Apple Store Shipping Dates and Buyers Guide Recommendations
The Apple Store updated with last minute Christmas shipping deadlines on Apple products from the Apple Store. All standard configuration Macs must be purchased by December 19th, 2007 with standard shipping or December 21st with overnight shipping to ensure delivery by Christmas.
Our Buyer's Guide, however, does not recommend buying MacBook Pros or Mac Pros at this time due to the long lead time since their last update. Rumors have also placed Mac Pro and MacBook Pro revisions in the near future with number of new Intel processors now available for the future machines. To balance this recommendation, however, readers should realize that updates could still be 1-2 months away, with Macworld Expo (January 15th) being the earliest possible date that these upgrades would be announced. And even if announced at Macworld, actual shipping dates could be delayed beyond that date.
Readers should, however, feel comfortable buying new iPods, as most of the iPod line saw dramatic revisions as recently as September (Classic, Nano, Shuffle, Touch). It seems unlikely that iPods will see major revisions in the near future, though minor storage increases are always possible. iMacs have also been seen relatively recent and significant updates, and could also be comfortably purchased at this time.
Recommendations for Cinema Displays, Mac Minis, Apple TV, MacBook and iPhone are trickier due to individual circumstances and are dealt with separately:
Cinema Displays, Mac Minis - historical data for these updates are inconsistent, with rumors of Mac Mini's possibly being discontinued in the near future. Cinema Displays infrequently get major upgrades, and instead get intermittent price drops. Readers may find greater value in 3rd party LCDs at this time.
MacBook - Despite a November 2007 update, the MacBook could see competition with the Apple Sub-notebook expected at Macworld in January. So, unless you are certain that this ultra-portable will not change your decision, it would be best to wait to buy a MacBook until January 15th.
iPhone, AppleTV - as new consumer electronic devices, Apple has not yet defined the frequency of these updates. Apple TV's future remains entirely open ended as Apple could decide to simply leave its specs stable for some time as it represents an "appliance" device rather than an ongoing platform. However, being a year since its introduction, we would buy cautiously.
The iPhone, however, has more pressure to receive timely updates due to ongoing competition. The iPhone is rumored to see its next major revision in Mid-to-Late 2008. The biggest upgrade expected is a 3G chipset which has been promised for 2008. Whether or not to buy an iPhone now really depends on the your individual need for 3G and if potentially waiting until late 2008 is feasible.