When Apple released a new line of MacBooks in 2016, it delivered a huge blow to its UK user base. Faced with significant differences in the exchange rate, Apple had started to lose its margin.
So not only were its 2016 machines more expensive, but it also bundled in an adjustment to the retail price to account for the dollar to pound conversion. This meant that some machines increased in price by around £500, literally overnight.
It should be noted that Apple didn’t just increase the prices of new machines. It increased the price of existing ones as well. It was a cruel blow for users who had waited for the October launch event to see the new machines before upgrading.
This is one reason why there’s such a strong interest in the used MacBook.
Used MacBooks Become Attractive Again
It’s unsurprising, then, that Macbook sales have dropped as consumers look for cheaper alternatives.
Q2 of 2018 was Apple’s worst since the beginning of the decade; sales were down 13% year on year. More drops followed through to the end of the year.
At the same time, the PC market was growing.
It seems as though consumers realised that the new line of Macs really didn’t do anything that the old ones couldn’t do. A used MacBook was a worthy investment in the face of huge price rises for the same tech.
At the same time, Microsoft had released Surface Book, an expensive, high-end competitor to the MacBook that also functioned as a large tablet with a pen. For users who aren’t tied to a particular operating system, the Surface is much more attractive on paper, even if you take into account the fact that Windows isn’t as visually appealing as OS X.
What to Look For in a Used MacBook
Apple is due to update its Macs over the summer. But to get specs to rival a decent PC ultrabook, you can still expect to have to pay well over £2,000. So it’s worth keeping an eye on used MacBook retailers.
Each time a new model comes out, the old ones tend to drop in price, and that drives down the cost of used Macs as well. It might be worth waiting until Q3 of 2019 to shop for a used MacBook when the dust has settled again.
Bear in mind the various quality issues that Apple’s been battling; more recent Mac laptops have been known to have audio playback problems, like crackling and excessive volume; the latter has been known to permanently damage the speakers. Other MacBooks have serious screen problems around the bottom of the display.
So be sure to purchase your used MacBook from a reputable dealer with a solid guarantee.
Used devices represent huge cost savings. And although MacBooks typically hold their value well, timing your purchase correctly could save you hundreds of pounds.