From the iPhone 11 Pro to the newly refreshed 16-inch MacBook Pro, there are plenty of great Apple products that will give you a ton of bang for your buck. On the other end of the spectrum, some of Apple’s other offerings are better avoided — at least right now.
Apple has quite a few pending refreshes this year, meaning you’ll probably be better off waiting until Apple upgrades a product lineup. Similarly, there are also a few Apple buys that aren’t really worth your money compared to other options. Continue reading to browse 9 Apple products you shouldn’t buy (right now).
An iPhone 8
The iPhone 8 is a few years old. But last year, Apple surprisingly kept it on the roster as a lower-cost device starting at $449 for the base model and $549 for the iPhone 8 Plus. That may seem like a good deal on an iPhone, but we recommend steering clear of it.
Apple is largely expected to debut a new lower-cost device, perhaps called the iPhone 9, within the first half of the year. That smartphone is likely to be an iPhone 8 with significantly updated intervals, including a stunningly fast A13 Bionic processor. The kicker? It’s also rumored to cost even less than the current iPhone 8. We recommend waiting it out.
Apple’s latest iPad Pro is actually already a year and a half old. The 11- and 12.9-inch professional tablets debuted back in 2018. While they’re still powerful enough to keep up to today’s standards, your money might be better spent on a refreshed iPad Pro with cutting-edge technology and internals.
New iPad Pros are coming. It just isn’t clear when. Some reports indicate that Apple could refresh its iPad Pro lineup in the first half of this year — that is, before June. Based on the company’s past tablet releases, you may have to wait until September or October to see significantly upgraded iPads. In any case, the wait is probably going to be worth it.
13-inch MacBook Pro (or Air)
Last year, Apple unveiled the latest iteration of its professional portables: the 16-inch MacBook Pro. But while it refreshed its larger Pro notebooks, the 13-inch MacBook Pro hasn’t seen a similar update. With concerns about keyboard reliability and thermal throttling, it’s worth it to wait.
That’s especially true since a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a more reliable keyboard is likely just over the horizon. The same goes for a potential MacBook Air with a Magic Keyboard. If you can wait a few more months to get a new computer, it may pay off in the long run.
The Apple TV is an interesting product from the company, since it’s sticking around despite not being wildly popular. If you’re looking for a great set-top box that can support 4K video and integrates tightly with the Apple ecosystem, it’s a solid choice. But if you can wait a bit longer to buy one, it may pay off in the long run.
Current Apple TV models still run upwards of $179, which is a bit steep considering that they’re using aging hardware. And signs of a significantly beefed-up Apple TV are starting to surface in recent software releases. In iOS 13.4 beta, for example, there are signs of an upcoming Apple TV that could sport an A12 or A13 Bionic chipset. That’ll mean much more bang for your buck.
HomePod. When it first debuted, it was pretty much the best-sounding smart speaker on the market. In the few years since its release, however, Apple’s competitors in the smart speaker space have caught up. Options like Google Home Max and Amazon Echo Plus pump out similar sound, and are actually cheaper than HomePod.
We haven’t heard much about a potential HomePod refresh in some time, but past rumors have suggested that Apple could debut a new lower-cost model. Whether or not HomePod is getting refreshed this year, it’s getting harder to justify spending $299 on a device that has cheaper (and arguably better) rivals available.
The iMac is likely Apple’s most popular desktop computer — and for good reason. If you’re looking for a stationary Mac, it’s a great option. But the iMac in its current form also sports a design that’s nearly a decade old. While we may not see a radically redesigned iMac this year, there’s a good chance Apple will refresh the device.
You could apply that same advice to the iMac Pro, which is similarly a bit older. While Apple refreshed the iMac Pro with new upgrade options last year, the actual internals aren’t the latest and greatest anymore. We’d recommend waiting it out, especially since it isn’t a cheap purchase.
Apple last refreshed the Mac mini back in October 2018. The device, which the company seemingly neglected for years, added great new options like 8th-gen Intel processors and additional I/O and RAM options. But that was two years ago, and you may deserve more for your money now.
The Mac mini is still a great and affordable way to get into the Mac ecosystem. But we’re largely expecting Apple to refresh the device again in a significant way this year. You may have to wait until the fall, but you’ll end up with a much newer and likely more powerful system as a result.
iMac Hard Drives & Mac mini SSDs
Speaking of iMacs and Mac minis, Apple offers a range of customization options for those computers. Some of them you shouldn’t take, especially at this point. An example? iMacs with an ATA or Fusion Drive.
Those drives aren’t SSDs, which means that your data performance is going to be a lot lower. Opt for an SSD instead. If you need more storage, you can always get an external SSD, too.
Similarly, you should avoid buying too much RAM on your 27-inch iMacs or Mac minis. Why? Because you can actually just buy off-the-shelf memory and install it in your computer yourself. That’ll save you some cash in the long run and doesn’t take much technical know-how at all. Stick with the base RAM and upgrade later. (This advice doesn’t apply to the 21-inch iMac, which doesn’t have user-upgradeable memory.)
Apple Cables, Maybe
We commonly recommend against buying knockoff, counterfeit or cheap charging hardware for your Apple devices. Mostly, that’s because they can result in poor performance — and may even be dangerous. But avoiding cheap chargers doesn’t mean you only have to stick with Apple accessories.
There are plenty of third-party manufacturers that now make good-quality charging cables. Try to stick to accessories that are part of Apple’s MFi program, which helps ensure that they’re top-notch. The same advice goes for charging bricks and Mac dongles, too.