“It’s been way too long," says the media invite to an event where Apple is expected to unveil a new iPad and updated iMacs. But Apple couldn’t have said it better for a number of other unloved products that haven't seen an update in over a year. Indeed, some have been left untouched for well over two years, a lifetime in the tech product life cycle.
While Apple has been focused on meeting the intense demand for its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, it has let some product lines languish. Here are the products most in need of an upgrade:
Apple TV (946 days)
The company’s $99 media center box made it easier for its users to watch downloaded movies, stream shows and other content onto their television. But the last full redesign and update to Apple TV was in March 2012: well over two years ago. Since then, a number of competitors have come onto the scene by ways of Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV.
Some were expecting Apple to introduce an update this year for the device, but rumors have indicated that negotiations between Apple and content partners have been problematic. Unfortunately, Apple TV’s update may not come around until 2015.
iPod (approximately two years)
Apple’s iPod Touch saw a minor update this year by way of a 16GB model with a rear iSight camera, price reductions and more colors. But the overall lineup has largely stayed the same for almost two years. The same is true for the iPod Nano and the iPod Shuffle, which only saw minor updates in September 2013.
The company could provide an overall refresh for the line of music players. But there’s concern that the products may eventually go the way of the iPod Classic, which was discontinued on Sept. 9, the same day Apple announced the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Apple Watch.
While most of Apple’s products have seen sales increase year-to-year, iPod sales have continued to decline. The beloved music player line saw unit sales fall 36 percent to 2.9 million in Apple’s third quarter, compared to the previous year.
“All of us have known for some time that iPod is a declining business,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the company’s January earnings call.
Mac Mini (716 days)
Apple events have come and gone with new iPhones, iPads and other products. But the budget-friendly Mac Mini hasn’t seen an update in nearly two years. Granted, without a display or a number of other features that come with Apple’s MacBooks and iMacs, there isn’t necessarily much to upgrade beyond the internal hardware contained within the Mac Mini. But that's maybe that's the only thing really needed for the Mac Mini, which starts at $599.
Fortunately, the neglected Mac Mini may finally see an update next week when Apple unveils its next round of devices on Oct. 16.
Thunderbolt Displays (1120 days)
Apple’s Thunderbolt Display debuted over three years ago following the introduction of the Thunderbolt connection port on Macs in 2011. The display boasts a 2560x1440 pixel resolution, built-in FaceTime camera and a MagSafe charger that can be used to power MacBooks connected to the display.
Since its introduction there haven’t been any updates to the line. But that may change as rumors indicate a 4K resolution iMac on the way. Apple’s Thunderbolt Display may soon see a refresh as well to match the rumored iMac and Apple’s current offering of Retina MacBook Pros.