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10 Apple gadgets you shouldn't buy (May 2019 edition)

iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other Apple gadgets you shouldn't buy.

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Topic: Apple
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1 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iPhone XS

Why you should avoid: The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are now both entering the latter half of their lifecycle. While you will still get years of service from an iPhone XS that you buy now (assuming the battery lasts... or you get it changed, because that seems to be a consumable part), be aware that as September comes around, new handsets will roll out.

Hardware last updated: September 2018.

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2 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iPad

Why you should avoid: While the iPad Air and iPad mini have seen a refresh, the iPad it now a year old, and rumors seem to suggest that a new model is imminent.

Hardware last updated: March 2018.

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3 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

MacBook

Why you should avoid: Paying the sort of money that Apple is asking for the MacBook for technology that is now a stone's throw away from being two years old doesn't make sense.

Hardware last updated: June 2017.

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4 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Apple Watch Series 4

Why you should avoid: Much as with the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, the Apple Watch Series 4 is now entering the latter half of its lifecycle, and we could be seeing a refresh in September. So if you've held out on upgrading this far, you might want to hold on a few more months.

Hardware last updated: September 2018.

MacBook Pro
5 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

MacBook Pro

Why you should avoid: The 13- and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros were updated on July 12, 2018, so as Macs go they're not that old. While I wouldn't say that you should avoid this, the fact that they are based on Intel's Kaby Lake processors, which have been superseded by Cannon Lake, and that they appear to suffer from a cable flex issue that's expensive to fix, I'm saying spend your money cautiously.

Hardware last updated: July 2018.

Apple Lightning cable
6 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Apple Lightning cable

Why you should avoid: Buy something cheaper that will last you longer!

I would never buy another Lightning cable from Apple, as there are far better alternatives on offer from companies such as Anker, Amazon, Nomad, and Paracable.

But what about USB-C-to-Lightning I hear you ask? Well, now you have an option outside of Apple now that there are third-party options.

Anker has released its own Powerline II USB-C-to-Lightning cable, which is fully compliant with Apple's Made For iPhone (MFi) standard.

Another MFi-compliant third-party cable is available from Choetech, which has a 6-foot cable that appears to be more durable than Apple's offering.

Status: Too expensive!


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7 of 10 Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

HomePod

Why you should avoid: The current HomePod is a first-generation device that was released over a year ago to offer a challenge to devices such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home speaker. But a year old in the tech industry is a long time, and so it might be worthwhile holding out on buying one until we get a clearer idea of whether Apple is planning a refresh. 

Hardware last updated: February 2018.

Mac Pro
8 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Mac Pro

Why you should avoid: Old, outdated, and Apple has already teased us with a replacement due in 2019.

Once the apex of Apple's computer line, the Mac Pro is now a dinosaur.

Now that Apple has confirmed that there will be a new Mac Pro this year, the old Mac Pro should be off everyone's list (unless you absolutely rely on it and you have to replace one that's been taken out of action).

Hardware last updated: Price cut April 2017, but the Mac Pro has been unchanged since December 2013.


Apple TV 4K
9 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Apple TV 4K

Guidance: Probably not going to see a refresh this year, so it's worth it if you feel like paying top dollar for last year's tech.

Apple's 5th-generation Apple TV 4K, built around the A10X Fusion processor and coming with a choice of 32GB or 64GB of storage, was last updated over a year ago. It's still a great device, but the starting price of $179 feels hefty for something over a year old.

Don't be confused between this and the 4th-generation Apple TV (without the 4K branding) which is also still for sale. This was first released October 2015.

Hardware last updated: The 5th-generation Apple TV 4K was launched September 2017

iPod touch
10 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iPod touch

Why you should avoid: Old, still works, but far expensive for what it is now.

This one is tricky. The hardware of the iPod touch was last updated back in July 2015, which means that by modern standards it's getting quite long in the tooth. 

Since Apple didn't refresh the iPod touch alongside the iPhone XS, it's quite possible that Apple is going to milk this old piece of hardware for as long as possible. If you don't want an iPhone, have an ancient iPod instead.

Hardware last updated: Storage options and price tweaks July 2017, but underlying product based on the iPod touch from July 2015.


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