Does the iMac Hold Resale Value As Well as the MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MICHAELSD, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #1
    Even though I frankly don't have much desire in purchasing a Retina iMac since my Retina MacBook Pro handles what I need about as well, I do plan to upgrade my computer annually for business reasons. As spectacular as the Retina MacBook Pro is, the iMac is of course just as great but I have found that I do not need the portability of a laptop: the iPad and iPhone have replaced it for any scenario where I would need to take a computer with me. In the age of the tablet I only see a laptop as necessary for somebody who travels for business matters. That being said it makes more sense for me to purchase a stationary iMac over another portable MacBook Pro that I would keep stationary :cool:.

    I have found the MacBook Pro to depreciate slower than would be expected which makes the purchase of a $2000+ computer far from a financial drain for somebody who knows how to sell for top dollar. Is the iMac just as good at retaining value? (I.e. it can be sold in a year or two at a low rate of depreciation.)
     
  2. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #2
    What's a low rate of depreciation? Note the retina macbook pro has filled an increasing amount of Apple's notebook lineup as they've phased out the older one. The same thing will eventually happen with the retina imac. It's hard to tell at this point, but it's likely to be at least 2 years before you see any major changes in the overall imac line.
     
  3. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #3
    I.e. the 2012 Retina MacBook Pro base model depreciates about $300/year.
     
  4. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #4
    That seems a little light. I mean at any point after 2.5 years or so, that battery could nosedive. It's around a $200 replacement. I've had chargers fray too, so I would be hesitant to spend that much on a 2012 that had been used since 2012. That's definitely cost effective. Assuming the display doesn't encounter aging problems and you sell it before Apple makes any aggressive moves with the line, you might do quite well with the imac. Refurbished options have started to show up on Apple's site. Let's say you wanted to stay below $700 in depreciation by 2017. Not counting tax on something like this, you would have to sell it for at least $1419. I think that would work as long as retina display options do not propagate throughout the line, the display doesn't age terribly, and there are no logic board/gpu problems in this generation.

    Anyway that's just my opinion, and I am trying to bound depreciation rather than project an exact value. All bets are off if they do something like release a 21" retina imac for $1300. I think that is more than two years away though.
     
  5. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #5
    You bring up some good points. One of the main factors that has influenced the low depreciation is Apple's current pricing: a dedicated GPU model now starts at $2499 while the base 2012 model began at $2200 with the 650M. So depreciation is partly dependent on the model changes Apple makes. It seems in their current cycle it takes at least 3 years for a major change, with only minor improvements made otherwise. (Not that I consider the current rMBP pricing an improvement.)
     
  6. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #6
    It is. It's important not to consider it as solely an integrated vs discrete thing though. At the notebook level integrated graphics can close the gap with what are basically mid-range notebook graphics fairly quickly. Intel is doing an impressive job of catching up. A few years ago their integrated graphics were practically a transistor receptacle. Three years is about right. Sometimes it may go to four.

    Right now I don't expect the retina imac to really expand until its third cycle, but my predictions haven't held up well lately. For the most part I look at their past actions in similar situations, but Apple has become increasingly aggressive with their hardware customizations.

    As for determining resale value, I tend to factor in wear and tear issues. I'll then look at new and refurbished options to see what it would cost for a solution with comparable performance, rather than just an identical item. Wear and tear is probably a more significant issue for someone like me. I use a notebook quite a bit while away from my desk due to several things where the space available on a phone is insufficient.
     
  7. steve23094 macrumors 68000

    steve23094

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    I think you're being incredibly optimistic there. If you can get a sucker to pay that much more power to you, but don't count on it.
     
  8. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #8
    Frankly my rMBP doesn't have a mark of usage on it. Never left the desk and I wash my hands before use every single time. I prefer it like that and frankly with two minutes and a microfiber it'll look brand new.

    ----------

    Nonetheless, from a performance aspect any graphically-intensive tasks will perform better on my rMBP than the current base model which makes it look more appealing to anyone considering the $2499 model. Not to mention the incremental jump in performance overall.
     
  9. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #9
    I computed that as approaching 3 years. The base 2012 went for 2200. $1300 sounded close, especially if it looks pretty due to being left in one place. Note what I used for my comparison was a refurbished model, and I didn't include any of the sales tax in the price and depreciation estimates. As of today it's only one "true" generation apart due to lack of Broadwell.

    It should definitely be a bit faster. They're a generation apart, so one may not be way faster than the other. I've been disappointed with Apple's track record with discrete graphics. They have been frequent point of failure, so I see any improvement to integrated graphics as being highly significant. In any situation where the two are close enough, I would pick integrated at this point.
     
  10. roadkill401 macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

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    #10
    The resale value of a machine is how much someone else is willing to pay for the item that you are selling. If you want to sell it quickly, then a lower price will drum up more interest.

    I have looked on my local Kijiji (Craigslist) and see there are a whole bunch of iMac's that are 2008 - 2010 that are selling well above what I would be willing to pay for them considering that I have read about the part failures of GPU's and also knowing the performance spec compared to what is available new. But for some reason they keep on showing up and I am going to gather that they are selling.

    To put an actual depreciation number would be hard as you'd need to look at the price point that others in your area would be selling for. What might be a good deal in your area could be considered a lost cause in another.
     
  11. steve23094 macrumors 68000

    steve23094

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    #11
    A good way to check market value is to search eBay only on recent completed sales and compare from there.
     
  12. vdoeditdude macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2015
    #12
    iMacs hold their value much better due to their expandabilities. When your rMBP ages there is nothing that can be done to update it..zero
    Your 27" iMac on the other hand has many options from drives to RAM to even processors swaps in some models. The 21" imacs are more like MBPs where Apple wants them disposed of in a few short years and get you back to the Apple store with your tax refund check in hand.
    Seems to me that Apple has learned from their iPhone sales and plan for these machine to be replaced every 24-36 months. Most of their product line today are of this non-upgradeable, disposable design.
     

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