How soon will my Air become obsolete?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by GanChan, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. GanChan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    I'm currently using a 13" early-2014 MacBook Air which seems to be serving my needs just fine, especially since I don't require it to do massive multimedia jobs or any such thing. But I know that 3 years can be a long time in today's world of ever-increasing memory/processing/security demands. How soon will I need to think about replacing this machine -- or is it already obsolete without my even realizing it?

    As you can probably tell, I don't keep up with technology very well. I ran a 2004 iBook for years and years until it was obviously both way too pokey and way too insecure to continue.
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 68040


    Jan 26, 2014
    Horsens, Denmark
    By Apple's definitions, you're set till at least 2019.
  3. leekil macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2009
    How much memory? That is probably a significant factor.
  4. GanChan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    4GB. Hasn't been a problem so far, but....
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    It becomes obsolete when it can no longer function as you need it too.

    My 2012 rMBP is considered obsolete by many, but it still works wonderfully (other then the battery not lasting long).
  6. SandPebble macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2012

    I have a mid 2011 MBA 11". It is not my main machine but it does everything I want and need to do.
  7. RedTomato macrumors 601


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I'm typing this on a 2013 MBA 13", which is my main computer. It's a wonderful, wonderful machine. The only thing it struggles with is the latest games, which given that playing games doesn't earn me money, is not something that bothers me. Everything else still runs like a dream.

    If you're the type to use a lot of tabs in your browser, then uBlock Origin will help your MBA last much longer.

    4GB RAM is not the problem it used to be. Your MBA still has one of the fastest SSDs in the world, which does 300-600 MB/s, so paging in and out of RAM is lightning fast. Forget the days of HDDs when computers bogged down when out of RAM. With modern SSDs, computers rarely suffer from running out of RAM unless you try very hard.

    I have 8GB RAM on mine, and I've tried to open every app at once, and I don't think I've ever actually run out of RAM.

    The only annoyance I have with mine is the SSD is only 128GB, and I wish I'd gone for 256GB or more.
  8. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    It's already obsolete (screen, ram), but that doesn't mean it's not useful.
  9. bopajuice Suspended


    Mar 22, 2016
    Dark side of the moon
    I have 2013, 2014, and 2015 Air models. Going strong, running the latest OS and programs, no issues. Don't worry about it. Use it until it dies or you need something else to suit your needs.
  10. EmaDaCuz macrumors regular

    Apr 30, 2012
    11" MBA, 2011 model, still perfect what I need to do. I run molecular modelling simulation, heavy scientific image analysis, plus the usual "office" stuff. No problems at all, bar the fan kicking in a bit too often in what should be "not so CPU intensive" tasks. It struggles more with Facebook than it does with serious, professional software.

    Obsolete? Definitely. Useless? Absolutely not.
  11. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    Apple defines "Obsolete" as "7 years after last date of manufacture." That MBA was discontinued in March 2015, so it'll be Obsolete (in Apple's eye) in 2022. This means Apple will no longer offer service or supply parts, anywhere. Apple also has a "Vintage" category, which begins 5 years after last date of manufacture. There's little practical difference between Vintage and Obsolete in most places - it's just that some jurisdictions prevent manufacturers from pulling the plug until 7 years have passed.

    Apple's definition of obsolete has nothing to do with functionality. It's simply something that manufacturers do to cover their legal butts under consumer law; a consistent policy that allows them to retire old inventory and limit the range of knowledge and skills taught to new service personnel. (And the cynics among us will add, "And sell consumers new gear before the old stuff has outlived its usefulness.")

    I'd quibble with some of the definitions of obsolete I've seen here. As far as I'm concerned, if something continues to be useful, it's not yet totally obsolete (it may be partially obsolete).
  12. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2013
    Costa Rica
    So, the iPad Mini2 which was discontinued last Tuesday is good-to-go until the year 2024??
  13. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    Based on the definition in that support article, yes. However, the policy applies only to the availability of service and spare parts. It's not a warranty, or an estimate of useful life, nor a promise that software updates will be supplied for the entire period...
  14. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2013
    Costa Rica
    Thanx for the reply and yes the curtailing of future Software updates by Apple is my main concern.
  15. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    There are no promises on software. Availability of software updates does not follow a set clock - it typically follows hardware configuration - a certain generation of microprocessor, a certain version of Bluetooth hardware, a minimum amount of RAM, etc. My early 2008 iMac is compatible with OS X 10.11.6, released in mid 2016. It is not compatible with MacOS Sierra, released in fall 2017. However, other Macs, built later than mine, are also incompatible with Sierra. See the list, here:
  16. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    The question:
    "How soon will my Air become obsolete?"

    The answer:
    It will become "obsolete" when it no longer performs the tasks for which you wish to use it.

    Until then, I wouldn't worry about such things.
  17. SpicySpaceRat macrumors newbie


    Mar 27, 2017

    It depends on your criteria of obsolete, if you mean by that technical stuff, then in my opinion in 4-5 years.
    If you mean by that social "being cool and hype", than much earlier.

    But let's be honest, just for a work even the 2012 models are still fine, so I think you are more worried about the social aspect of having MacBook.
    Then you will probably change yours in 1-2 years.

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16 March 20, 2017