When Should You Buy Apple's New MacBook Pro Laptops?
Apple refreshed its entire fleet of laptops Monday afternoon, fitting them with Intel's new Ivy Bridge processor. The laptops were all available to order as of yesterday, and their starting prices range from $999 for the updated 11" MacBook Air to $2,199 for the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
Although the thinner, 0.7" MacBook Pro with Retina Display stole the show, it's the updated "original" $1,799 MacBook Pro that provides the best of both worlds — especially when compared to the MacBook Pro with Retina Display's starting price of $2,199. However, before you sprint to the nearest Apple Store, we recommend you pause. As we've shown you before, you can save a respectable amount of cash if you wait just a few days to purchase your new Mac.
Possible Savings in as Few as 2 Days
If the previous generation 15" MacBook Pro is any indication, you can save as much as $45 by waiting just two days to buy your 15" Ivy Bridge MacBook Pro. (The generation before that saw a $100 discount on the same day of its release.) While that may not seem like a lot when dealing with a $1,799 laptop, it's enough savings to load your iPhone with a respectable amount of new apps. Alternatively, you can use that money toward the cost of a new USB 3.0 hard drive, now that the MacBook Pro supports USB 3.0 devices.
Naturally, the longer you wait, the steeper the discount you'll find. Shoppers who waited three months from the release of last year's MacBook Pro saved a solid $299 off Cupertino's popular laptop. That's the biggest discount we've seen on any new, current Mac computer.
Say Hello to the MacBook Pro with Retina Display
As we mentioned earlier, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display was the most rumored and anticipated product announced at yesterday's keynote; it has gained a lot of attention for it's stunning resolution and thinner profile. However, because we don't have prior deal data on this new class of laptop, it's hard to tell when we'll see the first discount. (Update: See the note below about a limited Expercom deal we found today.)
Nevertheless, we'd recommend eager buyers wait a few days before purchasing this system. In a sense, this is a first generation product for Apple and consumers will be able to make a more informed buying decision after reading the initial batch of reviews. And, more importantly, during that timeframe we could see a modest discount or two.
Regardless of the Model, Be Sure to Shop at Resellers
In addition to waiting a few days, our deal archives also show that the best deals on MacBook Pro laptops come from Apple's authorized resellers, which include stores like Amazon, MacMall, and MacConnection. By shopping at these stores, rather than directly at the Apple Store (which charges full retail price), you'll have a better chance of scoring a deal.
Ultimately, whether you decide to wait two days or two months, our point is that there will in fact be solid deals on the new MacBook Pro laptops in the future. The common misconception that Apple products are never discounted is pure myth, as we demonstrated with our feature about when to buy a Mac. And if you want the ultimate savings, well, you can also go for one of the very-capable (and now highly-discounted) previous-generation, refurbished MacBook Pros.
Update: Expercom currently offers the Apple MacBook Pro Core i7 Quad 2.3GHz 15" Widescreen Notebook with Retina Display for $2,080.97 with $12.50 for shipping, which is $105.53 less than what Apple charges. The catch? You have to be an existing Expercom customer who has already placed an order. Still, for the lucky shoppers who are eligible, this is a 5% off discount and slightly better than the initial 3% cut we saw on the 2011 MacBook Pro. And even if you can't avail of the deal, it's still further proof that you should keep an eye on reseller deals before making an Apple purchase.