This buyer’s guide provides is our attempt to provide the best recommendation of all Apple products. The intent of this page is to get the best knowledge of current Apple product so you would not be in a situation where you are buying an Apple product at the end of the lifecycle.
|Best Budget||Best surprise||Best all-rounder||Best Flagship|
|iPhone||iPhone SE 2||iPhone 13 Mini||iPhone 13||iPhone 13 Pro|
|Features||A13 chip, TouchID, 4.7" LCD Screen||A15 chip, FaceID, 5.4" OLED Screen, MagSafe, 5G||A15 chip, FaceID, 6.1" OLED Screen, MagSafe, 5G||A15 chip, FaceID, 6.1" OLED Screen, MagSafe, 5G, ProRAW, ProRes, Zoom Lens|
|Launch Price||From $399||From $699||From $799||From $999|
|September 2021 Price||From $318||-|
|Best Feature||The price||The size||Ultra-wide camera||Premium feel|
|Verdict||When you can own the phone from $5/month when you use a phone line plan, it's the cheapest way to get an iPhone. It has all the basic features that you need without any excess. If you just need a phone without thinking much about it, this one is the best||All the features of the iPhone 13 in a smaller more bite-size model. They fixed the battery longetivity issue and it's that own and forget phone||All rounder without the extra fluff of the Pro models.||If you are making money with using the iPhone, this is definitely the best tool for the job. The bigger Pro Max is slightly more capable, but don't discount the capabilities of the normal size Pro model. That 1TB option makes the phone a smart hard drive.|
The iPhone is Apple’s best selling product. It is a smartphone which literally help changed the world together with the Android platform. First introduced in 2007, the iPhone has grown from just a internet communicator, a phone and an iPod. Current iPhone line features a triple camera system in the rear, the front camera, retina display with HDR capabilities, Dolby Atmos sound, wireless charging and 5G.
The iPhone line-up has been updated last on a Apple special event in September 2021 and expected to be updated again in September 2022.
iPhone 13 and the iPhone Pro is the most current iPhone on the market.
The best features of the current iPhone 13 and 13 Pro are:-
- Better battery life compared to iPhone 12
- New camera system that has wider aperture and more light sensitive than iPhone 12. Take HDR video at 4K60.
- Brighter screen than the iPhone 12.
- Ceramic Shield on the front glass
- MagSafe connection
The Pro models have additional great features:-
- Zoom camera
- LIDAR scanner
- 1000 nits in typical brightness.
- ProRAW feature when taking photos
- ProRes feature when taking videos (the 128GB is limited to 1080p 30fps while higher capacity model goes to 4k 30fps)
- ProMotion - variable refresh rate on the display from 10Hz to 120Hz. Lowering refresh rate helps with the battery life.
The next iPhone
For the past 10 years, new iPhone always comes out around in the September month. The exception was in 2020 when there was a global pandemic that basically restrict almost every human movement. Expect 2021 will be back on the same time table. Rumors about new iPhone features get louder and louder as September comes and we will update as we hear it. You can keep track of all Apple rumors in our convenient page.
Rumored features on iPhone 14:-
- New design. More like the iPhone 4, one of the greatest design.
While not a requirement when using the iPhone, having these accessories will greatly enhance your experience when using the iPhone.
While Apple removed the 3.5mm headphone jack since the iPhone 7, Apple does provide a Lighting-to-3.5mm connector if you wish to listen to a wired headphone. If you planning to listen to Lossless Audio on the Music App, you will need to use the connector for a full listening experience.
AirPods is a line of bluetooth earphones or headphones. Each of them have a specialized W-series chip to ensure fast connection to your Apple devices while act as a DAC to convert the digital signals to analog that you can view. The basic AirPods just provide wireless music. AirPods Pro has noise canceling feature and the AirPods Max is a full-blown headphones with a digital crown for volume control.
The Apple Watch is a great companion to your iPhone. Furthermore, you need to use an iPhone to use Apple Watch’s functionality. The Apple Watch act as an extra screen for your iPhone and allows you to do tasks like answering messages, call people, track your workout session without opening up your phone. It can also work in conjunction with AirPods so you can control music (for example) by using your Apple Watch. Another scenario is you are wearing your AirPods and you can answer the phone with using your Apple Watch with out lifting your phone.
MagSafe is a new technology that is first introduced in the iPhone 12. Basically it is a series of magnets built around a charging coil. However, Apple added some communication component in the coils. There are a series of accessories both sold by Apple and third party that uses this new appendage. As expected, you can securely charge your phone using the MagSafe charger, attach a wallet or even a battery pack.
Of course, cases will not only protect your iPhone from falls and scratches, it also a way to personalize your phone to show to the world that while there are many iPhones in this world, this one is mine. 3rd party cases runs from the gamut from cheap $10 clear-coat to the $1000 Louis Vuitton Eye-Trunk.
Apple also produce their own cases that is made from various material like silicone to leather depending on your preferences.
California Streamed and here's one of the things that we got: The latest iPhone from the Cupertino company. A15 chip, brighter display, redesigned notch, better camera system, ProRes for the Pros, macro photography and many more.
|Best Budget||Best surprise||Best all-rounder||Best Flagship|
|iPad version||iPad||iPad Mini||iPad Air||iPad Pro|
|Features||A13 chip, TouchID, 10.2" screen||A15 chip, TouchID, 8.3" screen, Apple Pencil 2 support||A14 chip, TouchID, 10.9" screen, SmartConnect, Apple Pencil 2 support||M1 chip, FaceID, 11" or 12.9" screen, Multiple lens camera system, LIDAR scanner, flash, MiniLED screen on the 12.9", SmartConnect, ProMotion, Apple Pencil 2 support|
|Launch Date||September 2021||September 2021||October 2020||March 2021|
|Launch Price||From $329||From $499||From $599||From $799 for 11", From $1099 for 12.9"|
|August 2021 Price||$299 (2020 iPad)||$369 (2019 iPad Mini)||$499||$699 for 11" or $999 for 12.9"|
|Best Feature||Unbeatable price and iPadOS. You can hardly find any competition at this price and the iPadOS is very polish despite having loads rooms for improvement||The size. Great book reader. Same chip as the newly launched iPhone 13.||It's has around 80%-90% of iPad Pro features at $200 less||FaceID and the best screen in Apple's iPad line up. Once you go ProMotion, you'll never go back|
|Verdict||Best content consumer product in the market. At the price, there's simply no competition that can even match the features or the performance of the tablet. iPadOS has been polished very well as a content consumer OS. There's a reason almost every kid has one||iPad Mini was updated on September 2021 and it was a major upgrade. However, the price bump to $499 will deter potential buyers, but it is the most powerful iPad after the Pro at this juncture||It's good if you want the iPad Pro form factor and most of the features without paying all the premium price. Although iPad technology is so over powered that a 2018 iPad Pro is not a bad proposition either||Apple's attempt as a laptop replacement. The hardware matches and sometime exceed even Apple's laptop offering but iPadOS still hold back the iPad Pro's full potential|
The iPad is Apple’s line of table computers that was first introduced in 2007. The original iPad bought many firsts for Apple: first tablet, first custom chip, first mention of iOS (was first on the iPhone 4, but was redesigned for tablet in mind). Now the tablet has morphed into 3 distinct lines. The consumer is called the iPad or iPad Mini which meant as a content consumer device. The middle-tier is the iPad Air which as some of the features of the Pro models but a more approachable price. The top tier is the iPad Pro which intended to be a laptop replacement device. The iPad Pro has many features that is not even available on the MacBook line up such as LIDAR scanner or MicroLED screen and is competitively priced against their own MacBook line. The iPads run on a special operating system called iPadOS which at the moment has features that is present in both iOS and macOS.
Current line up
Most of the iPad has been recently updated with the oldest iPad is the iPad Mini which was introduce in 2019. Nevertheless, the iPad has a slower refresh cycle than their iPhone and Mac cousins. For example, 8th generation was introduced in 2020, but yet still use the same CPU that was first introduced in the older 2019 iPad Mini. That A12 chip was first introduced in iPhone Xs / Xr line up in 2018.
- iPad Pro (last update: Q2 2021, next expected update: Q1 2022)
- iPad Air (last update: Q4 2020, next expected update: unknown, possibly Q4 2021)
- iPad (last update: September 2021, next update: ~September 2022)
- iPad Mini (last update: September 2021, next update: ~September 2023)
You can read the latest rumors in one convenient page here.
Although not a requirement to run any program in iPadOS, having accessories like a keyboard or pointing device can significantly enhance your experience using the iPad. You will also notice that some tasks like drawing is much easier with a pointing device like the Apple Pencil.
Since iPadOS 13, iPadOS has included mouse support. They are labeled as assistive devices but Appe on the other hand sells Magic Keyboard with built-in track pad. Mouse and track pad is not a requirement to use any of the iPadOS program, but just like the Apple Pencil, they contribute to a better overall experience when using certain programs.
- Apple Magic Keyboard for 12.9" - Buy at Amazon
- Apple Magic Keyboard for 11" iPad Pro or iPad Air 4 - Buy at Amazon
- Apple Pencil 2 - Buy at Amazon
- Apple Pencil - Buy at Amazon
- Smart Keyboard - Buy at Amazon
The most powerful tablet is updated to become one of the most powerful portable computers in the planet. Will Apple update the iPadOS to unleash the full potential?
iPad is the ultimate content consuming device. The iPad line up has been updated in September 2021 and made the best selling tablet in the world even stronger. The new iPad Mini is the new powerhouse of the iPad lineup.
iPad Mini vs iPhone Pro Max
Apple updated the iPhone Pro line up and supercharged the iPad Mini into a powerhouse. Now iPad Mini has the same chip as the iPhone Pro. Which is the right choice? The superphone or the pocket rocket iPad?
|Mac||MacBook Air||Mac Mini / iMac||MacBook Pro||Mac Pro|
|Features||M1 chip, 13.3" display, TouchID, Fanless quite design.||M1 chip, Well design chassis. Intel Core i3 to i9 depending on models. 4.5K to 5K displays on the iMac.||M1 chip for the 13.3" entry level. M1 Pro / M1 Max for the higher end 14" and 16" version. Ports (HDMI / SD). XDR screen. TouchID. 64GB of RAM.||Intel Xeon-W chip upto 28-cores, upto 1.5TB RAM, 8TB Internal Hard Drive, 8 PCI-x expansion slots, optional Afterburner card, professional graphic cards, 1300W power supply.|
|Launch Price||From $999||Mac Mini: From $699; iMac: From $1299||13": From $1299; 14": $1999; 16": $2499||From $4999|
|August 2021 Price||From $899||Mac Mini: $649, iMac: $1249||MacBook Pro 13": $1099;||-|
|October 2021 Price||
13" : $1075 (Amazon); |
14" : $1999 (Amazon);
16": $2499 (Amazon);
|Best Feature||Price. Best laptop at $999 price. There's simply no competitor at this point in terms of features and performance.||
iMac: Design. Will look good in your kitchen.
Mac Mini: Cheapest Mac in the lineup, but the most capable Mac due to sheer possibility of putting accessories to the mix.
Most capable and powerful laptop on the market. Like a samurai with his katana, the MacBook Pro is the most essential weapon for the road warrior.
The MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max SOC are the most powerful laptop on the market. It's a unique product. It rivals workstations like the Mac Pro. You know who you are.
|Customization. You can go from 8-core to 28-core, up to 1.5 TB of RAM. Add cards to add capabilities like process ProRes, fiber optic networking, custom video cards. Truly a workstation|
|Verdict||If you looking for a basic laptop, this is it. The best||
iMac is one solid all-in-one desktop. It's a no-worries computing solution.
The Mac Mini is powerful enough to do anything and the beauty of it you can accessorize it to your liking
|Standard work horse for professional on the go. Can't go wrong with this one.||For the true professional that is a part of a serious production house. If you think the entry price is too high, this one is not for you.|
Related: Overview of the desktop Mac lineup
Mac stands for Mouse Activated Computer and is one of the earliest Apple product. Continuously on sale since the 1980s, Apple together with Microsoft and Intel has been shaping the personal computing world and has not been stop doing ever since. The personal computer in Steve Jobs words is “bicycle for the mind”. You can certainly do more with Macs and other PCs and now supplement, and sometimes replaced, by other devices like iPhones, iPads and Apple Watch, you can certainly do more today than just 5-6 years ago.
Since re-taking over the Apple company in the late 1990s, Steve Jobs have trimmed the Mac line up into just 4 product categories. The only modification is there is two consumer desktop offerings: the iMac and the Mac Mini. Since then, the Mac product line up has not change much since early 2000.
|Usage vs Target Market||Consumer||Professional|
|Laptop||MacBook Air||MacBook Pro|
|Desktop||Mac Mini / iMac||Mac Pro|
Apple announced in WWDC 2020 (June 2020) that their Mac line up will be transition to their own chips called Apple Silicon. The first products that run on Apple Silicon will be introduced in Q4 2020 and they expect the transition to complete in 2 years (Q4 2022).
Apple released the first series of machines with Apple first silicon called the M1 on November 2020 with entry level Macs (MacBook Air, Mac Mini, Entry-level Macbook Pro). The 21.5-inch iMac has been replaced with a 24-inch iMac on April 2021.
Despite the development of Apple Silicon macs, Intel Macs will continue to be supported at with new OS versions for at least 5-years since first release and security updates for at least 8-years since first release. So far the last Intel Mac that Apple made is in mid-2020 for the 27" 5k iMac. So continue to expect new OS release until 2025 and security updates until mid-2028. There are rumored plans that Apple will update the Mac Pro one last time before moving on to Apple Silicon as most Mac Pro users are large companies that will appreciate some lead time and extended support.
Our recommendation at this moment is not to buy Intel Macs unless you really need to. This is because Apple is moving forward with their Apple Silicon plan and all future software development will concentrate on the Apple Silicon Macs.
MacBooks occupy at the premium segment of the laptop market. Contrary to popular belief, they are quite cost competitive compared to their peers. If you are looking something that is capable but at a lower budget, my advice is to look for iPad as a lot of the tasks that can be accomplish on the Mac can be done on the iPad. Software development, multi-user environment and enterprise software is one of the few domains that the Macs still have an edge over the iPads.
Since the introduction of the M1 chips, the MacBook has shown to be a good value proposition since they can match or even beat the best from Intel or even AMD. As of now, the major difference between the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro is sustained workload handling. While the MacBook Air has passive cooling, which means that under heavy workloads, the MacBook Air will thermal throttle itself after around 10 minutes of workload while the MacBook Pro will carry on.
Apple updated the MacBook Pro to an all new design featuring a 14" and 16" form factor. It introduce new M-series chips dubbed M1 Pro and M1 Max which rivals desktop class chip that is even more power efficient that the Intel own powerful chips. Truely a unique product in the market.
- Macbook Air (last update: Q4 2020, next expected update: unknown, possibly Q4 2021)
- MacBook Pro (last update: Q4 2020 for the base 13", Q4 2021 for 14" and 16" , next expected update: ~Q4 2022)
Where to buy?
Desktop Mac runs from the gamut that is the basic $699 Mac Mini which does not comes with anything to the $50,000 Mac Pro that find its home in large production houses that makes $200 million movies. Both the Mac Mini and the Mac Pro are customizer’s delight. You can basically personalize the Mac to fit your needs. The iMac is an all-in-one desktop solution that is well made and capable.
- Mac Mini (last update: Q4 2020, next expected update: ~Q4 2021)
- iMac 24" (last update: Q2 2021, next expected update: ~Q2 2022)
- iMac 27" (last update: Q2 2020, next expected update: ~Q2 2021)
- iMac Pro (last update: Q4 2017, discontinued)
- Mac Pro (last update: Q4 2019, next expected update: unknown, might be Q4 2022)
Where to buy?
- Mac Mini M1 - Buy at Amazon
- iMac 24" - Buy at Amazon
- iMac 27" - Buy at Amazon
- Mac Pro - Buy at Amazon
Except for the Mac Mini and Mac Pro, all the Macs can be use straight from the box without additional items. However, you can add accessories to increase your Mac capabilities and also personalize your Mac.
Starting with Apple Silicon, Apple release Magic Keyboard (that’s the name) with TouchID where you can unlock your supported Mac using your finger print. The TouchID can also be use to authenticate purchase and logins. iMac now come in shrunk keyboard that does not have a numpad. If your work environment requires you to punch in a lot of numbers, having a numpad can be extremely useful.
Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad are Apple pointing devise. The iMac comes with the Magic Mouse by default although you can spec your build to include a Magic Trackpad. There is numerous article talking about the design and comfort of those input device.
The Retina Pro Display XDR is a high end monitor from Apple. And it is the only monitor that is built and sold by Apple. It’s a 6K display monitor with HDR capabilities that meant to bridge the gap between color accurate monitor that cost around $3,000 to $4,000 to reference monitor used by studio that cost around $30,000 to $40,000. So far the review has been mixed that it is over priced for the $3,000 but not as good as the $30,000 reference monitor.
Since the PC is a very mature platform, there is a plethora of products that can and will work with the Mac. Macs and increasingly iPad Pro has been using industry standard connections like USB-C, ethernet, 3.5mm headphone jack, WiFi and Bluetooth standard to work with 3rd party devices. There’s no reason not to choose 3rd party products if they are useful to you.
- Magic Keyboard with Touch ID - Buy at Amazon
- Magic Mouse - Buy at Amazon
- Magic Trackpad - Buy at Amazon
The iMac has been updated for 2021 featuring new design, colors, M1 chip and many other features to make this a compelling and possibly the best all-in-one computer ever made.
Apple has redesign the MacBook Pro to feature the new M1 Pro and M1 Max SOCs, amongst other things. Will the all-new MacBook Pro repair the reputational damage it suffered for the last five years? We believe so, but time will tell.
Macbook Air M1
Apple's default laptop has been updated with the new M1 chip, kicking off the transition away from Intel to their own solution. What was considered a decent laptop has turn into a powerhouse and a showcase of Apple's technological prowess in semiconducting, engineering and design.
|Apple Watch||Apple Watch SE||Apple Watch Series 7|
|Features||S5 chip; 50m water resistant; Aluminum finish; Silver, Space Gray or Gold color; 40mm or 44mm size;||S6 and U1 chip; 50m water resistant; always on display, ECG and blood oxygen app, Aluminum, Stainless Steel or Titanium Finish; 41mm or 45mm size; Nike or Hermes editions; 5 colors for Aluminum finishes and 3 colors for Stainless Steel Finishes.|
|Launch Price||From $279||From $399 to $1499 for Hermes Edition|
|August 2021 Price||$279||-|
|Best Feature||The price||The Hermes Edition is the most stylish smartwatch anybody makes|
|Verdict||The bare minimum to give to your kids. But with discounts, the series 6 or used series 5 is not a bad proposition either.||Latest and greatest. Do note that there are a few versions of this flagship, from the Apple to Hermes. Functionally, they are identical compared to the base edition but have exclusive bands and watch face. Bands can be purchase separately.|
Apple Watch is Apple’s line of smartwatches. Introduced in 2014, the feature set has grown from a simple companion computer of the iPhone to a capable fitness monitor and communicator. You will still need to pair it to an iPhone (minimum requirement as of now is the iPhone 6s) to make it work. Read more in our writeup to lear more about the Apple Watch Series 6 features.
Current features of the Apple Watch 6 include blood oxygen monitor, ECG / heart rate monitor, altimeter, cellular capabilities, bluetooth connection to connect with your wireless earphones and many others.
Apple Watch has two version, the main series which are numbered and the SE version which is the lower cost option.
- Apple Watch Series 7
- Apple Watch Series 7 Nike
- Apple Watch Series 7 Hermes
- Apple Watch SE - Buy at Amazon
- Watch bands - Buy at Amazon
- Apple Watch (Last update: September 2021, next update: Q3 2022)
- Apple Watch SE (Last update: Q3 2020, next update: unknown)
Apple’s foray into the music world begins with the introduction of the iPod, the popular music player in the early 2000s which help Apple raise up from the brink of death. Later, Apple has introduced digital music distribution called the iTune store, updated the iPod with a new interface first featured in the iPhone, and later expand to Music streaming service and a line of popular earphones. Apple has bought over Beats by Dre, a popular headphones company in 2014 which they are still selling in their stores. Apple also introduced a line of smart speakers called HomePods which feature integration with Siri, Apple digital voice assistant.
|Airpods||Earpods with Lighting Connector||AirPods||AirPods Pro||AirPods Max|
|Features||Wired earphones. Used to come with every iPhone||H1 chip; Wireless bluetooth earphones; Hey Siri; Wired or wireless charging case;||H1 chip; Wireless bluetooth earphones with Active Noise Cancellation; Hey Siri; Sweat resistant; Wireless charging case;||H1 chip; Wireless bluetooth headphones with Active Noise Cancellation; Hey Siri; leather case; aluminum and mesh finish; large 40mm drivers; 9 mics; Digital crown for volume control; 5 colors; The cup can be bought separately;|
|Launch Price||$29||From $179||$249||$549|
|August 2021 Price||From $13||From $115||From $179||From $499|
|Best Feature||Decent sound. The wired click button is handy.||Works well with all your Apple devices||Active noise cancellation and transparency mode||Sound quality|
|Verdict||Used to come with every iPhone. It was not the best but it was decent||It was quite popular that when I went to Manhattan in 2017, I thought they were standard issue for every New Yorker||ANC works great and sound quality is not bad. But like other AirPods, they usually have a lifespan of aorund 2 years before things start to break and they are basically irreparable||Sound quality is good. But at this price point I'd rather have a wired + DAC setup. Best wireless Apple headphones to date. Looks more repairable than the other AirPods|