Whatever you do, don't buy a Mac today

M2 Macbook Air Open
(Image credit: Future)

Now would be a very bad time to buy yourself a Mac, and it isn't every day that I'd say that.

Normally, the best time to buy a Mac is whenever you need it — holding fire for the next big thing will ultimately mean that you never actually pick up the Mac you probably need today. But sometimes it just makes sense to hang on just a little while longer.

How much longer? Until Tuesday should probably do it. Let me explain why.

In the shadow of WWDC

You'd need to have been hiding in a hole somewhere to have missed the fact that Apple's WWDC 2023 event is about to kick off in just a few short days. Come June 5 Apple will unveil a raft of new software and, importantly, hardware.

That software will be what powers our iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs for the next year, but only after they're released in or around September. That's when the Reality Pro headset will likely go on sale as well, but what many of us are most interested in is what Macs will be announced.

And the fact that any Mac could arrive during WWDC is a good enough reason to wait before splashing the cash on a new computer. Because once those new Macs arrive, all kinds of things happen. 

Older is sometimes better

A lady using a Mac studio at a desk

(Image credit: Apple)

We're already expecting the 15-inch MacBook Air to debut, and that's a new product for Apple. But whenever there is a chance that an existing product could be refreshed it means that buying a new Mac can be problematic.

The obvious problem is that your brand-new Mac can immediately become old. Apple could be about to put an M2 Ultra into the Mac Studio, for example. If you buy an M1 Ultra Mac Studio today, you'll be missing out on that new chip for, likely, the same money. That could well make you sad, and while I'd argue that it shouldn't if you've been using that Mac Studio for months or perhaps even weeks, that's a difficult discussion to have after just one weekend.

But where things get more interesting is what happens with the older machines. The M1 Ultra is still a mighty fine chip and older Mac Studios could become cheaper almost overnight. If an M1 Ultra is fine for you — and we don't know what the M2 Ultra will be so that might well be the case for most — then the Mac Studio at a lower price is a win-win for many. That could instantly become the best Mac for a whole ton of people, assuming the price is right of course.

Then there's the used market. As people rush to buy the new hotness you can often find a bargain used Mac. People often want to liquidate their Macs as quickly as possible, and that's when you can strike. You get a cheap, preloved Mac and they get the shiny new one they want. Everyone benefits.

Keep your powder dry

All of that is to say, buying a new Mac right now is probably a bad idea unless you find yourself in dire need of a machine this weekend.

Thankfully, there might be a way around finding yourself in that situation as well. If you buy from Apple you'll have a 14-day return window which, theoretically, would allow you to take your new-old Mac back and swap it for a new-new one. In fact, those who buy online might just find that their orders automatically get swapped for the new version anyway. How cool is that?

So there we have it. There is normally no such thing as a bad time to buy a new Mac, except for the next few days. Unless you buy from Apple, maybe.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.