Apple was a huge part of the vanguard of the computer revolution, but in the 21st century, this name is all but synonymous with mobile devices. From its famous smartphones and tablets (two product niches that Apple pretty much invented) to smartwatches and headphones, this company has something for every techie, although its products usually come at a premium. Worry not: If you’re shopping for some new Apple goodies and you’re on a budget, there are always bargains waiting to be found, and we’ve got ’em right here. Read on to see this week’s best Apple deals and sales on everything from MacBooks to smart home gadgets and more.
Apple Watch Series 6
Smartwatches never became the next smartphones, but the Apple Watch is the one smartwatch that has managed to enjoy widespread popularity. Apple updated its WatchOS-powered smart wearable last year, releasing the excellent — and pricey — new Apple Watch Series 6. The Apple Watch Series 6 refined everything we loved about previous models, bringing the design to near perfection with great software, a vibrant always-on display, and an excellent set of health and fitness-tracking features.
We’ve also seen some fantastic discounts in the wake of the Series 6 release that bring it closer in price (or even cheaper than) the now-discontinued Series 5, making now a particularly perfect time to buy one if you’ve been on the fence and waiting for a deal. With the Apple Watch Series 7 launching in a few weeks, we can expect even better deals on the Series 6 soon.
Apple 10.2-Inch iPad (8th Generation)
Apple just announced the new 9th-gen iPad 10.2, and aside from incremental hardware changes, the 2021 model isn’t really re-inventing the wheel. Yet given how good these tablets are and the value they provide, that’s just fine with us, and there’s never really a bad time to score the new 10.2-inch iPad at a discount as retailers offer them on sale pretty much year-round.
When it was first on the market, our review team named the 7th-gen 10.2-inch iPad the best tablet for most people thanks to its superb touchscreen, solid performance, and great overall design and build quality. That hasn’t changed with the new 8th-gen refresh, which is now the one we recommend you buy. It’s an even easier sell given how affordable it is relative to other much pricier Apple devices like the iPad Pro line.
Apple iPhone 13
The iPhone 13 series is Apple’s recently announced flagship smartphone line, and with it, Apple built upon its three-phone release strategy by rolling out four new devices: the iPhone 13, the pocket-friendly iPhone 13 Mini, the higher-end iPhone 13 Pro, and the up-sized iPhone 13 Pro Max. The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini are the more affordable models (the iPhone 13 Mini retails for just $699, in contrast to the $1,099 sticker price for the 12 Pro Max), and they’re both winners.
The biggest improvement in the iPhone 13 is the camera. It will have improved light sensitivity for better low-light photos and videos. The Pro and Pro Max have whole new cameras, with Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto abilities. The upgrade to iOS 15 improves the photo apps, allowing for cool new settings like Cinematic Mode.
Apple MacBook Air (Late 2020 Model with M1 CPU)
With modern laptops getting slimmer and slimmer, the MacBook Air is almost redundant now, but it still does its thing very well. That should come as no shock considering that Apple wrote the book in super-slim laptops with the MacBook Air, and its late 2020 model makes for a fantastic featherweight work machine now that it comes loaded with Apple’s superb new M1 CPU.
On the latest MacBook Air, that M1 chip is paired with 8GB RAM (perfectly respectable hardware for work, browsing, and streaming) along with a 128GB solid state drive. One thing we didn’t like about the Intel Core MacBook Air was its launch price, but the addition of that M1 CPU make it much more attractive and it’s still the cheapest entry point into the MacBook ecosystem — especially if you can find a good deal.
Apple iPad Pro (5th Generation with M1 CPU)
The Mac computers aren’t the only devices to get the M1 upgrade: In May of 2021, Apple brought its new chipset to the iPad Pro tablets as well. The Pro has always been the most powerful tablet in the iPad lineup (and one you can easily use as a 2-in-1 laptop when paired with a good keyboard case), but the M1 CPU really takes things up a notch. As with the previous 4th-gen model, the 5th-gen iPad Pro comes with one of two display sizes — 11 inches and 12.9-inches — with the 12.9-inch Liquid Retina display boasting mini-LED technology.
Along with the M1 CPU, the 2021 iPad Pro got 5G connectivity, a memory boost (8GB to 16GB from 6GB), and Thunderbolt 3 and USB 4 connectivity. The 12.9-inch model saw a $100 MSRP increase to $1,100 as well, likely due to the enhanced Liquid Retina display. The 11-inch Pro still carries its retail price tag of $799. As the top tablet in the stable, the 5th-gen iPad Pro is naturally the most expensive, but this is also where you’ll find some of the juiciest Apple deals when they’re available.
Apple made a lot of waves when the company started removing the 3.5mm wired headphone jack from its devices, but more than made up for it by releasing the AirPods — and kicking off the true wireless earbud revolution in the process. The Apple AirPods may not be the absolute “best” wireless earbuds on the market, but they’re still hot for a reason, and if you’re an Apple fan (meaning you probably use an iPhone and/or an iPad), they’re the earbuds for you.
They’ve also been out for a couple years now (they were most recently refreshed with the second-gen AirPods being released in 2019), so Apple deals on these popular earbuds always abound. You can get them with the wired charging case or a wireless charging case for a $40 upgrade, with retail pricing sitting at $160 and $200, respectively. However, regular discounts and sales give shoppers frequent chances to score them for around $30-$50 off, so hold out for a bargain — and you shouldn’t have to wait very long.
Want the over-ear headphone experience with the quality you expect from Apple? It’s finally here. AirPods Max launched in December of 2020 and took the audio world by storm. The headphones are very comfortable, if a bit heavy, with soft mesh on the cups and the overhead strap. They are a marvel to look at. Everything from the sleek metal outside the cups to the oversized volume and noise-cancellation knob show that Apple knows how to design a beautiful product.
But the visuals aren’t all you should care about. The noise-cancellation is top notch, and the transparency mode really makes it sound like you’ve taken the headphones off completely. Just like that, you can toggle between total immersion and full situational awareness. AirPods Max pair perfectly with other Apple devices, such as MacBooks, iPhones and Apple Watches. If you already have a suite of Apple products, you can’t pass up the AirPods Max.
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