Don’t waste your money on these Apple products — Black Friday/Cyber Monday edition | ZDNet

That gift giving time of year is almost upon us, and tech gifts look set to be popular once again.

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Whether you’re buying a gift for a friend or loved one, or for yourself, you deserve to be getting the best bang for your bucks possible. This is why I recommend avoiding certain products in Apple’s lineup. Products that are now getting a bit old and long in the tooth. 

Here’s what’s on my “Avoid” list:

  • iPhone SE: This didn’t see a refresh this year, and at over a year old, it’s not the great deal that it was when it was unveiled April last year.
  • Apple Watch SE/Series 3: I’d give both of these a wide berth. The SE is a year old, and the Series 3 is still hanging on after four years. Both feel overpriced compared to the Series 7, and you might do better looking for a secondhand watch.
  • Mac Pro: With the transition to Apple Silicon underway, this huge monetary investment doesn’t make sense. 
  • HomePod: No. Mini is OK to buy though.
  • iPod touch: Don’t touch that!

But what’s on my recommended list for Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2021?

Save $79


The best earbuds out there, and they integrate so well with the rest of the Apple ecosystem. Great sound, super comfortable, and great battery life. 

Two years on from their release, these are still my favorite earbuds.


Blowing away the competition, Apple’s AirTags are the perfect gift for someone who constantly loses things.

Well made, robust, and with a replaceable battery, these will make lost keys or wallets a thing of the past.

The best of the best


Without doubt, the best smartphone out there. 

The display is beautiful, the camera is superb, and the battery life is leaps ahead of the competition.

Highly recommended!

Save $100


A great alternative to a laptop (especially for those in the Apple ecosystem). Powered by Apple’s M1 chip, this is a huge upgrade compared to earlier iPad Pro tablets.

Paired with the beautiful XDR display and superb camera array featuring a 12MP wide camera, 10MP ultra wide camera, and even a LiDAR scanner, this is a great platform for both work and play.

Save $150


A super-powerful laptop in a small, 13.3-inch form-factor. 

The M1 chip blows away anything that Intel could bring to a Mac, and allows for incredible performance combined with an unprecedented battery life.

Top tips for buying Apple products

  • Shop around — Apple is not the cheapest place to buy Apple products (although for some things, it could be the only place).
  • Get in there early — The global chip shortage means that there can be longer than usual shipping times times for some products, so plan ahead!
  • Make sure you know what you are buying — For example, the latest AirPods are the 3rd-generation model, not the 2nd-generation versions (which I still see for sale for a premium price).
  • Warranties — Apple has no problems with new, genuine products bought from third-parties.

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