back to article Apple ditches support for pre-2015 MacBook Air, Pro laptops with macOS Monterey

With the launch of MacOS Monterey, Apple plans to ditch support for a slew of machines, including all MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops released prior to 2015. Things are rosier on the mobile front, with Apple committing to ship its latest-and-greatest iOS 15 on the first-generation iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and larger iPhone 6s …

  1. 45RPM Silver badge

    As I get older, the more of a pain in the proverbial this becomes. Back in the day, when my Mac LCIII became unsupported after only 3 major releases (7.1, 7.5, 7.6) and 4.5 years, it felt kind of annoying but okay. I mean, 4.5 years was practically the same as forever when I was in my twenties. Nowadays, with fewer years ahead of me than I have in the rear-view mirror, time gallops by at a hell of a lick - and it seems iniquitous that support for a computer should be dropped after a mere six years. Especially when one of my main computers is celebrating its 12th birthday (Mac Pro, with Catalina) and another is celebrating its 32nd (Mac SE/30 with A/UX).

    I have an IBM 5150 in the loft (original 5 slot PC to you), and that was supported for the latest versions of its primary OS (MS-DOS) for a conquering 13 years. Outside of mainframes and industrial use, can any other computer make such a claim?

    1. Alan Birtles

      you can always vote with your feet and disembark from the Apple gravy train

      1. 45RPM Silver badge

        Now why would I do that given how much better it works that the alternatives for my use-case?

        In any event, I'm a) a geek, and I enjoy using OSs of all stripes - I love Linux, I love MacOS, I even love playing with DOS and Windows - and VMS, CP/M and MOS. Besides, it gives me 'one who knows what he's talking about status' which has got to be better than 'one who is prejudiced and likes to talk out of his hat status'.

        And b) my software has been quite popular, and makes me more money on macOS than on all the other platforms it sells on put together. I'd be a mug to get off the gravy train given that I'm quite enjoying the gravy myself.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          So stop whinging then.

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Meh

      The thing is, my Mid 2010 MacBook Pro is still a usable machine. You can run Office 2019, Zoom, Teams, etc. Modern websites still load on it. You can connect to modern wifi networks. Nothing like as fast as my 16" MacBook Pro, but it works fine, and the speed when doing these things is usable.

      The latest VMWare doesn't work, but the latest supported version will boot up Windows 10, though not at a usable speed. Windows 8 is just about usable except for the UI disaster zone, as is XP. Vista & 7 not so much, unless you go for the imbedded version.

      This is an 11 year old computer. in 2000, the laptop the released was the first to have AirPort. iSight wouldn't come to the lineup for another 5 years. That model certainly would not have been remotely usable in 2011.

      The increase in speed over the 2010s is probably about the same as in the 2000s, but the ability of software other than games to make use of that extra performance hasn't. But if you are looking for a gaming machine, don't buy a Mac.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        Linux

        Linux?

        It'll probably run a (light) Linux distro reasonably well, still. I'm running Trisquel Lite on a 2007 Core2Duo MacBook (MacBook 2,1) and it runs well enough for light browsing.

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Gimp

          Re: Linux?

          On Safari / High Sierra, or Hackintoshed Mojave, mine runs well enough for any sort of browsing.

      2. big_D Silver badge

        I made the mistake of buying the first generation 24" iMac. With a 64-bit processor, but only 32-bit UEFi, Apple dropped it fairly quickly - at least compared to the Windows running in Bootcamp. After Apple stopped providing updates, I used it in Bootcamp, with current Windows updates for another 6 years, before the motherboard died.

        I like OS X/macOS, but the arbitrary decisions to dump hardware, long before it has come to the end of its useful life makes me wary of buying another Mac.

        My 2004 Acer laptop still runs Linux fine and my 2010 Sony laptop still runs Windows 10 fine (after an SSD upgrade about 5 years ago) and still gets monthly security updates today.

        I understand why they want to cap support on older hardware, there is no commercial incentive, if the old (perfectly functioning) hardware doesn't get the latest OS, people will buy new shiny. But as a user, it isn't a good selling point.

    3. Def Silver badge

      ...can any other computer make such a claim?

      In theory* the latest versions of RISC OS will still run on the original ARMv3 based RISC-PC released in 1994.

      *I've not tried it, obviously.

    4. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      Outside of mainframes and industrial use, can any other computer make such a claim?

      I still have my 5150 as well, and its Model F keyboard is still in regular service with my main (11 year old) computer, thanks to a 5-pin DIN 41524 to USB-A adapter.

      My OLPC XO-1 was manufactured in 2007, and the most recent version of its primary OS (a slimmed-down version of Fedora Linux) was released in January 2020. Presuming that that was the final version of its OS, it reached 12 years and change.

  2. steven_t
    Headmaster

    iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s are different things

    The subheading "But it seems the iPhone 6 and SE will be looked after until the end of time" isn't right - the iPhone 6 was dropped in 2019.

    The iPhone 6s is a different thing.

    Even that is unlikely to be looked after until the end of time, but that's a different matter :-)

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s are different things

      The iPhone 6 (and 5S) were only "dropped" from NEW iOS releases in 2019. They are still getting security updates to their latest OS, iOS 12, to this day - almost 8 years now since the 5S first shipped.

      The thing that makes a phone become obsolete is having security updates stop. Not getting the new features from a new OS (some of which require newer hardware so you couldn't use them anyway) doesn't make the phone any less useful, it just stops becoming MORE useful.

      1. mark l 2 Silver badge

        Re: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s are different things

        Although getting security updates is important and its something I look for in a phone, I doubt many end users know not to use a phone that isn't being regularly patched.

        But they are more likely to stop using a phone if their OS version is no longer supported by the majority of the apps they want to run.

        I know someone who had a Windows phone and the only reason they stopped using it was when Whatsapp stopped working on it, otherwise they would probably still be using it today even though it hasn't been patched in 18 months.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s are different things

          I doubt many end users know not to use a phone that isn't being regularly patched

          Oh I don't disagree, there is a reason why there were so many Windows XP installs years after support for it ended, and why there are a pretty fair number of Windows 7 installs now despite Microsoft doing their best to force people into a free upgrade to Windows 10.

          These worries about how long a phone is supported with patches is not a concern of the average smartphone buyer. You ask them if iPhone or Android get software updates longer and you'll get a blank look from most. Ask them why they should care and their eyes will glaze over.

          The general public completely ignored Windows malware until ILoveYou and a few others hit within a short period of time. I suspect we will need to see one or more widespread malware outbreaks (or the modern equivalent, some sort of smartphone-based ransomware) for people to start noticing. The problem for Android is that OEMs are in control of patching, not Google. Imagine if Microsoft had to rely on Dell and Acer to distribute Windows patches!

      2. steven_t
        Headmaster

        Re: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s are different things

        That's a good point and I didn't realise they were still getting security updates.

        Outside the subheading, the article doesn't mention the iPhone 6, let alone explain that it gets security updates, so I still think it should say iPhone 6s.

      3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s are different things

        I think I estimated already that since iOS 12 is hosting COVID-19 contact tracing software, it will be supported now until - if - that crisis is absolutely over. But as far as I can tell, they don't announce that to the public - but they do publicly release point updates for security and maybe other bug fixes. You just don't know when they'll stop doing that.

  3. Social Ambulator

    Who cares?

    If you have a pre-2013 Mac (and I have several) you probably run it to run old software that more recent Macs don’t support (Adobe CS6 anyone?). You wouldn’t dream of upgrading beyond High Sierra. If you are an app developer, you need a machine that will run the latest version of X-code Apple will accept. True, you can’t synch your iPhone to these older Mac OSs. That’s what bugs me, but I assume there are technical reasons as well as the obvious.

  4. DenTheMan

    Remove OS/X , install Linux.

    Problem solved.

    Oops, bleep oops!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not really, it just means you'll have a nicely-built laptop with no working wifi or webcam.

      1. cookieMonster

        No down vote, but not true. My wife’s early 2011 MacBook Pro runs the latest Linux mint like a champ. Everything works perfectly, my daughter was stuck at home during lockdown and had to do her schooling remotely, not a single problem was had with WiFi, sound or built in camera.

        1. TVU

          "...not a single problem was had with WiFi, sound or built in camera"

          It would be really interesting to know what distribution it was, e.g. Ubuntu, Pop OS, etc. Thanks.

          1. mjflory

            Re: what distribution?

            Linux Mint is derived from Ubuntu, which in turn is derived from Debian. I've also found that it handles old hardware very well.

        2. Johnny Noodles

          I'm writing this on my early 2011 MacBook Pro running El Capitan. For what reason did you install Mint? Do I need to do this? My MacBook runs fine.

  5. Tempest
    Thumb Up

    Who Cares? We Have the NYC based ROSSMAN GROUP

    Anyone with smarts bypasses the Apple stores and contacts Rossman of New York City for a speedy, reliable repair.

    There is a YouTube video from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that demonstrates why Rossman is a trusted source.

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