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The Apple products you shouldn't buy for the holidays 2018 (and three things you can't buy anymore)

Just because it's for sale in the Apple Store at a reassuringly high price doesn't mean it's a good deal that that you should buy it, There are no shortage of Apple gear you should avoid buying in the run up to the holidays. If you're thinking of buying any these, you might be better looking at alternatives.
iMac
1 of 13 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iMac

Why you should avoid: 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. This, like most of Apple's Mac lineup, is in desperate need of a refresh.

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 13 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

MacBook Air

Why you should avoid: Apple is asking for far too much money for what is now a painfully 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 2015, and rumors that it is being discontinued have been circulating for many months (but still, it remains on sale).

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

AirPods
3 of 13 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

AirPods

Why you should avoid: 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
4 of 13 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. However, the July 2017 price cut means that it's a better deal than it was a few weeks ago.

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.

iPad Pro
5 of 13 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iPad Pro

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

It's been well over a year since either the 10.5-inch of the 12.9-inch versions were refreshed, and as both are rumored to be scheduled for an update, I recommend holding out on a purchase (alternatively, take a look at the Surface Go).

Hardware last updated: Updated July 2017.

Mac mini
6 of 13 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Mac mini

Why you should avoid: This thing is a total fossil!

Once the low-cost gateway device into the Mac ecosystem, and a really popular gift for the holidays, 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 it was a popular choice for PC-to-Mac switchers.

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.

iPad mini
7 of 13 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iPad mini

Why you should avoid: It's painfully old and outdated!

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 some pretty persistent rumors suggesting that Apple is getting ready to drop the iPad mini from its lineup.

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

Mac Pro
8 of 13 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 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.

​Apple Time Capsule/AirPort
9 of 13 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

​Apple Time Capsule/AirPort

Why you should avoid: It's a discontinued product!

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 13 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.

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!

You can't buy: AirPower
11 of 13 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!

A year ago 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.

012.jpg
12 of 13 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
13 of 13 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).

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