empirical fact.

How is it that I am splitting hair? You can run your computer doing demanding tasks all day with CPU temperatures being in 100C or you can only do light office on it with CPU temperatures hovering around 50-60C — that won't have any practical impact on your machine surviving the 5-6 years of what's considered a useful lifespan. Assuming of course that it uses quality components and competent chassis design. This is what's important to most users, the very concrete question of "will running my SoC at 100C kill my computer prematurely?". And the answer to that question is a very clear "no, it will not".

I mean, you can cherry pick all kinds of empirical facts, but why even bother if they have zero practical relevance?
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,718
I mean, you can cherry pick all kinds of empirical facts, but why even bother if they have zero practical relevance?
Just like how you can find an argument where no argument exists LOL

If I posted the sky is blue, you would certainly say its not actually blue blah blah blah. I guess some folks like to argue just for the sake of arguing and bending over backwards to prove they're right ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

Allen_Wentz

Suspended
Dec 3, 2016
2,898
3,162
USA
It seems to me that with yearly M-series chips we are also going to see a different kind of sales pattern. Instead of a Mac being on sale in its exact configuration for multiple years, people are expecting the newest M-series chips to trickle down to all configurations, or to get substantial discounts if this doesn’t happen. You can see it in the M1 iMacs and MacBook Pro’s being on sale at steep discounts on Amazon while we wait for the M3.

I can see there are several different groups of Apple customer: those who always want the latest gear and are prepared to pay for it, and those who buy the gear they need when they need it, and price sensitive customers who wait for a bargain. In shifting away from Intel and wanting to do their own chips on a yearly cadence, Apple are catering for the first group, and providing more opportunities to buy discounted gear for price sensitive customers who don’t have to have the latest stuff.

So I wonder if the yearly refreshes are actually a success in driving sales of the Mac? With the recent dip in sales one has to ask, is that a consumer reaction to an underwhelming update, or is it part of the post-Covid supercycle where people have spent their tech budget.

Maybe its too early to tell…
IMO the OP question is moot. Even if some Apple marketing folks might fantasize Mac users annually upgrading, a new chip every year will not make it happen.

Since the 128k Mac tech has always continually improved, and users have always had to choose when tha next upgrade is worth the effort/cost to each user (very seldom annually). Apple making its own chips and calling them M-whatevers and whatever upgrade frequency they establish does not change what has always been going on; plus of course each new Mac consists of much more than solely the chip.
 

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,360
19,433
IMO the OP question is moot. Even if some Apple marketing folks might fantasize Mac users annually upgrading, a new chip every year will not make it happen.

Since the 128k Mac tech has always continually improved, and users have always had to choose when tha next upgrade is worth the effort/cost to each user (very seldom annually). Apple making its own chips and calling them M-whatevers and whatever upgrade frequency they establish does not change what has always been going on; plus of course each new Mac consists of much more than solely the chip.

Mac users obviously won't upgrade yearly, but yearly lineup updates might help drive a more consistent purchase cycle and increase revenue. For example, a user would be open to upgrading their machine after three years, but lack of noteworthy upgrades will stop them from purchasing. Yearly upgrades assure that a user will upgrade when they can. During the "golden age" of the Mac Apple even did two upgrades per year.

Of course, the equation has changed, and developing a new chip/model is not free either (and the costs are increasing). Apple needs to balance the cost of introducing the new model agains the potential of revenue increase. It's a tough problem, with yet unclear outcome.
 

boak

macrumors 68000
Jun 26, 2021
1,536
2,543
Only high-volume devices will receive ~yearly updates. Low-volume devices will skip generations.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jorbanead

Asbow

macrumors regular
Aug 17, 2020
199
361
Some thoughts on this:

1. Apple products have improved considerably thanks to the switch to AS and away from Intel, so this is a success on the product front.
2. Making their own chips allows Apple more control, better differentiation, and higher profit margins than before. Strategically, this is definitely a success.
3. Will this result in higher sales? It seems too early to tell, as sales are a function of the totality of the product, not just the silicon that powers it.
The switch was meant to result in cheaper Macs but they’ve actually got more expensive.
 
  • Angry
Reactions: Gudi

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,718
The switch was meant to result in cheaper Macs but they’ve actually got more expensive.
The question is cheaper for whom?

Its quite possible that the move was in fact cheaper. I really don't know for sure, I guess this is the conjecture part ;) but they chose not pass the cost savings on to the consumer (if its now cheaper for them to produce Macs w/o intel chips).
 

jonblatho

macrumors 68030
Jan 20, 2014
2,515
6,221
Oklahoma
We should actually be on M3 right now, with M4 about 4-5 months away.
Source for that "should"? Because so far it seems that Apple's about on track based on this report which suggested that Apple has planned on a roughly 18-month cycle for M-series chips.

So far, that report has proven pretty accurate, aside from an “M2X” launching in the first half of this year. But we do still have several weeks yet and I do recall reports on the 15" MacBook Air suggesting that it'll have “a version of” the M2…
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gudi and KeithBN
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.