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Don't waste your money on these Apple products: Black Friday/Cyber Monday edition

Check out our tips on what you shouldn't buy, what you might want to buy, and how to find deals on Apple products.

That gift giving time of year is almost upon us, and tech gifts look are popular once again.

Whether you're buying a gift for a friend, a loved one, or for yourself, you deserve to get the best available deals. This is why I recommend avoiding certain products in Apple's lineup -- products that are now a bit old.

The "Avoid" list:

  • iPhone SE: It didn't see a refresh this year. And at over a year old, it's not the great deal that it was when it launched in 2020.
  • Apple Watch SE/Series 3: I'd give both of these a wide berth. The SE is a year old, and the Series 3 is still hanging on after four years. Both feel overpriced compared to the Series 7, and you might do better looking for a secondhand watch.
  • Mac Pro: With the transition to Apple Silicon underway, this huge monetary investment doesn't make sense. 
  • HomePod: No. Mini is okay to buy, though.
  • iPod touch: Don't touch that!

The "Recommended" list for Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2021:

AirPods Pro

Save $79

airpods-pro-better.png
Apple

The best earbuds out there, and they integrate so well with the rest of the Apple ecosystem. Great sound, super comfortable, and great battery life. 

Two years on from their release, these are still my favorite earbuds.

AirTag

airtag-better.png
Apple

Blowing away the competition, Apple's AirTags are the perfect gift for someone who constantly loses things.

Well made, robust, and with a replaceable battery, these will make lost keys or wallets a thing of the past.

iPhone 13 Pro

iphone-13-pro-max-better.png
Apple

Without a doubt, this is the best smartphone out there. 

The display is beautiful, the camera is superb, and the battery life is far ahead of the competition.

12.9-inch iPad Pro

Save $100

2021-ipad-pro-better.png
Apple

This is a great alternative to a laptop (especially for those in the Apple ecosystem). Powered by Apple's M1 chip, it's a huge upgrade compared to earlier iPad Pro tablets.

Paired with the beautiful XDR display and camera array featuring a 12MP wide camera, 10MP ultra wide camera, and even a LiDAR scanner, this is a great product for both work and play.

13-inch MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip

Save $150

2021-11-22-15-07-07.jpg

This is a super-powerful laptop in a small, 13.3-inch form-factor. 

The M1 chip blows away anything that Intel could bring to a Mac, and it allows for incredible performance combined with an unprecedented battery life.

Top tips for buying Apple products

  • Shop around -- Apple is not the cheapest place to buy Apple products (although for some products, it could be the only place).
  • Order early -- The global chip shortage is causing longer than usual shipping times for some products, so plan ahead!
  • Make sure you know what you are buying -- For example, the latest AirPods are the 3rd-generation model, not the 2nd-generation versions (which I still see for sale for a premium price).
  • Warranties -- Apple has no problems with new, genuine products bought from third-parties.