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Apple to Add Some 2009-2011 Macs to Vintage, Obsolete List

macbook_pro_2012_2013More Mac models will soon join Apple’s “vintage” and “obsolete” list.

According to a report by MacRumors, Apple will add select 2009 to 2011 model Macs to its vintage and obsolete products list on Dec. 31, 2016.

The list includes:

  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2011)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009)
  • MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2009)
  • [Update: Apple has added the Early 2011 13-inch MacBook Pro]

But as the Rocket Yard has previously pointed out, with the help of, you can make your older Mac anything but “vintage” or “obsolete”. Here are some of the upgrades you can take advantage of to make your 2009-2011 Mac run like new:

  • Adding memory is the simplest and most affordable way to immediately give your machine a performance boost. See how much RAM your Mac is compatible with here. There’s a good chance it’s more than you thought.
  • Expand your MacBook’s capacity and performance with an OWC SSD.
  • offers a wide range of external storage options and replacement batteries for your MacBook!
  • Add a second drive to your Mac with Data Doubler.

By upgrading your “vintage” or “obsolete” Mac, you’ll not only bring a new world of performance possibilities, you’ll also avoid unnecessarily creating electronic waste. You can even purchase Refurbished Macs from and get a new-to-you Mac while saving money. Refurbished Macs from are OWC Warranted and backed by OWC’s expert support team.

Want to know exactly which upgrades your Mac can take? Check out our convenient My Upgrades page to search by your Mac model and only see results that are compatible with your machine.

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  • Apple’s accelerated sunsetting of Macs feels like a change in the treatment of customers from the grace with which Apple accomplished the transition from PowerPC to Intel processors. Accelerated sunsetting is a policy not congruent with the relative stagnation of Moore’s law in Macs. A hallmark of OS-X integrity from inception and past Snow Leopard was how much better each succeeding version of the OS performed on the oldest legacy Macs. A strong contrast with the MS brand. Steve Jobs said Macs (& PCs) were to become trucks, presumably to be operated by truck drivers who know how. The coercion and confinement of user behavior (e.g. lack of NO update option in software updates) does not respect user control over the Mac. Apple could easily make powerful up to date workstations for professional development, 4K editing and graphics, and machine learning as halo products and a reward for everyone who “brung the brand” this far. Is distributed processing over thunderbolt 3 too much to hope for?

  • Why would Apple make 2009-2011 MacBooks obsolete is business that bad with current model sales. This action is forcing those owners to buy new. I’ve been working on Apple from it’s beginning and thinking of moving on to a better customer base computer brand.
    ‘Apple’ stop playing with customer loyalty and leave well enough alone. Where is Steve Jobs when you need him.

  • It’s important to distinguish the type of Apple support that is related to this designation. The “vintage and obsolete” list is related to official HARDWARE servicing support. The first sentence says, “Owners of iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Mac products may obtain service and parts from Apple or Apple service providers for 5 years after the product is no longer manufactured. So, it’s typically NOT a decision by someone at Apple that puts a product on this list. After a particular model is no longer manufactured, the five-year countdown begins to being called “vintage/obsolete.”

    Software support is a separate matter. There are quite a few Mac models already on this list (before these Dec. 31 additions) that are supported by the current macOS Sierra release and Apple software. Conversely, there are products, like the 5th gen iPod touch that was “no longer manufactured” only since last year (2015) and already not supported by the lasted version of iOS and Apple apps; it won’t be on the “vintage and obsolete” list until around 2020. So, this list is only relevant if you need non-warranty repair or servicing AND you want Apple to do it. Otherwise, it can be ignored.

    Apple products remain useful for a LONG time, especially with upgrades from OWC. I just added a OWC’s Thunderbolt 2 dock to my 2011 Mac mini. It now has a bunch of USB 3 ports, ability to connect eSATA external drives, second FireWire 800 port, plus other capabilities I don’t currently use. I think I’m good with my trusty 2011 Mac for at least another two years. :)

  • It would be useful if after these hardware upgrades there was a way to
    upgrade the Mac operating system as well. Has any progress been made on a way to facilitate that?

    • Ubuntu! I have succesfully installed Ubuntu 16 on my old 2006 Mac Pro and a 2012 Mac Book Pro. It has all the functions ( Note, I don’t like games ) I need to get my work done and it gets new upgrades regularly without having to worry if I am getting obsolete.

  • Making models obsolete is a bad thing.They already force us to upgrade the software whether we want to or not. I think Apple is biting the hands that feed them with this non upgradable Mac situation. Part of the fun Mac people have is to have some control of our computers. Now they are taking that away and it doesn’t seem that anyone is pleased by it.
    Now, if you want MBP with 500gb SSD you have to pay them $600.00 for it instead of buying one for $160.00 and putting it in, or not have one. This is a bad move on their part. The only computer we can modify to suit our wants is the Mac Pro So I guess I will go to that. It’s a shame they are doing this. It’s a bad slap to lifelong devotees, of which I am one.

  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011)
    MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2011)

    Not surprising. the machines have a motherboard design flaw which Apple has never fixed. The current repair extension program ends on 12/31! Their repair was never a repair. It was simply a replacement Motherboard which may or may not act up at a later date.

    I am surprised they did not mark even more as obsolete.

    • Exactly! That’s what’s wrong with mine right now! I’ve about had it with Apples attitude toward fixing them as well. The whole point of getting a Mac is that they last. Well now that Jobs is gone so is that! I’m seriously going to look into Linux. Specially if they don’t fix my current Mac!

  • SO my 2010 MBP 13″ is ripping fast with RAM and drives, but is short of USB 3. ports, and firewire is just so delicate. I also have programs that I’m afraid eventually won’t go backwards to Yosemite… aside from buying the latest and greatest, what might I do to keep this fine stead my main computer?

    • I just got a MBP 13″ 2012 model and did similar upgrades. It has USB3 ports and is still completely repairable and upgradable, unlike the Retina models.

      • I have got a mid-2012 MBP 15″, and I consider it the last “true” MacBook Pro…it’s a Unicorn of a machine, bridging the old and the new: It’s got Thunderbolt, FW800, and USB3, and it’s the last MBP with a proper Ethernet Jack! Upgraded it with 16GB RAM and two 1TB Samsung 850EVO SSDs. I will probably never buy another laptop.

      • Actually, the best thing you can do is take care of it, find an OS you like that you can live with the constraints of (speed, memory use, security online, etc.) and just use it until the machine fails.

        For my 2009 MBP, I maxed out the RAM and have a big drive installed – it dual boots to Snow Leopard and EL Capitan, though I find the latter OS uninspiring (the Notifications drive me up a wall – I HATE it) and stick to 10.6.8 – which I’m using on my 2008 MacPro as I type.. the thing I’ve found to be the blessing in a non-upgraded system is that there is no longer a chance of an update coming in and causing some program to not work – I discovered this the hard way with the drivers for my Wacom Intuos Tablet (the original GD series from the early 2000’s) and Yosemite.. No work!

        It’s what you do with the machine that determines how long you’ll find it useable. I routinely deal with customers that are still using PowerBooks (of all things!!) with Leopard and some of the PPC versions of browsers (ten-four-fox comes to mind) and they have few issues that can be handled with a bit of google-fu.

        Keep the dust out of it, be mindful that in time the thermal paste can dry out and the heatsink can lose contact with the top of the CPU (or GPU) and that is a concern to be mindful of if you start getting heat shutdowns.. The rest of it is straightforward.. a good power conditioner/UPS to plug in to, remain aware of the battery status, and have a backup for your data at hand and it will last long indeed. (My original MacPro from 2006 has been doing duty for a decade now and in that time has needed a hard drive and a graphics card. Easy-peasy.

        • More of a question. Since Apple does not support security upgrades on older OS. How much of a problem is this? And are there viable workarounds?

    • By making a smaller petition on one of your drives, you can keep an older operating system that supports your favorite vintage programs. I still run 10.8 on a petition on both my 2009 15″ MacBook Pro, and my 2011 27″ iMac. I have a proprietary relational database that I can only use up through Yosemite. So I will keep it in a smaller petition for Yosemite, and continue to upgrade the operating system as long as the machines will support it.