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We're not yet halfway through the year, and we're already seeing Apple unveil some awesome new products, such as the Mac Studio and Studio Display (although the waiting time for these is weeks right now due to supply chain issues). We also know that some products -- such as the iPhone -- will very likely see a refresh later this year.
But that leaves, well, everything else. The refresh schedule for these is only really known to Apple.
The problem is that you can drop a pile of cash on something only for an update to come along a few weeks later. My goal here is to help you not make a mistake like that and give you a heads-up as to what products could be getting a refresh soon.
Before we go look at the products, a note of availability. Some Apple products are in serious short supply, and are currently experiencing long delays. Macs where you tweak the options are especially bad. For example, at the time of writing 24-inch iMac with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage are in stock, but change the RAM to 16GB or bump the storage up and you're looking at a 7 - 8 week wait.
The Mac Studio is also showing delays, and the more you customize it, the longer the wait will be. Want a Studio Display to go with that? Order at the beginning or May and you probably won't see it until mid to late July.
Yeah, that the reality of the supply chain issues at the moment.
Here is my list of products to avoid, along with a list of Apple products that I recommend.
Mac Pro: With the transition to Apple Silicon underway, this huge monetary investment just doesn't make sense at this point in time. Avoid this big time unless you really have to replace a downed machine.
iPod touch: I'm not sure why Apple even sells this anymore! The era of the iPod is over. I've long expected this to get a refresh, but now I think that this could be the year that Apple finally tosses it on the recycling heap.
What about first-gen M1 Macs? I have been asked a bit about these lately. For example, the M1 Mac mini was released in November 2020. These might be seeing a refresh in 2022, but for now, I still think they represent decent enough value.
The iPad Air just got a big update in the form of Apple's M1 chip and a superb front-facing 12-megapixel wide-angle camera with the "Center Stage" feature that can follow the person in front of the screen as they move.
And with a price tag starting at $599, it's one of the cheapest ways to get your hands on an M1-powered device.
For a more rounded device, you can kit the iPad out with a keyboard and Apple's Magic Pencil for a device that gives laptops costing twice as much a run for their money,
So much power in a small box. In fact, this is a workstation in a form factor not much bigger than a Mac Mini.
You can choose between the M1 Max and M1 Ultra (unless you are handling extremely high workloads demanding massive GPU capacity, you should be fine with the M1 Max offerings), and can spend anything from $2,000 to $8,000 on this hardware.
Paired with the Studio Display, this is a total beast of a system.