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

While Apple carried out a big refresh of its hardware lineup in September, there are plenty of other Apple products you should avoid buying in the run up to the holidays. If you're thinking of buying these, you might be better looking at alternatives.

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Topic: Hardware
iMac
1 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iMac

Guidance: It's hard to recommend buying a computer that's over a year old.

No matter how much Apple's new "Behind the Mac" ads try to convince me that Macs have a longer lifespan than a PC, I still find it hard to recommend people spend top dollar on technology that's over a year old.

Hardware last updated: June 2017, with the refresh bringing with it Intel Kaby Lake processors, updated displays, and faster SSDs storage

MacBook Air
2 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

MacBook Air

Guidance: This is a lot of money for what is an ancient laptop.

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 in 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.

Hardware last updated: Minor update June 2017, but based on a March 2015 product

iPad Pro
3 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iPad Pro

Guidance: A year is a long time, and both models are rumored to be getting an upgrade soon.

It's been over a year since either the 10.5-inch of the 12.9-inch versions, and as both are rumored to be scheduled for an upgrade, it might be worth holding out on a purchase (or looking at the Surface Go?).

Hardware last updated: Updated July 2017

iPad mini
4 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iPad mini

Guidance: Steer clear!

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.

Hardware last updated: Storage options and price tweaks March 2017, but underlying product based on the iPad mini from September 2015

AirPods
5 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

AirPods

Guidance: Buy now and you might regret it when a newer version drops.

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

There are also a whole raft of other earphones out there that are worth taking a look at.

Hardware last updated: Launched December 2016

iPod touch
6 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iPod touch

Guidance: Old, but still works, but 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. 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 later this year.

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

Mac Pro
7 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Mac Pro

Guidance: Avoid unless you have to.

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

Now that Apple has confirmed that there won't be a new Mac Pro until next year (presumably so as not to cannibalize iMac Pro sales), I think that 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

Mac mini
8 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Mac mini

Guidance: This is a total fossil!

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 also a real shame that Apple has nothing to replace them with, especially since this was popular amongst those switching from PC to Mac.

Rumor has it that Apple might be readying a refresh. While I'd love to see a new Mac mini, I'm not holding my breath!

Hardware last updated: October 2014

Apple Time Capsule/AirPort
9 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Apple Time Capsule/AirPort

Guidance: Do not buy!

Now that Apple has discontinued this product, I don't recommend buying an AirPort router anymore (even though Apple is selling off the remaining stock).

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.

Status: Discontinued

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

Apple Lightning cable

Guidance: 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.

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 (some more unscrupulous sellers may claim to support fast charging, but they don't).

Status: Too expensive

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