Early - Mid - Late

Discussion in 'iMac' started by OurDarkness, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. OurDarkness macrumors member

    OurDarkness

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    #1
    What is the reason Apple "marks" their products (in this case iMacs) as early 20xx, mid 20xx, late 20xx? Why not iMac pure and simple? If it's for tracking reasons can't they refer to them with some sort of serial number?
     
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #2
    It's for us!!!

    People who know their macs can tell the specs from which part of the year it was released.

    They do all have serial numbers for exact models but you know generally CPU and GPU architecture, HDD vs SSD as standard, port types etc just from the year and the time within that year.

    You can also search easily for any issues relateed to that model...
     
  3. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

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    #3
    As mentioned above, it's for customer convenience. Instead of having to remember a unique number or string of numbers, you just need to know the product line and roughly when you bought it.

    Apple has a few ways of pinning down the specific configuration. My Late 2011 MacBook Pro model identifier is MacBookPro8,2 (which is different from MacBookPro8,1, which is the Early 2011 model, and MacBookPro8,3, which is the 17" variant). The model number itself is A1286, and the order number is MD318LL/A (order number MD322LL/A refers to the 2.4 GHz variant). So the specific numbers are there.

    If you're wondering why Apple chooses to do this compared to the iOS devices, it probably has to do with tradition and upgrade cycles. iOS devices have been updated annually almost perfectly (the iPad 3 is the only exception I can think of), so there's not much need to identify it with the year. We know that we're up to the iPhone 6, so an iPhone 5S must be one year older and the 5 must be two years older. Macs are not updated annually - some lines are updated more frequently, and others less frequently. So it makes sense to give an identifier based on the year to better understand what technologies the system contains.
     
  4. OurDarkness thread starter macrumors member

    OurDarkness

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    #4
    OK thanks for the answers

    Since I am new to Apple (haven't bought the iMac yet), is it possible that a early or mid model contains other technologies/hardware than a late model? Has this happened before?

    I am asking because I know that they usually update their products around October - but I have heard that some updates occur now and then that are small and silent.
     
  5. Gwendolini macrumors 6502

    Gwendolini

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    #5
    New architecture depends on Intel's and AMD's and Nvidia's release schedule.
    As for now, the iMac uses the Haswell architecture and will likely get the newer, though not really faster, Broadwell architecture within this year.

    As for releases: www.evermac.com
     
  6. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

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    #6
    iOS products are updated in October, but the Mac line is a bit more variable. For example, some of the laptops were just updated. The Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), usually held some time in the early- to mid-summer, is a software-focused event that has also been associated with Mac product refreshes. There are occasionally silent updates, but those don't receive changes in the early/mid/late identifiers.

    To answer your question, yes, older models can have different hardware support than the models that succeed them. A prime example of this is support for Handoff or the updated Airdrop, both of which require Bluetooth 4.0. Apple lists on its website which Macs can use these features, and it identifies them using the mid/early/late year identifiers. It's not even the case that all computers made past a certain date have Bluetooth 4.0; some systems in 2010 had it, while other product lines only introduced it into the 2011 models. This is because Apple doesn't update all of the Mac lines at the same time, and it doesn't withhold major hardware changes for certain times of the year.
     
  7. OurDarkness thread starter macrumors member

    OurDarkness

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