Holiday season is upon us, and Apple devices are premium products that your loved ones will appreciate. Whether you plan on buying an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or an accessory — such as the AirPods 3 — we’re here to help you choose! You can spend so little on an Apple Polishing Cloth or a fortune on the mighty MacBook Pro 2021. Either way, you’re in the right place to find a suitable pick, no matter what your budget is.
Best for affordability: Apple AirTag
An Apple AirTag is the best affordable, useful Apple gift. It costs a mere $29 in the U.S., and its replaceable battery lasts for a whole year. It’s the perfect gift to buy for a distant relative or friend with whom you want to share the joy of the season. An AirTag is also a great option if you’re somebody who can’t afford to buy your loved ones more expensive gifts.
With Find My Network support, an AirTag can be found if a compatible Apple device passes next to it. So it has better coverage than rivals, such as Tile. AirTags can be used to find anything and everything you might lose — except for your happiness, maybe. However, it will definitely bring warmth to the heart of whomever you gift it to during this jolly holiday.
Best part about AirTags is that you can never have enough of them. They can be attached to keys, backpacks, luggage, wallets, or even cars. A person has already found his stolen car thanks to it, and many users utilize it to remember their parking spots.
These coin-sized tracking devices only come in one color, but there are plenty of colorful attachment accessories that can make them look more fun. You can also craft a keychain accessory to go with your AirTag gift, making it more personal. AirTags also come in a pack of four for a discounted price — only $99 — so you can still get somebody an affordable gift if you want to get them more than one. They can toss one in each of their valued items and never lose them again
The Apple AirTag is the most affordable device in our guide. It’s a useful Find My Network tracker that your friends and family will appreciate as a gift.
Best for versatility: Apple Gift Card
If you’re not sure what your friend or family member likes, but you know they’re in the Apple ecosystem, an Apple Gift Card is a great idea. You can gift somebody $25-$200 in Apple credits — between $25, $50, $75, $100, $150, $200, or a custom amount. You can also select the number of cards. So if you want to pay someone more than $200, you could always send multiple cards. You can also buy multiple cards at once. Send one up to 999 different people simultaneously so you don’t have to manually buy one for each person.
You can add a personalized message to your card, so it’s not just a generic email when it hits their inbox. Apple also allows you to choose one of five different patterns, so you can match their vibe. What’s great about this digital gift is that you can schedule it beforehand, and it’ll arrive whenever you want it to. So if you tend to be forgetful during this season, you can buy it right now and have it delivered to them on Christmas.
So what can they do with Apple credits once they redeem them? Anything related to Apple, whether for buying actual Apple products or digital goods like apps, games, subscriptions, and more.
Apple Gift Cards are truly the best for versatility. Your beloved ones can use them however they want, and you won’t have to worry about spending too much if you’re on a limited budget. They’re also eco-friendly, considering they’re delivered as an email and don’t go through a production and packaging process.
Apple Gift Card
The Apple Gift Card is a versatile present that can cost as little as $25. Your friends and family can spend it however they want inside the Apple ecosystem, whether on hardware or software.
Best for a parent: Apple Watch Series 8
Whether it’s a parent or a grandparent, the Apple Watch Series 8 is the best gift for them. This smartwatch was released back in September 2022, so it’s still a fresh, new product, and there’s a lot to like.
The watch is available in so many configurations, so you will likely find at least one combo that matches their style. They’ll also get access to a number of health features. So if you’re concerned about their health, getting them an Apple Watch would be a great idea. There’s a reason why the Apple Watch is the best-selling smartwatch right now. The technology it packs in its compact body is unrivaled.
The Apple Watch Series 8 supports:
- Blood Oxygen measurements
- Walking Steadiness notifications
- Cardio Fitness Level notifications
- Irregular Heart Rhythm notifications
- High & Low Heart Rate notifications
- Fall Detection
- Emergency SOS
- Medical ID
- Loud Noise notifications
- Crash detection
If they don’t own an iPhone for setup, you don’t have to worry about that either. The GPS + Cellular model of the Apple Watch Series 8 can be set up through your iPhone.
The health features on this watch aren’t solely what makes it so great. If your parent tends to miss calls or notifications, the Apple Watch will make sure this never happens again. Not only does it vibrate on their wrist, but it also can play optional notification sounds. They’ll never miss a call or text as long as they wear it. They can even answer calls right from their wrist, so if the phone isn’t nearby, they can answer without moving an inch. They can also ask Siri to send texts, so they don’t even have to type or click buttons.
The Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $399, which makes it a good gift that’s not too expensive. It also comes with a three-month Apple Fitness Plus trial, so your parent can have somebody guide them through workouts — even ones that are targeted at older adults.
Apple Watch Series 8
The Apple Watch Series 8 is the latest smartwatch from Apple. It’s not a huge change from the Series 7, but it offers new features like crash detection, a new temperature sensor, and a Low Power Mode for longer battery life.
Best for someone special — productivity: Apple MacBook Air M2
If you’re looking to buy a special somebody an expensive gift, you may want to consider a MacBook Air M2. It was released in 2022, making it the latest and most powerful MacBook Air to date. The base model starts at $1,199 in the U.S., so it’s not the cheapest holiday gift. But if you want to spend a notable amount on a productivity device for someone you love, you’re in the right place.
The MacBook Air M2 offers a fresh exterior design that introduces a notched display in the process. It features two USB-C ports, a MagSafe 3 port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. I’m personally a big fan of its design because it’s clean, slim, and modern, and comes in four aluminum finishes: Midnight, Starlight, Space Gray, and Silver. While the four colors are somewhat dull, you could always protect it with a case or throw a skin on it. It’s still the greatest Apple device for lightweight productivity.
This MacBook starts with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. As the name suggests, it features the M2 processor, so you’ll get every single new feature of the new macOS Ventura operating system.
Whether your loved one is a student or someone who works in a field that doesn’t require ginormous computing powers, this MacBook will handle their everyday tasks smoothly. It’s also safe to assume that it will receive software updates for at least five more years, based on Apple’s history. In a nutshell, it’s a capable, future-proof device that your beloved will appreciate.
Apple MacBook Air M2
The 2022 MacBook Air offers the M2 chip, a 13.6-inch display, and a redesigned chassis with MagSafe support.
Best for young adults: Apple AirPods Pro 2
The AirPods have always been great earbuds, but the AirPods Pro 2 are my favorite of the whole lineup. These true wireless earbuds from Apple offer active noise cancelation (ANC), a feature I use almost daily. Whether you’re working at a café, commuting, or merely jogging, ANC really helps you hone in on whatever you’re listening to without having to worry about outside noise. There are other AirPods on the market, but the regular models don’t support ANC and the AirPods Max are over-ear, which some people (including me) are not fans of.
Apple’s AirPods Pro 2 also support Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking. So you get to listen to music the way the artist visualized it when it was getting recorded. This feature is available on Apple Music and some other third-party services. It also works with the Apple TV app, so you can become part of the (supported) movies and series you’re watching.
These wireless earbuds are water and sweat-resistant, you can work out with them. Apple doesn’t cover water damage under its limited warranty, so be careful when you’re jogging during rainy weather. To ensure these little buds don’t fall out of your ears when running, check the other ear tip sizes included in the package. You can also do a fit test from your iPhone to make sure you’ve chosen the correct size.
Apple offers optional engraving when purchasing AirPods from its online store. So if you want to add a unique touch to make your gift more personal, you can do that for free. They’re available for $249 in white color only. Their charging case supports Qi and MagSafe wireless chargers and the Apple Watch charging puck.
Apple AirPods Pro 2
The AirPods Pro 2 pack in plenty of features, including active noise cancelation (ANC), Dolby Atmos content, and wireless charging, despite their compact build.
Best for someone special — medium budget: Apple iPhone 13 Mini
If you have an extra special person in your life but don’t want to spend $1,000, you might want to consider an iPhone 13 Mini. This iPhone starts at $599, so it’s neither the cheapest nor the most expensive out there. This is because it was released in 2021, so it’s not from the latest lineup, but with that age comes that discount.
The iPhone 13 Mini is available in six different finishes: PRODUCT(RED), Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Green, and Pink. The base model has 128GB of storage, but it can be upgraded to up to 512GB. Despite being older, it’s still powered by Apple’s A15 Bionic chip, which is one of the fastest you can get on a phone today. It’s also the same processor you’ll get on the regular iPhone 14 models.
This tiny iPhone has an OLED 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR display for easy carry and a 2340 x 1080 resolution at 476 pixels per inch for vivid, accurate colors. Its display also supports True Tone technology, which adds a warm layer to the colors depending on the surrounding lighting. This makes the colors look more natural and as they’re meant to be. This mini iPhone also has splash, water, and dust resistance, rated at IP68, so it can last at a maximum depth of 6 meters for 30 minutes. However, it’s worth reminding you that Apple’s limited warranty doesn’t cover water damage.
When it comes to the front camera, the iPhone 13 Mini supports Face ID and Portrait Mode camera effects, thanks to the TrueDepth camera system. The rear bump includes two camera lenses that support 4K video recording, Cinematic Mode, Night Mode shooting, and more.
In a nutshell, the iPhone 13 Mini is the best gift to get someone who is exceptionally special to you. It might not be the latest and greatest iPhone, but it’ll save you some money and make your loved one feel great this holiday.
Apple iPhone 13 Mini
The Apple iPhone 13 Mini is the cheapest model from the 2021 lineup. It’s a generous gift for someone on a medium budget but who wants to get their beloved a higher-end device.
Best for students: Apple iPad 9
The affordable iPad 9 was released back in 2021, and it’s most suitable for people, like students, who don’t require a Mac. While its power is somewhat limited, considering it’s a mobile device, iPadOS still makes it a solid productivity tool. It starts at $329 in the U.S. and is available in two finishes: Space Gray and Silver.
The iPad 9 comes with a design similar to that of older models. It features thick front bezels and a physical home button that houses the Touch ID scanner. It’s a slim, lightweight device that anyone can just slip into their backpack and take on the go. So whether you’re gifting it to a high school or college student, it’ll be a decent device for paperless education. It’s also great for older adults who might not need a full laptop. The iPad 9 is fine for attending online classes, taking notes, reading ebooks, listening to podcasts, and watching TV content.
This iPad has a 10.2-inch display that supports Apple Pencil 1 for drawing or taking notes. The best part? Apple’s Notes app recognizes handwriting, so students can search through their notes as if they’ve been typed on a keyboard.
The front 12MP ultra-wide camera on the iPad has a 122-degree field of view. So if they’re moving around while attending a class or a regular video call, the camera will follow them around. However, it’s worth mentioning that this camera doesn’t support Portrait Mode camera effects or Face ID, due to the lack of a TrueDepth camera system.
Apple iPad (2021)
The Apple iPad 9 is a gift suitable for students who don’t require high computing power for their daily needs. It belongs in the medium budget category of our guide, but it’s worth every cent.
Best for someone special — generous edition: Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
This one is for all of you extra-generous peeps who are looking to buy something fancy. The Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max starts at $1,099 for the base model, making it one of the most expensive gifts in our guide. However, this is the perfect gift if you want to spend a significant amount of money on your loved one or want to get them the latest, highest-end device.
This iPhone comes in four finishes: Deep Purple, Gold, Silver, and Space Black. It has a Ceramic Shield front, textured matte glass back, and a stainless steel design that makes it look as premium and solid as it gets. While it’s the most durable iPhone manufactured in the past years, it still features glass fronts and backs, so certain drops might crack them. Repairing the front or back of an iPhone 14 Pro Max costs a fortune, so you may want to invest in a case to minimize potential damage. It would also make for another good gift.
As for the inside, it has 128GB of storage but is upgradeable to a maximum of 1TB. It’s powered by the 2022 A16 Bionic chip that Apple uses exclusively on iPhone 14 Pro models. It’s the fastest mobile processor currently available. And just like the iPhone 13 Mini, it has an IP68 rating, making it splash, water, and dust resistant.
This fancy beast has an OLED 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display with a Dynamic Island and ProMotion support. The adaptive ProMotion technology allows the refresh rates to reach up to 120Hz. This screen supports HDR content, True Tone technology for warmer and more accurate colors, and has a 2796 x 1290-pixel resolution at 460 pixels per inch.
Regarding the camera, this iPhone also features a TrueDepth front camera for Face ID authentication and Portrait Mode camera effects. On the back it has three lenses. and thanks to the LiDAR Scanner, it can even take Night Mode Portraits. Additional features include Deep Fusion, macro photography, Apple ProRAW, action mode, and cinematic video shooting.
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is Apple’s biggest and best smartphone, and in typical Apple fashion, it is both a powerhouse and an endurance beast.
The holiday season is a great time to share precious moments with those we care about. While human connections are priceless, and no gift can express to what extent we love those around us, exchanged gestures are always a nice reminder of these positive and healthy relationships we have. Apple products are some of the best options out there to share the joy around.
These products are premium, durable, and have high reselling values down the road. My favorite is the Apple Gift Card because it ensures the recipient will find a proper use for it. While most people will value a present anyway, it’s a plus knowing that they actually use it. So I’d rather give people the freedom to choose what to do with this money instead of trying to guess what they really want. If I’m aware they’ve added a certain item to their wishlist, though, then that’s a different story.
Another reason I love digital Apple Gift Cards is that they’re eco-friendly. Considering the whole process occurs online, the waste they leave behind is nonexistent compared to that of physical products. People are then free to do with their added Apple ID credit whatever suits them and their needs most.