Apple Computers resale value

My Macbook pro has recently been the recipient of water damage. I want to hold out until the MBP line gets a refresh before replacing my machine. I'm not sure I can survive without a laptop until then, so I've been looking at a few options:

  1. Just deal with it. I've got a desktop machine (running linux) and I've got OS X installed in Virtualbox if I have to do some iOS development.
  2. Just get a Macbook Pro. It's a great machine and will do everything I need to do.
  3. Buy a new laptop now and sell it when the MBP line gets refreshed.

Number 3 was intriguing to me. I could have a laptop now, but still get the new MBP line. I started exploring the resale value of used apple laptops. I looked on ebay, looking only at completed listings. I looked at 4 different apple products, hoping to see which retains it's value the best. I took ~10 samples of each model, (among the 10 were varying configurations, which I took into account for the purchase price). These were all in mint condition still under the manufacturers warranty.


  • White Macbooks sold for an average of 73% of the original cost.
  • 13" Macbook Pros sold for an average of 78% of the original cost.
  • Ipads sold for an average of 88% of the original cost.
  • 11" Macbook Airs sold for an average of 87% of the original cost.

First, even 73% isn't terrible for a used laptop, although the White Macbooks were the most inconsistent, so the average may be misleading.

Second, I was impressed by the 88% and 87% of the iPad and the Macbook Air.  I guess without any alternatives to these two machines, prices stay pretty rigid.

I haven't made any purchases yet, but I think I'm going to purchase an 11" macbook air. Why 11" instead of 13"? I'm guessing that when the new MBP line comes around, the 13" macbook air will be competing with the MBP 13", causing the resale price to fall due to decreased demand and increased supply. Just speculation though. The 11" is unique enough to be pretty stable in my oppinion.

Just thought it was an interesting observation. Thoughts?

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