Macs have a long life-span—even a 10 year-old Mac can be secure and productive—but Apple doesn’t offer hardware support for Mac models beyond 7 years past their discontinuance date. That means if the sale of a particular Mac model ceased on January 1, 2010 then Apple offers limited support in the 5-6 years range (2015-2016) and discontinues hardware coverage altogether on January 1, 2017.

Some notes from Apple’s Vintage and Obsolete Products page:

  • Vintage products are those that have not been manufactured for more than 5 and less than 7 years ago.
  •  With limited exceptions—like you live in California, Turkey, or France—Vintage products are not eligible for hardware support from Apple
  • Obsolete products are those that were discontinued more than 7 years ago.
  • Apple has discontinued all hardware service for obsolete products with no exceptions. Service providers cannot order parts for obsolete products.

Generally speaking, MacAtoZ supports both Vintage and Obsolete models, but frequently our advice is to not spend money on such old technology. A 2006 iMac, for example, is a perfectly good Mac but it isn’t capable of running a modern operating system (meaning a secure operating system) so we would advise an owner to buy a new Mac rather than upgrade or fix that particular model.

Once you find your Mac on the Vintage list, you should start budgeting for a replacement. We tell clients that Macs come with a one year warranty, you can extend that to three years by buying AppleCare, and you can have every reasonable expectation that your new Mac will last five years. After 5 years—what Apple considers “Vintage”—we start to see an increase in component failures in the Mac. The hard drive crashes, the screen backlight goes out, etc. It’s not a wave of failure by any means, but we do notice an increase. By Year 7, “Obsolete” in Apple terms, a lot of Macs either can’t run a secure operating system or, even more likely, are so slow that owners desperately want a new Mac anyway.

Is your Mac on the Vintage or Obsolete list? MacAtoZ can help advise you on the options you have both in terms of upgrading what you have (if appropriate) or buying something new. Call us at 503-507-0410 or email [email protected].