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Apple products you shouldn't buy (March 2018 edition)

Just because Apple offers something for sale doesn't mean that it's a good idea to buy it! Here's a list of Apple products that you shouldn't buy because they are old, or that newer versions are likely to land soon.
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Topic: Mobility
AirPods
1 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

AirPods

With rumors of updated AirPods circulating, now may not be the time to shell out $159 on Apple's wireless headphones.

iPhone SE
2 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iPhone SE

While the iPhone SE got a storage bump in March 2017, the underlying hardware remains the same as the original hardware released in March 2016. It's essentially an iPhone 6s in a different shell.

This one is a tough call. While it's a solid entry-level device, given the age of the technology it's a tough call as to whether to recommend it or not, especially given the persistent rumors of an iPhone SE2 upgrade being in the works.

iPad
3 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iPad

With almost a year gone since the last update, the iPad is now getting long in the tooth and an updated version is likely to land in the next few weeks.

iPod touch
4 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iPod touch

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. However, the July 2017 price cut means that it's a better deal than it was a few weeks ago.

Personally, I'd see what happens at the next iPhone launch. It's quite possible that the price cut was a way for Apple to clear stock of the 6th-generation models before making an update. Or it may be a way to clear stock before killing it off altogether.

Either way, I'd wait and see what happens this month.

MacBook Air
5 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

MacBook Air

Once Apple's thinnest and lightest laptop, it now is neither of these things, with the MacBook taking that spot in the lineup.

The MacBook Air was last given a significant upgrade back on March of 2015, and rumors that it is being discontinued have been circulating for months.

Apple could dramatically simplify its Mac lineup by letting this ancient one go.

Apple Lightning cable
6 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Apple Lightning cable

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.

The only time I recommend buying an Apple cable is if you want USB-C fast charging capability on the iPhone X or iPhone 8. Only the genuine Apple cable is currently compatible with this feature.

Apple Time Capsule/AirPort
7 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Apple Time Capsule/AirPort

Now that Apple has disbanded the group responsible for these products, it's fair to assume that they're on borrowed time and that it's not going to see a refresh.

This is a shame since these products were rock solid and both easy enough for newbies to set up yet powerful and versatile enough for enthusiasts.

Mac mini
8 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Mac mini

Once the low-cost gateway device into the Mac ecosystem, the Mac mini last saw refresh love from Apple in October 2014.

Nothing about the Mac mini makes sense any more. The form factor was based around the footprint of an optical drive, and the idea was that those switching up from a PC could keep their old peripherals and just slot the Mac mini into their workflow. Nowadays the focus is more on laptops, and the Mac mini feels like a relic of a bygone era.

But it's a shame. I've owned a number of Mac minis and they were all awesome workhorses. It's a real shame that Apple has nothing to replace them with.

iPad mini
9 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iPad mini

As the iPhone gets bigger, the case of the iPad mini gets weaker. This is doubly so if the OLED iPhone 8 ships with the rumored 5.8-inch display.

The iPad mini is also getting old, with the September 2016 update being only a storage bump.

There are also some pretty strong rumors that suggest Apple is getting ready to drop the iPad mini from its line up.

Mac Pro
10 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Mac Pro

With the iMac Pro on the horizon (although still not released, and 2017 is rapidly coming to a close), and Apple executives making vague statements about a new Mac Pro, it's not a good time to be shelling out thousands of dollars on Apple workstations.

Apple Smart Battery Case
11 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Apple Smart Battery Case

A $99 silicone case with a 2000mAh battery sandwiched into it doesn't make sense when you can buy bigger and better (and more ergonomic) powerbanks for a lot less.

2017-08-0110-04-51.jpg
12 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iPod

RIP iPod (Died July 2017)

Once Apple's top product, the iPod is now little more than a reminder of what propelled Apple into the consumer space.

Apple still sells iPods -- in the form of the iPod touch, iPod shuffle, and iPod nano -- but these are all years old. The iPod touch got its last refresh back in July 2015, while the iPod nano and iPod shuffle last got a major refresh (excluding new colors added to the lineup) in September 2012 and September 2010, respectively.

The only iPod still going is the iPod touch.

Thunderbolt Display
13 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Thunderbolt Display

RIP Thunderbolt Display (Died June 2016)

Apple's 27-inch Thunderbolt display was introduced in July 2011 as the ultimate display for high-end pros.

Apple's shortest-lived product: iPad 3
14 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Apple's shortest-lived product: iPad 3

RIP iPad 3 (Died October 2012)

The iPad 3 deserves a special mention is any list of dead Apple products -- because it was Apple's shortest-lived product. Released in March 2012, it was superseded by the iPad 4 in October of the same year.

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