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niray9

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 22, 2019
78
19
How long will Apple support the Intel Macbooks with new OS? Anybody has a good guess?

I'm trying to figure out if I should buy the 2019(16") or 2020 Macbook pro.

In 2006 during the transition from PowerPC to Intel, Apple had new OS in 2006,2007 and 2008. After that it provided security updates for 2 or 3 years.
 

richinaus

macrumors 68020
Oct 26, 2014
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How long will Apple support the Intel Macbooks with new OS? Anybody has a good guess?

I'm trying to figure out if I should buy the 2019(16") or 2020 Macbook pro.

In 2006 during the transition from PowerPC to Intel, Apple had new OS in 2006,2007 and 2008. After that it provided security updates for 2 or 3 years.

I was looking at a max 2020 MBP 16” upgrade for work but decided to just get a pc [need windows] and wait to see what happens with AS, and just go for it with that. In my mind there is no point getting EOL computers, especially if you want to keep them for a few years.

My thoughts would be they will ‘support’ Intel but Apple Silicon will get all the love.
I think their eye has been on the change for a few years now and is the reason why we have got Catalina and some average computers.

Also it will be more interesting to see what developers do and what they focus on and put resources to. This is where my concern was, so got the PC to keep the business ticking along, whilst the future becomes more clear.
 
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robvas

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Mar 29, 2009
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A while. If you need a 16” I would be cautious when trying to have your performance needs met by an ARM MacBook
 
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richinaus

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Oct 26, 2014
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A while. If you need a 16” I would be cautious when trying to have your performance needs met by an ARM MacBook

How do you know this? We have no idea what chips they have ready.

Also it depends what you use it for - just standard Apple apps it will be all good for years.
 
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TSE

macrumors 601
Jun 25, 2007
4,004
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Rumors suggest as soon as ARM Macs are released, Apple will send out an update to all Intel Macs that will play a video 24/7 that can't be turned off containing a CGI demonic Steve Jobs with a heartbeat thumping in the background whispering "It's over for intel... It's over for intel... It's over for intel...". This update will also replace the time clock with a clock that starts at 30 days, and counts down the hours, minutes, and seconds. If you use this Mac past that thirty days, you will be visited by some tall slavic males in black suits who will proceed confiscate your Intel Mac.


In all honesty, last time Apple gave PPC Macs one additional OS update - Mac OS Leopard before released Snow Leopard. If I remember right, the last PowerPC Mac was released in 2005 on Tiger, Leopard came out in 2007, and then Snow Leopard was released in 2009. I think Apple will follow this trend quite closely - if anything, with how long they support their iPhones, I could see them supporting their Intel Macs for even longer.


If you need a Mac now, get one now. If you don't, don't.
 

dasmb

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2007
392
413
The Intel-based Macbook Pro was released in January 2006. The last OS release that supported the G4 Powerbook was Tiger 10.4.11, released in November of 2007. So 23 months from the release of the first ARM based mac seems a safe bet.

But let's face it -- there are a lot more Intel based macs out in the field now than there were Power macs in 2006. I would be surprised if the lifespan doesn't cover at least the 3 years of an AppleCare+ plan from the date the last Intel mac is discontinued.
 
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richinaus

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Oct 26, 2014
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The Intel-based Macbook Pro was released in January 2006. The last OS release that supported the G4 Powerbook was Tiger 10.4.11, released in November of 2007. So 23 months from the release of the first ARM based mac seems a safe bet.

But let's face it -- there are a lot more Intel based macs out in the field now than there were Power macs in 2006. I would be surprised if the lifespan doesn't cover at least the 3 years of an AppleCare+ plan from the date the last Intel mac is discontinued.

yes you are right but as I recall also, it was all about Intel as soon as the switch happened.
It maybe took about 6 months for apps to filter through, and I remember the rosetta nightmares I had then, but after that I had zero regrets going intel over G4.

I am an early adopter and have the attitude of moving forward, so my outlook on this will vary to others......

As a side, last weekend in bed with the iPad Pro I was thinking how amazing it is going to be to have a laptop version of this with macOS. Silent, fast etc. Such an amazing piece of tech and cant wait to say good bye to noisy fans.
 
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azentropy

macrumors 601
Jul 19, 2002
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All we have to go by is what they done in the past. I'm thinking Big Sur (of course) then probably 2 more updates after that. A lot will depend on the performance gains of ARM after that. With the PowerPC to Intel transition after 3 years (or less) even the new low end Intel Macs outperformed the last highest performing PowerPC Macs.
 
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McScooby

macrumors 65816
Oct 15, 2005
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The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
I'd called 2 years on another thread as that's what the power pc to intel was & I knew folk that got seriously burned on their purchase after going mac for 6/8 years support.
The elephant in the room this time round is the the ability to run windows on a mac.
If something's announced after apple silicon's introduced that allows it then I'd still say maybe 2 years, if not then the residual value of your purchase may stay higher for longer, it's a gamble.
I've got a feeling that MS may wheel out their arm windows version and sell it through the mac app store.
If apple silicon is as much of a beast as what I think it'll be then MS would want an easy route to market to show off its full potential and up the game for other arm manufacturers, again this is my unqualified opinion and I don't base this on anything other than a feeling.
 
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Yebubbleman

macrumors 603
May 20, 2010
5,902
2,503
Los Angeles, CA
How long will Apple support the Intel Macbooks with new OS? Anybody has a good guess?

I'm trying to figure out if I should buy the 2019(16") or 2020 Macbook pro.

In 2006 during the transition from PowerPC to Intel, Apple had new OS in 2006,2007 and 2008. After that it provided security updates for 2 or 3 years.

There isn't yet a 2020 16" MacBook Pro. If there is going to be one, it will be powered by 10th Gen Intel CPUs and not by Apple Silicon. 2021 will be when the Apple Silicon 16" MacBook Pro comes out.

Apple technically didn't put out any OSes in 2006 (unless you count the Intel-specific version of Tiger). Nor did they in 2008. You had Leopard in Fall of 2007 and Snow Leopard in Summer 2009.

One thing to bear in mind is that Apple supported Macs for a lot less of a time period than they do now on average. There were also a lot less Mac users back then than there are now.

My guess is that the 16" MacBook Pro will be supported for at least 5 years and no more than 10 years (probably the same 7-8 year span that you're seeing now). The only reason they'd have to drop support sooner would be if the Intel code is preventing them from advancing the OS further; that or a lack of driver support on a component (as was the case with most of the Macs that could run Catalina but can't run Big Sur). So, if you need a 16" MacBook Pro now, go get one now. By the time you're thinking of replacing it, Apple will probably still be supporting it with patches.
 
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planteater

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Feb 11, 2020
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How long? “Years,” is what Apple said in the announcement. My guess is that means for the normal support cycle of the hardware.
 
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jparker402

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2016
556
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Bellevue, NE
I would think a related question would how long Apple software developers will be keeping programs updated and coming out with new ones. But I'm not a programmer. Maybe the chip manufacturer doesn't play a role in that kind of business.
 

hallux

macrumors 68040
Apr 25, 2012
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There are quite a few threads discussing this. As others in those threads, I anticipate new OS releases for Intel Macs for at least 3 years (the AppleCare+ term) after the last Intel-based Mac is sold and eligible for AC+. Considering they said the transition will take 2 years, the last Intel-based Mac will likely be sold as new in 2022, but then you have to account for the refurb store so at least another year after that will be when the last Intel-based Mac will be sold and eligible for a new AC+ purchase.

So, 2023 + 3 years = new OS releases for Intel-based Macs until 2026.
 

Wowfunhappy

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Mar 12, 2019
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In all honesty, last time Apple gave PPC Macs one additional OS update - Mac OS Leopard before released Snow Leopard.

This is correct but a little misleading, because the update cadence was slower back then. It was almost three years before Snow Leopard released and dropped PPC support.

Also, there's reason to believe that PPC was only dropped from Snow Leopard at the last minute, so I think Apple originally intended to keep it around for longer. Early developer versions of the OS actually had PPC-capable kernels, and as a result even later releases of the OS can actually be used on PowerPC with some trickery.
 
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nick9191

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,365
189
Britain
In 2006 during the transition from PowerPC to Intel, Apple had new OS in 2006,2007 and 2008. After that it provided security updates for 2 or 3 years.

As others have said, only Leopard, released in 2007 can run on PPC Macs, there wasn't an 06 or 08 release as Apple operated on a slower release cycle (not to mention a copy of the OS was $129 back then, something many people wouldn't be willing to do yearly). Snow Leopard released in 2009 was the first Intel release. I'm not saying this just to be pedantic, it's important to clarify so that we can make a guess at how long Intel Macs might receive software support for.

As you say, Leopard was supported with security updates until 2011. If we extrapolate that to today, which is all we can really do and keep in mind that Apple operates on a yearly release cycle, then we can expect 2 additional Intel releases after Big Sur (3 in total). This takes us to Summer 2023 (assuming that the 2022 release is the final release for Intel and the version after this is launched in September 2023). We can then expect to see security update support through until 2025.
 
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richinaus

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Oct 26, 2014
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I would think a related question would how long Apple software developers will be keeping programs updated and coming out with new ones. But I'm not a programmer. Maybe the chip manufacturer doesn't play a role in that kind of business.

This is what I think too. It sort of is irrelevant what the OS updates are and how long intel is supported.
Why would developers focus on a product that has been E.O.L already? I wouldn’t for certain and would be putting my full resource into Apple Silicon development [not that I am a developer, but I make products and wouldn’t focus making a product for something that wont exist soon.....]
 
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sundialsoft

macrumors regular
Sep 2, 2010
171
63
Scotland
My guess is full support for about 6 years. For most people their Intel based Mac will be on their replace list long before support is gone. I bought the 2020 MBA i5 (which is great, no thermal issues) and I expect to replace it in 3 to 4 years.
 
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TSE

macrumors 601
Jun 25, 2007
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This should be listed amongst the 10 commandments of Information Technology, alongside of course the mandatory 'have you tried turning it off and on'.


It's so true though.

If you need your computer to make money, it doesn't matter what's out in 3-4 months, hell sometimes even one month. If you have a project that makes money come to you now, you need to have the tools to do it now. As the years go by and your computer gets long in the tooth, the difference in previous generations lessens and lessens.
 

Wowfunhappy

macrumors 68000
Mar 12, 2019
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Well, on the other hand, there are often situations where your current computer is slower than you’d ideally like, and so you could use an upgrade, but you could also potentially make do for another year.

Timing these things does matter. For instance, most years, your money will go significantly further if you buy an iPhone in October vs August, even though they’re just a few months apart!
 

niray9

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 22, 2019
78
19
Great discussion everyone.

Since, I don't NEED Windows on the Mac, have decided to wait a year or 2 to check what Apple comes out with, in it's Pro line with Apple Silicon, and also how many of the open dev tools and frameworks are supported on it.

SSHed to my wife's 2017 27" iMac(Upgraded to 64 gb). Running some Data Science tasks on there are @6-7 times faster than my 2012 Macbook Pro.

In the meantime will backup every week :)
 
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