The offer, tucked away in the online Apple Store, is a simple one. Rather than picking up a brand new MacBook Pro, Apple will sell you a refurbished unit with a small discount. With the latest MacBook Pro machines equipped with Intel’s tenth-generation Core chipset now on sale in the Refurbished section of the online Apple Store, many will be tempted.
While the $300 saving on the Core i7 machine is perhaps less noticeable than on the machines further down the portfolio, it is still a saving – and that saving makes it easier to consider a jump up from slightly lower MacBook Pro. While the later is brand new, Apple’s refurbishment process still comes with Apple’s one-year warrant and the option of Apple Care.
The move to supplying refurbished machines after a few months of a new machine being on sale is not a new move for Apple. I fact the tenth-generation MacBook Pro is the last of the 2020 releases to show up in the refurb area of the store.
What’s new is that, to all intents and purposes, these MacBooks are the last of not only this generation, but the last of this dynasty. With the move to ARM architecture announced, and the new ARM-powered MacBooks expected by the end of this year, its natural to question the investment required – even with the refurb discount – of a new MacBook Pro that is built around old technology.
The MacBook range has seen an impressive volume of sales in 2020 due in part to consumers and enterprise upgrading machines as ‘work from home’ took hold; the replacement of the hated butterfly keyboard will continue to tempt existing users to upgrade; and the refurbished offer will add more users.
The new ARM-powered hardware will drive Apple forwards, bringing the macOS and iOS platforms closer together. But in the process it must maintain its reputation for long term support of the Intel platform.
It’s all very well the geekerati pointing out that Apple has supported older Macs in previous transitions, but past performance is no guide to future success. It is a strong indication, but with the PowerPC to Intel move starting in 2006, a fourteen year old precedent set in the tech sector might as well be ancient history.