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Disclaimer: Before the Apple fanatics come after me, I just want to state that I am not saying Apple products are bad by any means. I’m writing this from my own point of view as someone who wants to get the most value out of her electronics.

Growing up, I was dedicated to Apple. My parents always bought us Macs—from the original Macintosh that had a slot for a floppy disk, to the bubbly iMac, to the newer iMacs with the slick design and retina display—so I naturally bought a MacBook Air once I was out of college.

From there, it was a steep slope. Once my very first smartphone (the HTC..something) died on me, I got the iPhone 5. Yes, I was a bit late to the party, but I eventually got there.

Then I decided that I didn’t need just one but two MacBooks, so I bought a new MacBook Pro. I then bought an iPad about a year later (because apparently my Air was too big and my phone was too small?) then an Apple TV a few years later.

Fast forward 8 years and I’m down to a single Apple product: my MacBook Pro. Which is technically my employer’s laptop. From 5 Apple products, to a single one. I’m not anti-Apple, but I’m definitely not an Apple loyalist anymore and here’s why.

Goodbye Apple TV, Hello Roku

Getting rid of my Apple TV was a bit of a no brainer. This was actually the most recent Apple product to become obsolete in my house, and it’s all thanks to Disney+. With all the talk of The Mandalorian, I couldn’t sit around and listen to everyone talk about how good it is, so I got Disney+.

The problem was, my Apple TV was too old that I couldn’t actually get the Disney+ app on it. There was absolutely nothing else wrong with my Apple TV, Apple simply stopped supporting my apparently old Apple TV. So now I use my Roku which came free with my SlingTV trial a couple years ago.

(Side note: My Apple TV model also didn’t allow YouTube TV, which was also annoying.)

iPad 4th Generation No Longer Supported

In 2017, Apple released iOS 11 which came with various improvements including a better design, higher quality photos, screen recording, and iCloud Keychain. Unfortunately my iPad 4th Generation missed the cut and is not supported by this operating system.

I wasn’t too concerned about this since I rarely used the iPad anyway, but not being supported by the latest iOS definitely motivated me to give it away.

One MacBook is Enough

So I didn’t get rid of my MacBook Air from 2011, but I did give it away, and for a similar reason to the above (do you a trend here?)—it doesn’t meet the system requirements of the latest operating system.

Mojave became available in 2018, and much to my dismay, my MacBook Air wasn’t compatible. Again, I wasn’t too distraught about this since I still have a newer MacBook Pro from work, but it was upsetting since there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Air.

It still works perfectly fine, it runs fast and the battery life is still pretty decent.

Farewell iPhone

The reason I no longer have an iPhone isn’t completely related to the iOS or system updates. After my iPhone 5 I upgraded to the iPhone 6s, then to the 7, which is still supported by the latest iOS.

I simply wanted a new phone with a better camera and better features, but getting the latest iPhone was a bit pricey—close to $1,000 pricey. So I bit the bullet and switched to a Pixel 3a which cost me half the price of a new iPhone XS.

Now, I’m past the stage where I’m wanting a new phone every couple years. I would have held onto my iPhone 7 if it weren’t for the fact that everyone else’s photos were so much nicer than mine. So when I buy a phone, I want one that’s going to last me least three years or more. If I had held onto my iPhone 7, I would have run into the same issue of Apple no longer supporting it. The iPhone 5 can no longer receive software updates, with the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, then the iPhone 7 next on the chopping block.

What’s the Deal with Software Updates?

The common theme for why I no longer use most of the Apple products I accumulated over the past 8 years is because they’re not longer supported by Apple and can’t get software updates. So what’s the big deal?

A big problem about not having the latest iOS installed is that some of your apps may not work properly, or you may not even be able to download new apps because they weren’t made to be compatible with your old iOS or Apple simply won’t let you download them.

Software updates also provide your devices with:

  • New features
  • Performance improvements
  • Bug fixes
  • Security enhancements

Apple Products vs The Rest

Apple products aren’t the only ones that lose support after a few years. There are plenty of Android phones that can’t use the latest Android operating system and therefore don’t get the best system updates.

The problem is the price of Apple’s products compared to alternatives. My Apple TV was $99 but a Roku is only $30. My Google Pixel 3a was only $399 but a new iPhone 11 will set you back $699.

If you’re trying to make the most of your spending, then Apple products may not be the best option since they’re generally more expensive (e.g., a MacBook Pro 13″ starts at $1,299) and you won’t be able to use them for a very long time. In fact, it’s estimated the average life of an Apple product is only around 4 years.

Apple Alternatives

So what am I using now that I only have one Apple product left?

  • Streaming TV: Roku and Playstation 4 (Disclaimer: Some older Roku devices aren’t compatible with Disney+ but mine is.)
  • Cell phone: Google Pixel 3a (started at $399 outright)
  • Tablet: None, I just use my phone
  • Computer/laptop: MacBook Pro (my only Apple product)