What Happens When Your Apple Products Become ‘Vintage’ Or ‘Obsolete?’

What Happens When Your Apple Products Become ‘Vintage’ Or ‘Obsolete?’
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Every tech product you own has a post-release “lifespan.” For example, Apple’s policies guarantee five years of support, starting from a device’s release date (as opposed to whenever you bought it). Once those five years are up, the device becomes “vintage.”

Several 2013 and 2014 models of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro recently joined the vintage list. This includes all 11 and 13-inch MacBook Airs released between mid-2013 and early 2014 and the 13-inch MacBook Pro that launched in mid-2014.

But what exactly does it mean for an Apple product to go “vintage”—and what happens when a vintage product goes “obsolete?”

Vintage Apple products

When an Apple device becomes “Vintage” it will no longer receive routine software updates and isn’t guaranteed by Apple to be repairable at an Apple store or authorised service provider.

Despite the reduction in support, vintage Apple devices will still work—this isn’t some sort of internal killswitch—and some devices may even receive occasional system updates if they support the latest operating systems or if a major major security flaw needs to be patched. It’s even possible you could get one repaired in dire circumstances—but only for two more years, after which they move on to a worse category: “Obsolete.”

Apple’s Obsolete list

Like Vintage products, devices listed as “obsolete” will operate as normal as long as the hardware is in working condition. However, obsolete products lose all support—no more repairs, system updates or security patches. Apple makes no exceptions to this rule. A list of all vintage and obsolete devices can be found on Apple’s support site.

These shifts in service priority can be frustrating if you’re still rocking older tech and don’t feel like upgrading, but the policy makes sense given the current market realities: At the rate that both hardware and software iterate, diverting resources to keep outdated devices afloat is difficult, costly and even downright impossible in some cases. So while you’ve got about two more years before your now-vintage 2013/2014 MacBook is fully nixed from Apple’s services, it’s probably time to start looking for an upgrade.



  • My friend bought an Apple Ipad used serval years ago. Last month it locked, asking for you to contact Apple support. Apple said he was not the user, so they can not unlock it. My friend offered to email the receipt. Apple will still not unlock.

    Who is this Apple anyway, who think they are not part of common law; you purchased an Ipad , you have the receipt, so it is yours. If Apple Inc lock it then they have stolen it from you. Plan old theft. I told my friend, you dealt with the devil, you get what you get.

    The moral of the story…. Apple has zero scruples and cares little about their legacy products, and more about new sales.

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