Thursday 20th June 2024

How old is your Apple?


Recently, my MacBook Pro broke. I admit that it was my fault, but my clumsiness when it comes to beverages and expensive electronic items is something that I believe I share with the majority of my peers. I remember a friend back at art college, for example, who screwed up her keyboard in a coffee related incident – these things happen. And so, flustered as I was when my MacBook wouldn’t turn on, I built up the strength to toddle on down to Stormfront (York doesn’t have an Apple store), preparing to swallow hard and cough up a few hundred quid.

However, when I got to Stormfront, the nice lady behind the counter informed me that there was in fact, nothing that they could do to help me. She then went on to explain that just a month prior to my visit, Apple had declared my five year old MacBook Pro to be ‘vintage’. This confused me, because the definition of vintage is an item that is at least 20 years old. The woman explained that, to Apple, ‘vintage’ is a product older than five years old and so they won’t make spare parts for it anymore – and it was clear that my computer needed a spare part. She told me that, although they couldn’t help me, an independent computer shop across the other side of York might be able to.

Apple had declared my five year old MacBook Pro ‘vintage’. This confused me, because the definition of vintage is an item that is at least 20 years old.

So, my mother gave me a lift over there. They charged me £300 for a new battery and a charger, before declaring that, in fact, this wasn’t the problem. The actual problem was the keyboard (as the power button was water damaged) – Apple had stopped making these so there was nothing that could be done. I wasn’t completely convinced by this, and so, promptly searching eBay for a new keyboard, I found one for about £18. I was also informed that a couple of years after Apple declare their tech to be ‘vintage’, they then proclaim it to be ‘obsolete’, which means that they will cease to provide any technical assistance to it whatsoever. You know how every time you call up Apple care you have to read out your serial code to the technician? It’s so that they can check whether they’re allowed to help you. This is definitely something to bare in mind if you’re ever thinking about buying a refurbished Apple product.

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In the end, my computer was fixed, but it got me thinking – what happens when my expensive computer actually dies? Apple have made so many disastrous changes to the MacBook Pro line in recent years, should I forgo it all together and switch back to Windows?

Maddy Sutherland

Maddy is a freelance illustrator who lives in Glasgow. She's recently graduated and is working hard to make ends meet. Self-employed? Read Maddy's experiences here.

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