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Apple products you shouldn’t buy this month (especially these iPhones!)

Apple iPhone 15 Pro (in Blue Titanium) camera lenses

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

With WWDC 2024 out of the way, the next big milestone for Apple will be the fall unveiling of the new iPhone, the new Apple Watches, and a total update of Apple’s entire OS lineup, from iOS and MacOS, down to watchOS and tvOS. Until then, it’s likely to be a bit of a lull over the summer.

That also means it’s a bad time — the worst time, really — to think about buying an iPhone or Apple Watch. New ones will be landing in a few weeks, so unless you don’t care about new releases (and don’t mind paying full price for something that will be superseded before the end of the year), put any of these purchases on the back burner for now. 

Also: I upgrade my iPhone every year, but the iPhone 16 worries me – here’s why

The new iPhone models are expected to bring significant upgrades, including enhanced AI capabilities and improved hardware features, while the next-generation Apple Watches will feature new health and fitness tracking capabilities, along with a revamped version of watchOS. 

For those seeking tablets for work or that back-to-school frenzy, Apple has addressed — in part, at least — the great iPad wasteland, updating the iPad Air with M2 silicon, and fitting the iPad Pro models with its new M4 chip. The iPad now also features an updated price tag — everything else remains the same — so that’s back on the menu, but be aware that you’re still buying hardware released in October 2022. 

Beyond that, Apple’s lineup seems pretty strong, from the M3 MacBook Air systems to the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops powered by the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max chips (but still no M3 Ultra… yet). 

The ‘Naughty’ list

  • iPhone 15 and the Apple Watch line: These are a few months away from being refreshed, so unless you really don’t care about getting all the cool stuff that will be exclusive to the new iPhone, along with whatever upgrades come to the wearable, I’d hold off buying for a few weeks.
  • AirPods: As much as I love AirPods, they’re getting old. The 3rd-generation model was released two and a half years ago and is overdue for an update. Apple still sells the 2nd-generation AirPods — and those were released five years ago! My advice here is to stick to the 2nd generation AirPods Pro (technically, the version with the USB-C charging case is more of a 2.5 generation as it features a few small updates), or buy something not made by Apple.
  • iPad Mini: Released in September 2021, this tablet’s age is worth keeping in mind. Two and a half years is a long time in tech. Would you pay full price for an iPhone 13, which was released at the same time? No, no you wouldn’t.
  • iPhone SE: This handset was released in March 2022 and rumor has it there won’t be another one. Other rumors say the next one will launch this year, or sometime in 2025. We’ll see.

The ‘Nice’ list

Apple M3 MacBook Air

Apple MacBook Air M3

Kerry Wan/ZDNET

Apple has updated its MacBook Air with its M3 line of processors — and given the chips more oomph to tackle heavier-duty AI tasks.

Review: M3 MacBook Air: Apple’s AI computer for the masses has arrived

Along with the updated processor, this MacBook Air can also power two external monitors with the lid closed, making it a great desktop replacement — just add two screens!

With prices for the 13-inch M3 MacBook Air starting at $1099, and the 15-inch version starting at $200 more, these systems represent some serious processing power for an extremely competitive price (especially when you consider these are Apple laptops).

Apple Vision Pro

Apple Vision Pro on a stand

Apple Vision Pro on a stand

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

All eyes are on Apple’s newest product and the company’s foray into mixed-reality spatial computing.

Also: 10 reasons the Apple Vision Pro is secretly brilliant

It’s hard to bet against Apple, but a futuristic set of goggles with a starting price of $3,499 doesn’t feel like the easiest thing to sell. Still, Apple is Apple, and if any company can convince consumers to part with large sums of cash (and developers to create apps for a new platform that could fall flat on its face), it’s Apple.

Apple 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro

This lineup of MacBooks debuted the entire lineup of M3 chips — from the powerful M3 to the insanely powerful M3 Max.

  • Powered by the M3, M3 Pro, or M3 Max chips, Apple’s most advanced chips for personal computers 
  • Up to 22 hours of battery life
  • 8GB to 128GB of unified memory
  • 512GB to 8TB of SSD storage
  • Liquid Retina XDR display
  • Ports galore, with up to three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an SDXC card slot, an HDMI port, a MagSafe 3 port, and a headphone jack

Also: M3 MacBook Pro buying advice: Who it’s really for (and who should stick with M2 MacBook Air)

Apple iMac 24-inch

Apple refreshed the iMac, and while it has the same 24-inch, 4.5K Retina display, it received the M3 chip upgrade. 

  • Apple M3 chip (no M3 Pro or M3 Max option)
  • 24-inch 4.5K Retina display
  • 8GB to 24GB of unified memory
  • 512GB to 2TB of SSD storage
  • Super-thin all-in-one desktop 
  • Seven vibrant colors

Also: Apple’s M3 iMac disappoints 27-inch display devotees, but does anyone really need that?

2nd-gen AirPods Pro (now with USB-C)

Airpods Pro 2 in hand.

Christina Darby/ZDNET

The AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) offer a major upgrade over the previous model, giving Apple’s premium buds a massive lead over the competition. Apple has now refreshed the charging case to use USB-C rather than Lightning — great if you have a new iPhone, but yet another cable or dongle to carry if not.

  • Active Noise Cancellation reduces unwanted background noise.
  • Adaptive Transparency lets outside sounds in while reducing loud environmental noise.
  • Personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking places the sound all around you.
  • Multiple ear tips (XS, S, M, L).
  • Touch control lets you swipe to adjust volume, press to direct media playback, answer or end calls, and press and hold to switch between listening modes.
  • Sweat- and water-resistant for AirPods Pro and charging case.
  • MagSafe Charging Case includes a speaker.
  • The case features a lanyard loop.
  • USB-C charging.

Also: Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) review: Two major upgrades, tamed by one familiar flaw

Apple AirTag

Hand holding Airtag.

CNET

Blowing away the competition, Apple’s AirTags are the perfect gift for someone who constantly loses things. You can add them to your luggage, your bike, your remote, or even your moving boxes — the possibilities are endless. 

Also: How to find out if an AirTag is tracking you

Well-made, robust, and with a replaceable battery, these will make misplaced keys or lost wallet things of the past.


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