Should I buy the iMac in UK now?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by chenzz, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. chenzz macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2016
    the reason is that considering the price increase from iphone 6s to iphone 7 and the constantly dropping GBP value, the new announced iMac might be priced as £1,599.00, £1,849.00 £2199.00 comparing to current version as £1,449.00, £1,599.00, £1,849.00.

    I think Apple already reduced the EDU discount in UK from 15% to 10% or less for MACs in UK quite recently. Couldn't find any report or news though. Anyone could confirm my suspicion?

    All I want is the gorgeous 5k screen to replace my old late 2009 iMac 27 which gets quite slow to edit the 5Dmarkii photos.

    I guess the only things get upgraded would be CPU and graphic cards, But I honestly don't care games or VR at all.

    I just couldn't convince myself to buy something more than 1 years old at the same price.

    What should I do?
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Whatever you buy make sure it has an SSD in it so 2tb fusion or SSD only. TBH the GPU upgrade might be worth waiting for just due to longevity and running that 5k screen, but you are right I think the price increase will be significant.

    If you buy a 2015 why not go for a refurb save even more money.
  3. jeddouglas macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    Inverness, UK
    Chenzz, I understand your dilemma. I am in a similar position with the 11" MacBook Air. There are rumours that it may be discontinued but that the 13" may get upgraded. There is also a rumour that if the 11" does get discontinued then the 12" retina MacBook may drop in price. However, given my recent experience in upgrading from iPhone 6 to 7, it appears there is a risk in the UK that prices may go up to due to the drop in value of the pound.

    Bear in mind that Apple have a 14 day returns policy, so you could buy now to protect yourself against a potential price increase, but then see what is announced at the upcoming event. If the new iMacs have not gone up in price and you like the look of them, then you could return the iMac you purchased before the event and get an updated iMac. Hope this helps.
  4. chenzz, Oct 21, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016

    chenzz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2016
    Many thanks. I am thinking of doing that.
    The only concern is the student discount, I am not sure whether I could claim it again after I return the first one.

    --- Post Merged, Oct 21, 2016 ---
    You can't apply edu discount to refurb, can you?
    Not to mention the VAT refund?

    Why is 1tb fusion hard drive not good enough? It has only 32gb ssd? Apparently, only 24gb!
  5. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    Wait. No point in buying anything 'now', as we are due an announcement next week. None of us know what Apple will produce. If you wait you can then choose between the new model, or buying the older one as a refurb for less money. I understand that you don't have a ton of cash so just wait and then you can make the right decision.
  6. chenzz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2016
    That's extactly my question.
    Apple will raise the basic configuration price to at least £200.00 more!
    Would slightly improved CPU and Video card be worth £200.00?

    As I mentioned, I am simply asking for UK GBP purchase.
  7. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    Chances are you will get a better machine, but you don't know they will raise the price. We just have to wait. I would personally be more concerned about them putting the at horrible keyboard from the MacBook onto all Mac laptops. That alone would be enough to make me either buy a refurb of model or drop Apple completely.

    Also if you are in the UK look at some of the independent Apple sellers such as Stomfront or KRCS as they will have some stock of the older model when the new ones are released and I'd be fairly certain they would be willing to do a deal to shift the old stock. So I wouldn't worry about the price hike too much as there are options.
  8. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    I'm in the UK, I'd wait, price rises are baked in already and you might get a good deal on last years model or a refurb if you wait anyway. ( This will probably be me next year. )
  9. sublunar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    If Apple realign the price tiers they may offer refurbished models at 'larger' discounts off the new prices to bring the prices down a bit further. This might make refurbished models look really good value in percentage terms while third party retailers may still have existing stocks to clear out.

    On the other hand, for a brief moment until stocks sold out, Apple re-aligned the Mac Mini 2012 base model to reflect a 15% discount off a much cheaper base model 2014 model. They could therefore offer the 2015 refurbished models at discounts off the higher prices making them less good value.

    What about playing both sides of the equation? Order a refurb next week just before the Mac event, and return it unopened after the event if the numbers/specs don't add up?

    For editing photos you might want to consider the 2015 27" Retina iMac which comes with DCI-P3 screen.
  10. chenzz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2016
    Thanks mate. I am having diifficulty to understand your first two paragraph.
    Anyway, I am buying it now!
  11. wordsworth macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2011
    As others have suggested, it would perhaps be worth waiting until the new models are announced. Invariably the likes of PC World sell off the old models at a discounted price. Earlier this year I bought a new MacBook Air (thirteen-inch) and got £170 reduction. The retailer (Very) seems to have a summer sale each year. It seems one can usually get 'a better deal' eventually if one's timing is good.
  12. Born2bwild macrumors member


    Mar 18, 2012
    In your situation, I would buy it now, preferably a day before the announcement.
    Then if you see that the update is appealing to you (in terms of price, performance, etc), you can just cancel your order/return your product, and order the new one.

    Honestly, the iMac 5k seems to have no suitable CPU or GPU upgrade - at the moment. Both Kaby Lake (CPU) and AMD Polaris for mobile (GPU) seem to have been postponed til early 2017.
  13. Benjamin Frost Suspended

    Benjamin Frost

    May 9, 2015
    London, England
    You raise a good question.

    As you suggest, it seems likely that the iMac may be updated and given quite a hefty price rise due to the weak pound. So it's a gamble: if you think an updated iMac would be worth the extra money, then wait. If not, then buy now. But given Apple's pricing with the iPhone 7 in the UK, it's pretty well guaranteed that an updated iMac will be significantly more expensive, unfortunately.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 22, 2016 ---
    I disagree, though you may be right.

    With the sharp drop in the pound, I would be amazed if Apple didn't take the opportunity of a Mac refresh to raise prices across the board.
  14. gnasher729, Oct 22, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016

    gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Usually Apple adjusts prices when new products are released, as happened with the iPhones. And right now US$1,000 plus 20% VAT equals about £980. Add some additional cost because of better consumer protection laws in the UK, and you can expect that the numbers on the US and UK stores will be about equal.

    Right now the cheapest 5K iMac is $1799 vs. £1449. Taking the 20% VAT into account, that would be about right for a pre-Brexit exchange rate of $1.48 per Pound. The exchange rate now is less than $1.20. Expect the price to go up to £1799. If you wait, you might get a slightly better product, but you won't get it for £1449. I'd look at refurbished products right now, spend the same money, and get a better machine.

    Of course you can give a big "thank you" to Boris and Nigel. On the positive side, there will be £350 million pound per week to go into the NHS! Sorry, there isn't, because Boris and Nigel were lying.
  15. smacrumon macrumors 68030


    Jan 15, 2016
    This is the dilemma.

    My previous experience is that a short time after new product announcements brand new but discontinued stock lingers at some third party dealers, at the old or reduced price.

    So for this to work in your favor, your device needs to be 1) discontinued from the line up, and 2) actually be still available to buy. It can be a risk, but if it works, it can be quite the saving. iMacs can often be discontinued. When the ultra thin iMacs arrived a few year ago, most of the old models were discontinued and reduced further in price. A nice saving for those looking for one.

    It's time to scope the scene, hunt out stores that stock the model you want and then monitor their stock levels and sales. Then, when the time is right, pounce!

    If your store offers change of mind returns within a certain period, it might be worth buying now, not opening the device, and then returning it after the launch if that's the suitable option. There's no shame in playing the retail game, the retailer and vendor (Apple) certainly plays that game well.

    So my advice: do your research and maybe wait.
  16. sublunar, Oct 22, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016

    sublunar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    Reading it back, it doesn't make much sense to me either. :oops:

    OK specifically, once the 2014 Mac Mini was released, the base model in the UK dropped from £499 to £399. Refurbished 2012 models on sale prior to launch date were selling for around £429 representing an approximate 15% discount.

    AFTER the 2014 Mac Mini launch, the same 2012 Mac Minis were on sale for a refurbished price of £339 - again this was approximately a 15% discount.

    At an overnight discount for the same model of £90 that's when I got my base model 2012 and in hindsight I also missed a chance to grab one of the quad core models which were on a couple more times after the launch of the 2014.

    The fabled quad core models were still available for a few brief months at the same old price but then the middle tier price hadn't changed. There's not been a 2012 model in the refurbished store for months now so I expect you'll never see one again.

    This is just one example that benefitted the consumer there. If you glance at the refurbished iPads you'll see that they are given 15% discount off the re-aligned prices for specs that are largely the same. The discounts can fall between two stools as some capacities were doubled but the prices were increased. If you're considering a refurbished iPad look very closely at the storage capacity of the model compared to what's on sale brand new.

    The refurbished store generally discounts 15% off the price tier for the most recent model. They used to put older generations on for even more discount but that's increasingly rare - more supply chain efficiency from Tim Cook?

    As mentioned elsewhere, there's also 3rd party retailers including the likes of John Lewis in the UK who may decide to clear out old Mac stock at discounts rather than return them to Apple - Currys/PC World do this too. These never last long, especially if the deal is a good one, so you just need to make a note of the prices and decide for yourself quickly.

    Sometimes the discounts are worth thinking about, other times it's not because the newer hardware is significantly different or better. If you're in the market for an iMac have a think about what models are around now, then ask yourself if you'd buy it at some predetermined level of discount.

    In this month's case we may well also have a serious price increase to consider thanks to the dire exchange rate. And the worse thing is the newly aligned rate will stay that way till the next update probably in October 2017 even if the exchange rate recovers early next year! I am waiting for UK Mac Pro users to pass out in shock at £2999 for an entry level Mac Pro.

    In technological terms, the 2016 iMac may have the following changes:

    1. AMD Polaris GPU - these run cooler and are more powerful than the old series
    2. If they decide to go thinner with the case, they could resort to using 2.5" hard drives which also run cooler, are quieter, and represent a supply chain win if they can consolidate hard drive part numbers between Mac Mini, iMac and the Time Capsule.
    3. Magic Toolbar Keyboard - as rumoured repeatedly for the laptops, why not introduce them for the iMac?
    4. Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C - this would be a major change but the 2015 27" iMac had Skylake chips too and could have had Alpine Ridge controller added at the time. I suspect they were waiting for all Mac models to transition at the same time - including the Mac Pro and 15" Macbook Pro which has stubbornly stuck with Haswell CPU and the 13" Macbook Pro which has stuck with Broadwell CPU.

    If none of these bother you then perhaps keeping a close eye on 3rd party retailers might be your best bet. And don't hang around if a deal is truly good, and 2016 iMac prices are ruinously high, then buying a 2015 model will make a lot of sense if you can't wait.
  17. flashy-cat macrumors regular


    Apr 8, 2007
    Buy now, there are no new models on the horizon.
  18. Born2bwild macrumors member


    Mar 18, 2012
    Yea there's just a report on the front page saying no iMac until first Q1 2017. And that's just what I said in my post in this thread before that report.

    After some research into upcoming AMD and Intel products, it was obvious the components geared for iMac were not ready. Apple won't release a new iMac when there is no GPU/CPU upgrades available. At most they will change the price of configurations or something.
  19. sublunar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    For what it's worth, this latest report on the home page is strange. I had assumed that Apple had agreed a financially sweet deal on Skylake CPUs to enable them to make some form of SSD standard on more Macs since Flash prices have plummeted in the last year. You'll note Apple doubled storage on a lot of iPads for example and people expect those to get an update in Spring next year.

    Polaris GPUs are available but nothing too high end is around - but that suits Apple anyway. Apple could choose the RX480 for a high end iMac and pair it with the existing Skylake CPU for example but it makes it hard for Phil Schiller to extol the virtues of something that's not necessarily a step up from the 2015 model unless SSD is standard across the range or the screen is even better than the existing DCI-P3 one.

    If the iMac is delayed until first half of next year here's some possible reasons (and they are not mutually exclusive):

    1. Apple are waiting on Kaby Lake S processors, the 27" iMac is already on Skylake processors while Apple opted to go with Broadwell for the 21.5" model. Kaby Lake allows USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 without additional chips or use of Alpine Ridge controller chips for TB3.
    2. AMD Vega GPUs are out in the same time scale (1H 2017) and these are reputed to be even more power efficient than Polaris and have high end compute sorted too. Vega will reportedly use HBM2 RAM which must be a massive improvement on GDDR5. And the RX490 is reputedly a VEGA part so if there is a plan to offer the top BTO part then that might be a reason for the delay on AMDs part.
    3. Waiting for Kaby Lake allows Apple to specify Optane SSD for even more speedier IO. Yes, unlikely I know, it's more likely to end up in an iPad or iPhone at those quantities.
    4. There's a new form factor coming, and it's not just 'thinner'.

    You'll note that the 15" Macbook Pro is sticking with Skylake, while the 13" Macbook Pro might just get a bump to Skylake too because the Kaby Lake parts for that aren't coming till 1H 2017 but Apple can't wait for laptops - it would seem.

    And in any case, there's now a question mark over Intel's commitment to Iris Pro graphics in Kaby Lake CPUs - there's nothing on the radar suitable for the Macbook Pro 15" which might have made up Apple's mind about using Skylake's Iris Pro variants. The only curiosity is a quad core i5 45w CPU with no hyper threading that could allow Apple to either lower the entry price of the 15" Macbook Pro or add an AMD GPU across the board to the 15" Macbook Pro.

    The dropping of the 11" Macbook Air is a step towards rationalising the laptop range which has become a bit busy but I had also expected the 13" Air to get dropped until it kept getting repeated mentions in recent rumours. If the Macbook gets a price cut or an entry level model to fill the gap that the 11" MBA filled then that does help simplify the range.

    With Kaby Lake CPUs with 15w TDP suitable for the Macbook Air popping up it wouldn't be surprising to see an updated Macbook Air but only adding USB-C (and not thunderbolt) and omitting a retina screen would be an odd move unless it's replacing the 11" MBA as the budget model.

    Throwing in a retina screen may make it very interesting but does make you ask what a 13" retina Macbook Pro would be doing in the range alongside such a retina Macbook Air. I'd be more interested in seeing if Apple can make a 13" Macbook Pro work with a 15w Kaby Lake CPU + an AMD GPU.

    Makes you worry a bit for the Mac Mini when it fails to get a mention, along with the Mac Pro, but I'm going to hedge my bets and expect the Mini to get a 15w Kaby Lake CPU all round. A discrete GPU would be great however unlikely.
  20. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    But that's not going to happen if the new models will go up 20% in price. Which they will because of the abysmal exchange rate.
  21. sublunar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    Quite so, and Euro prices will also be bad. We just have to ask our Canadian friends just how expensive Macs are now for them. This is why people aiming for Macs now should check their preferred 3rd party retailer closely next week to see if they discount existing Macs at clearance prices when their replacements are launched. If there's nothing earth shattering about them they should consider thinking about discounted existing models even though many of them won't have ideal specs.

    It does make me wonder if, due to global exchange fluctuations, Apple may feel the need to give this year's Mac refresh an extra pizazz because their prices will be held until the next refresh late in 2017. And that may mean some people just don't buy a PC this time around.

    By extra pizazz we could be talking about USB-C/Thunderbolt 3, 5k Cinema display with GPU built in, rationalised Macbook range with all new sizes to go with Magic Toolbar - 12" Macbook, 14" Macbook Air, 16" Macbook Pro?

    By moving the goalposts it makes it a lot harder for people to say that the 2015 models were better value for money. Mind you, Apple's iPad refresh this year was underwhelming - storage bumps and price realignments - but at least we expect an update early next year.
  22. chenzz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2016
    The question now is whether Apple will use the announcement of 27th new Macbook Pro to increase the price for all the Mac line?

    Highest end iMac price in GBP is about 400 pounds cheaper than in Euro according to current exchange rate.
  23. sublunar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    Apple should only change the price of any lines they refresh. If they don't refresh it they don't have to change the price. If the iMac doesn't get refreshed they might just leave it until it is next year.

    They'd have to flat out ignore it in Thursday's presentation though. Or do a silent refresh involving changing the price while 'upgrading' the storage options.
  24. chenzz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2016

    Really? I am still waiting for the confirmation that they quietly reduced the student discount of Macbook Pro retina from 15% to 10%, and iMac from 12% to 10%.

    I've already made the purchase of the highest 2Tb iMac and typing from it now....

    If the price keeps the same after the event on 27th, I'll return it.

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38 October 20, 2016