Wait it out for a 2018 iMac or nab the 2017 model now?

neoelectronaut

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Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
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So do we have any idea of what's coming with this year's iMacs, assuming they get a 2018 refresh?

I've mentioned this a few times in various threads, but I'd really like to move my parents off their almost decade-old Acer PC and onto a 21.5" iMac. I went back and forth on whether I was gonna go for a Fusion drive or go whole-hog on a SSD and I figured I'd just splurge on the SSD, as it would likely lengthen the life of the computer in the end anyway.

My parents are both in their 70s so I'm thinking a retina display would make reading things easier on their eyes, so I'm probably going with that as well over the standard 1080p model unless I can find a crazy deal on the 1080p model.

I went over the various resellers and this is what I came up with:

21.5-inch iMac / 3.0Ghz i5 / 256GB SSD / 8GB RAM
Apple (Refurb) $1269.00 ($1385.75 after tax)
B&H $1399.00 (No tax)
Adorama (New) $1479.00 (No tax)
Macmall $1499.00 (No tax)
Apple (New) $1499.00 ($1646.91 after tax)
Best Buy [Not Available]



It's looking like Apple's refurbished price is my best bet. It's not in-stock as of this post but it was definitely there on Friday afternoon, so it's something that comes in and out of stock. So this prompts four questions:

1) Does anyone think that that a hypothetical 2018 iMac would introduce any major changes or revisions that's worth waiting it out and paying full MSRP for?

2) I can answer this one myself, but does anyone think that the cost of SSD upgrades for the iMac are going to come down in price? Alternatively, does anyone think that by some minor miracle that the SSD drive will become standard across the line?

3) Do the prices on previous model refurbished units drop when new computers are released? I noticed that the Series 1 refurbished Apple Watch went down from $209 to $169, so I assume the iMac models would do the same. If so, I can just wait for the 2018 announcements and hopefully grab the 2017 model for a bit cheaper than its current $1269 price, but I risk missing out on it completely if it sells out and doesn't get replenished.

4) What's Apple price policy and does it apply to refurbished hardware? If I grab the refurb 2017 model at $1269 and it goes down in price, would Apple refund me the difference?

Just thought I'd pick a few brains before I made any decisions on the matter. Thanks.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,978
1,524
Georgia
1. They'll probably have a 6-Core Coffee lake CPU. Perhaps a faster SSD (meaningless for even most pro users).

2. With Apple, who knows. SSD prices have come down a lot. Hopefully, Apple will follow suit. It seems to me they have dropped SSD upgrade prices occasionally on new models. Considering how much they charge. It should be standard given how much SSD prices have plummeted. It sickening that SSD aren't standard on all computers. Most users will get far more benefit from a 120GB to 240GB SSD than they will from a 1TB HDD. The SSD option is probably best though. You can always, easily, add an external HDD. Plus you can make that external HDD 7200RPM rather than Apple's 5400RPM garbage.

3. Couldn't answer that.

4. To my knowledge they do not price match, ever.

Assuming Apple does a 2018 refresh. I'd expect it in October or November. You should go for 16GB RAM and the 256GB SSD. RAM usage on web sites is increasing dramatically. 16GB RAM can make a difference between a computer lasting 4 years or 8 years. CPU speed likely doesn't matter. A quad core i5 should last a long time.
 
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maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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1) Does anyone think that that a hypothetical 2018 iMac would introduce any major changes or revisions that's worth waiting it out and paying full MSRP for?
you're buying this for your parents, what are they using the computer for? If they're not using photo, video editing, then the current generation is more then enough.

2) I can answer this one myself, but does anyone think that the cost of SSD upgrades for the iMac are going to come down in price? Alternatively, does anyone think that by some minor miracle that the SSD drive will become standard across the line?
LOL, prices come down, that's not going to happen. As for standardizing on SSDs as opposed to Fusion drives, yeah, I hope so, but its anyone's guess at this point.

3) Do the prices on previous model refurbished units drop when new computers are released? I noticed that the Series 1 refurbished Apple Watch went down from $209 to $169, so I assume the iMac models would do the same. If so, I can just wait for the 2018 announcements and hopefully grab the 2017 model for a bit cheaper than its current $1269 price, but I risk missing out on it completely if it sells out and doesn't get replenished.
Yes, they go down about 14% or so, and you buy them out of the refurb store. That price reduction is based on the MSRP, you won't see current 2017 refurbs getting cheaper.

4) What's Apple price policy and does it apply to refurbished hardware? If I grab the refurb 2017 model at $1269 and it goes down in price, would Apple refund me the difference?
They may refund you the difference, if you're within the 14 day return window, other then that they won't. Btw, the refurb price of a 2017 and closeout 2017 are priced very close to each other so you'll not be saving much $$
 

FFR

Suspended
Nov 4, 2007
4,507
2,373
London
So do we have any idea of what's coming with this year's iMacs, assuming they get a 2018 refresh?

I've mentioned this a few times in various threads, but I'd really like to move my parents off their almost decade-old Acer PC and onto a 21.5" iMac. I went back and forth on whether I was gonna go for a Fusion drive or go whole-hog on a SSD and I figured I'd just splurge on the SSD, as it would likely lengthen the life of the computer in the end anyway.

My parents are both in their 70s so I'm thinking a retina display would make reading things easier on their eyes, so I'm probably going with that as well over the standard 1080p model unless I can find a crazy deal on the 1080p model.

I went over the various resellers and this is what I came up with:

21.5-inch iMac / 3.0Ghz i5 / 256GB SSD / 8GB RAM
Apple (Refurb) $1269.00 ($1385.75 after tax)
B&H $1399.00 (No tax)
Adorama (New) $1479.00 (No tax)
Macmall $1499.00 (No tax)
Apple (New) $1499.00 ($1646.91 after tax)
Best Buy [Not Available]



It's looking like Apple's refurbished price is my best bet. It's not in-stock as of this post but it was definitely there on Friday afternoon, so it's something that comes in and out of stock. So this prompts four questions:

1) Does anyone think that that a hypothetical 2018 iMac would introduce any major changes or revisions that's worth waiting it out and paying full MSRP for?

2) I can answer this one myself, but does anyone think that the cost of SSD upgrades for the iMac are going to come down in price? Alternatively, does anyone think that by some minor miracle that the SSD drive will become standard across the line?

3) Do the prices on previous model refurbished units drop when new computers are released? I noticed that the Series 1 refurbished Apple Watch went down from $209 to $169, so I assume the iMac models would do the same. If so, I can just wait for the 2018 announcements and hopefully grab the 2017 model for a bit cheaper than its current $1269 price, but I risk missing out on it completely if it sells out and doesn't get replenished.

4) What's Apple price policy and does it apply to refurbished hardware? If I grab the refurb 2017 model at $1269 and it goes down in price, would Apple refund me the difference?

Just thought I'd pick a few brains before I made any decisions on the matter. Thanks.
If you don’t mind me asking,
What will your parents be using the iMac for?
 

neoelectronaut

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
3,041
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New Orleans, LA
If you don’t mind me asking,
What will your parents be using the iMac for?
Internet/Web Browsing (News sites, banking, etc.), E-Mail, and Word Processing, primarily.

My dad has an old point & shoot camera that he uses occasionally so I'd probably teach him how to use iPhoto Photos for editing and storage, but that's largely it.
 

neoelectronaut

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
3,041
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New Orleans, LA
Half of my brain is just telling me to pick up the 256GB SSD model (when it pops back up in the refurb store) and be done with it, but the other half of my brain is telling me to wait it out in case that same model's refurb offering gets a small price cut.

I'm not quite as concerned about the 2018 model at this point. I doubt there's much they could add to make paying full price worth it, and refurbs for the 2018 models wouldn't pop up into well into 2019.

I just want a 256GB SSD 21'.5" Retina iMac for the best possible price.
 

jaybar

macrumors 65816
Dec 11, 2008
1,276
241
Half of my brain is just telling me to pick up the 256GB SSD model (when it pops back up in the refurb store) and be done with it, but the other half of my brain is telling me to wait it out in case that same model's refurb offering gets a small price cut.

I'm not quite as concerned about the 2018 model at this point. I doubt there's much they could add to make paying full price worth it, and refurbs for the 2018 models wouldn't pop up into well into 2019.

I just want a 256GB SSD 21'.5" Retina iMac for the best possible price.
Don’t people READ or are they just lazy or are they just looking for consensual validation? These type of threads are started over and over. We have no idea when new iMacs will be released or how they will differ from the current model. If someone NEEDS a new iMac or has an older iMac, but is significantly troubled by its performance, then purchase now. If we could foresee the future, we might be in a whole differnt business.
 

neoelectronaut

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
3,041
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New Orleans, LA
Don’t people READ or are they just lazy or are they just looking for consensual validation? These type of threads are started over and over. We have no idea when new iMacs will be released or how they will differ from the current model. If someone NEEDS a new iMac or has an older iMac, but is significantly troubled by its performance, then purchase now. If we could foresee the future, we might be in a whole differnt business.
We're posting on a site called MacRUMORS. I was merely asking if anyone had heard any RUMORS as to what an upcoming iMac would or would not offer.

Chill out.
 

CristianM

macrumors member
Aug 4, 2015
73
170
There weren't any rumours about new iMacs at the event people expect in October, so if they do update them, it will just be a spec bump, and what I'd say is that the 2018 version will cost you more. With the current version you'll have retailers trying to clear stock ahead of the new one, refurbed versions, deals, etc. All of that will take a while for the 2018 model, so if you buy it on day 1 it will be full price.

Also, based on how you described your parents' needs, the 2017 model will be more than enough.
I would advise buying it new not refurbished though so you get full warranty and Apple Care. You might even consider Apple Care + so that for the next 3 years they have someone else to nag when they need support.
 

deep diver

macrumors 68000
Jan 17, 2008
1,670
1,561
I have no idea.
Tariffs are another issue. Some materials are going to start costing more. There is no way of knowing for sure how much Apple will eat those costs and how much they will pass through to the consumer.
 

neoelectronaut

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
3,041
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New Orleans, LA
I think I'm ready to pick up the 2017 refurb, my only real remaining concern is how much the prices on the 2017 refurbs are going to drop when the new models are announced. Gonna feel really foolish if I spend almost $1400 on a computer that a few weeks later can be had for $1200.
 

bent00

macrumors member
Jan 13, 2012
35
10
1) you're buying this for your parents, what are they using the computer for? If they're not using photo, video editing, then the current generation is more then enough.

True

2) LOL, prices come down, that's not going to happen. As for standardizing on SSDs as opposed to Fusion drives, yeah, I hope so, but its anyone's guess at this point.

SSD prices could come down in Apple products, I'd say there's a 1/3 chance when new models are announced.


3) Yes, they go down about 14% or so, and you buy them out of the refurb store. That price reduction is based on the MSRP, you won't see current 2017 refurbs getting cheaper.

I think you read the question wrong. Refurbished prices rarely change when new models are released.


4) They may refund you the difference, if you're within the 14 day return window, other then that they won't. Btw, the refurb price of a 2017 and closeout 2017 are priced very close to each other so you'll not be saving much

What closeout are you referring to? There are currently no items in the apple clearance store.
[doublepost=1537467671][/doublepost]
I think I'm ready to pick up the 2017 refurb, my only real remaining concern is how much the prices on the 2017 refurbs are going to drop when the new models are announced. Gonna feel really foolish if I spend almost $1400 on a computer that a few weeks later can be had for $1200.
I think maflynn mis-read your refurb question. Prices on currently available refurb models rarely drop upon announcement of new models. The only instance in recent memory were refurb nMP's dropping in price because they dropped the price of the 'new' (2013) version.
 

neoelectronaut

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
3,041
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New Orleans, LA
Just noticed something that really has thrown a wrench into my plans.



Best Buy has the $1499 iMac on sale for $ 1299, with a further $50 coming off via a student coupon, bringing it down to $1249, making it $1364.99 after tax.

It's only $20 less than Apple's price, both before and after tax, so that's not a big deal, but I just signed up for a new Best Buy Credit Card, and I get 10% back in store credit on my first purchase, meaning I'd get almost $125 back in store credit, which isn't insignificant by any means.

On top of that the credit card itself hasn't arrived to me yet, but is already tied to my Best Buy account, meaning I could buy the iMac today, pick it up tonight, and bring it to my parents this weekend, meaning I don't have to wait for the card to come in and then the wait for Apple to ship it.

I still like the idea of going with a SSD for speed and longevity, but this definitely makes me pause and think. Gonna have to do some research tonight to see what folks think about the SSD vs Fusion debate for average use.

You know what, leaving it up for posterity, but ignore the spoiled post above. Staying on the SSD path.
 
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neoelectronaut

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
3,041
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New Orleans, LA


So my parents rejected the iMac, so I’m bringing it into my local apple store to return it today. Arrived this morning and going back in the same day. Gonna be out the $8 I paid for express shipping but whatevs, I guess.
 

scottrngr

macrumors member
Dec 1, 2015
74
52
If you buy a refurbed 2013 Mac Pro, you are getting the latest pro model Apple has to offer, AND you don't have to worry about them coming out with something new. Sorry folks, I'm half joking.
 
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