By Stephen Hackett
December 1, 2020 3:14 PM PT
Apple’s ‘vintage’ list needs rethinking
This week, Apple added several machines to its list of vintage models:
- iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2013)
- iMac (27-inch, Late 2013)
- iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2014)
- iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014)
- iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Mid 2015)
If you aren’t familiar with it, Apple’s vintage list is for products “that have not been sold for more than 5 and less than 7 years ago.”
Once Apple hasn’t sold a product for seven years, it’s considered “obsolete,” meaning the company won’t offer any repair services. But vintage products exist in a liminal space: Despite what I learned when I called Apple Support, Apple Stores as well as AASPs can, in theory, repair them for you “subject to availability of inventory, or as required by law,” according to Apple.
In practice, people in the repair community told me Apple isn’t particularly interested in fixing vintage tech. “The AASPs I’ve spoken to in the past have told me they don’t bother with customers looking to repair older devices,” said Rob Link, a right-to-repair advocate who owns a company that sells repair parts for older devices including iPhones, iPods, and iPads.