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Is that Apple ripe for the plucking?

AppleRumors.com's Buyer's Guide will help you make your Mac-buying decisions.

Apple Computer, Inc.

Did you know it's been 204 days since the last iMac update? That number might mean more to you and your tech purchasing patterns if we also told you that, according to MacRumors.com's calculations, the average span between iMac updates is 168 days. Thus, the MacRumors Buyer's Guide concludes that you should hold off buying an iMac until Apple makes good on the overdue refresh. Similar guidance is provided for all Mac desktops and laptops along with iPods, Cinema Displays, and Xserve servers. The snapshots of where Apple's various products are in their refresh cycle are great information, and we'd argue, more useful in terms of helping you make a buying decision than relying on any of the rumors swirling around about what products Steve Jobs will unveil next time he takes the stage.

Interestingly, the only product the Buyer's Guide determines is ripe for purchase is the iPod Shuffle. All of the Mac desktops carry a "Don't Buy - Updates soon" recommendation, while the MacBook earns a "Neutral - Mid product cycle" recommendation, which is a bit better than the MacBook Pro's prospects of "Buy only if you need it - Approaching the end of a cycle." We'd say to put any Mac plans on hold until Mac OS X 10.5 (a.k.a. Leopard) hits, which, sadly, the MacRumors Buyer's Guide doesn't track. To play the Leopard launch date guessing game, you'll have to rely on the rumor mill that says Leopard is on track for a spring release or won't show its spots until October.