Some things — like art, wine and Keanu Reeves — age extremely well. Technology, however, doesn’t fit this category, declining in value from the moment you pop it out of the box (though you might be lucky if you keep the cellophane on in some rare cases).
Apple tries to put a positive spin on things, gracefully calling products that haven’t been sold in at least five years “vintage”. And this week, three products have acquired this quasi-flattering label, which essentially means that you may struggle to get them serviced if and when they break down.
The first is the original iPhone SE, released in 2016. Apple’s first attempt at a cheaper iPhone was pretty good — so good, in fact, that they’ve barely changed the design in the intervening seven years. Though that’s apparently set to change in 2025 when the Home button finally gets put out to pasture.
The second is the second-generation 12.9in iPad Pro, which got pretty good reviews when it emerged in 2017. Once again, Apple hasn’t moved the line forward too much in the intervening years, but that’s likely to change in a few months’ time according to one prominent reporter.
Finally, the Beats Solo3 headphones with Mickey Mouse on the sides are also now vintage. Which feels appropriate, given they were introduced to celebrate the Disney mascot’s 90th birthday (exceeding the average mouse life expectancy by 5,900%).
This ‘vintage’ label may be a bit depressing if you’re still using any of the devices in question, but the next stage is even worse. Once an Apple product is over seven years old, it becomes “obsolete”.
“Apple discontinues all hardware service for obsolete products, and service providers cannot order parts for obsolete products,” the company explains, though it may throw a bone to MacBook owners in the form of battery repairs “subject to parts availability”.
Joining that club this week: Powerbeats 2 and Beats Solo2 Wireless headphones. Pour one out for them tonight — though be careful not to spill anything on them. They’re officially dead to Apple, after all, and won’t be subject to repair from hereon in.
Image: Christian Allard / Unsplash