Years ago at Macworld, I met a woman who worked as a freelance designer doing high-end motion graphics while she also studied for her degree.
Her motion graphics work was computationally demanding, so she needed the best, fastest Mac she could afford – which wasn’t much.
But she had a great strategy. She’d sell her high-end Mac just before Apple released a new one, and use the money to get the new machine!
It sounds easy and obvious, but the timing was always tricky. This was the days of Steve Jobs, when secrecy at Apple was super-tight and the product release schedule was often obscure.
Used prices would fluctuate wildly, especially when a new Mac was on the horizon. The trick was to sell her old machine before the rumors reached a fever pitch, but not so soon that she would find herself without a fast computer for weeks or months.
So she became what is perhaps the most dedicated student of Apple-related rumors I’ve ever met. Not only did she read the rumor sites religiously, she kept a detailed spreadsheet to track all the variables: used prices of Macs on eBay, historical price fluctuations, rumor timelines and so on.
I don’t recall the exact numbers, but she claimed she was able to always have the fastest, tricked-outest Mac for an outlay of just a few hundred dollars a year.
Try telling that to the poor folks in our top story below, who sold their MacBook Pros ahead of this week’s WWDC keynote. Unfortunately, the new MacBooks never arrived. Oops.
– Leander Kahney, EIC.