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Apple products you shouldn't buy: April 2019 edition

Apple products are expensive, so it makes sense to avoid buying anything that's nearing the end of its lifecycle, or when you can buy something of equivalent quality from another vendor. Here is a list of the items you are best avoiding.
iPad
1 of 11 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

iPad

Why you should avoid: The current iPad was updated a year ago, and the line didn't see a refresh along with the iPad Air and iPad mini, which means that it might be a good idea to either pick up one of the updated models, or wait for a hardware refresh to come. After all, a year is a long time in technology. 

Hardware last updated: March 2018.

MacBook
2 of 11 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

MacBook

Why you should avoid: Once the pinnacle of Apple's thin-and-light engineering, the MacBook now feels neglected, with the last update being almost two years ago. It's a great laptop, but the aging processor makes it a poor buy compared to the MacBook Air. 

Hardware last updated: June 2017.

apple-homepod-1.jpg
3 of 11 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.

Apple Lightning cable
4 of 11 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, for the first time you have an option outside of Apple now that Anker has released its own Powerline II USB-C-to-Lightning cable, which is fully compliant with Apple's Made For iPhone (MFi) standard.

Status: Too expensive!

MacBook Pro
5 of 11 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wouldn't say that you should avoid this, the fact that they are based on Intel's Kaby Lake processors, which have been superseded by Cannon Lake, and that they appear to suffer from a cable flex issue (which many now have been addressed), I'm saying spend your money cautiously.

Hardware last updated: July 2018.

Apple TV 4K
6 of 11 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

Mac Pro
7 of 11 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.

iPod touch
8 of 11 Apple

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.

012.jpg
9 of 11 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Discontinued: iPhone X

If you were hoping to pick up a cheap iPhone X following the launch of the new iPhones, you're outta luck because Apple pulled the plug on it.

Discontinued: iPhone SE
10 of 11 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Discontinued: iPhone SE

The iPhone XS launch day was also the day that Apple discontinued the budget iPhone SE.

This model has been replaced with the not-so-small, not-so-cheap iPhone XR (which also doesn't have a headphone jack).

You can't buy: AirPower
11 of 11 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Discontinued: AirPower

Can a product that never actually launched be discontinued?

Turns out AirPower was such a magical device that it disappeared altogether!

During the iPhone X unveiling Apple announced AirPower, an all-in-one wireless charger for the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. The product never shipped, and today it seems that Apple has scrubbed almost all traces of it off its website.

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