Christmas 2021 is almost here, and by now we'd hope you've started to think about your Christmas shopping. But what do you get for the man or woman who has everything?
If that person is an Apple fan, we can help. In this article we gather our recommendations for Apple-related Christmas presents, and while Macs, iPhones and iPads are known for being on the expensive side we've tried to cover a range of budgets - suggesting cheaper alternatives, for example, when an item's price could be pushing it.
If you really can't settle on a present for the Apple fan in your life, there's always the option of an Apple gift card. And don't forget to check out the latest bargains in our guide to the best Apple Christmas deals.
A superb Christmas gift for any Apple fan. This compact smart speaker offers excellent audio quality at a fraction of the price of its full-size sibling, and if you can stretch to two of them they can be set up as a stereo pair for even more immersive sound.
Since launch Apple has added further colour finishes, and we're particularly fond of the orange and yellow versions.
Read our HomePod mini review for more information.
Apple finally updated its mega-popular AirPods earbuds this year. And they were worth the wait, boasting a Pro-esque design and high-calibre performance.
"Convenient, comfortable, great-sounding and long-lasting, these are an excellent set of earbuds at a comparatively affordable price," we said in our review.
iPhone 13 mini
This is the cheapest of the late-2021 iPhones and one we'd strongly recommend, as our iPhone 13 mini review makes clear. It combines the all-screen design of Apple's recent iPhones with the petite chassis of its older ones, and chucks in 5G, excellent cameras and a super-powerful processor as a bonus.
We're aware, however, that this is on the expensive side for a gift - although you may find a bargain in our guide to the best iPhone deals - and if your budget doesn't stretch this far the iPhone SE is an excellent, cheaper, and also petite alternative.
If your loved one already has an iPhone, getting them an attractive and robust case to protect it is a great gift option. We love the look and slimline design of the Figura cases from OtterBox, which are available in sizes to fit the 13 mini, 13 or 13 Pro, or 13 Pro Max, and support the MagSafe wireless charging standard. They also come in a range of cool looks: the pictured design is called Coral.
If they've got a different iPhone model, or you'd just like to check out some alternatives, read our roundups of the best - take a deep breath - iPhone 13 cases, iPhone 13 mini cases, iPhone 12 mini cases, iPhone 12/12 Pro cases, iPhone SE (2020) cases and iPhone 11 cases.
MagSafe Duo Charger
Hybrid chargers - designed to charge two devices from a single power source - are a brilliantly convenient concept.
Apple's long-awaited MagSafe Charger Duo wirelessly charges an iPhone and an Apple Watch at the same time, and locks on to both magnetically to ensure you're hitting the sweet spot. (For this to work, you'll need an iPhone that supports the MagSafe standard - which currently means a 12- or 13-series handset.) It also folds up neatly, making it the perfect travel accessory.
If this doesn't take your (or their) fancy, consider some of the other MagSafe options, such as the MagSafe Charger or Belkin's in-car mount. On the subject of charging, have a look at our guide to the best wireless iPhone chargers if you want something for the owner of an older device.
iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe
Here's one more option for the iPhone owner in your life: a smart leather wallet that attaches to the back of their handset magnetically.
It's hugely convenient and reduces still further the burden on your pockets. Smartphones have already replaced cameras and diaries, and until driving licences and loyalty cards go entirely digital this attachment means they can replace wallets too.
Again, make sure your loved one's phone is compatible: only the 12- and 13-series iPhones support the MagSafe standard.
Apple's AirTag Bluetooth tracker isn't perfect, but it remains by far the best option out there for those who are already part of the company's 'walled garden' of products.
"With its smart design, excellent long-range tracking and well-intentioned privacy protections, it's better than the rest," we reported in our review.
A versatile ecosystem of accessories, from luggage labels and key rings to stickers and pet tags, let you use the AirTag to track the location of a wide range of items. Here's our roundup of the best.
iPad 10.2in (2021)
Apple's budget and mid-range iPads come closer to its premium Pro tablets with every passing year, and this low-priced option is an excellent choice that won't let anyone down. Our iPad 10.2in (2021) review calls it "a perfect balance of price and performance".
If your budget can stretch a little higher, consider the iPad Air (2020), which really does give the Pro models a run for its money - although it's worth bearing in mind that this device is likely to be replaced early in 2022. And check our guide to the best iPad deals for the latest bargains.
Mac mini M1
We're conscious, when putting together these guides, that different people are working to different budgets. And frankly, none of Macworld's writers are the sort to splash £699/$699 on even our favourite relatives - but then again, we're on journalist wages.
So consider this (and the iPhone 13 mini) as our humble suggestion for the one-percenters: a truly indulgent present for the flush and the flash. And flash is the word, with the new M1 processor powering the updated Mac mini to unprecedented speed in benchmark tests. This is a pocket powerhouse.
Of course, if you really are a one-percenter, why stop here? The MacBook Air with M1 is a blockbuster too and, crucially for the average user, it's a laptop so you don't need to supply your own keyboard and screen.
Knomo Hanover Slim Briefcase
I often think that the smartest tech accessories are the ones that fool you into thinking they're not tech accessories at all - and this laptop case, to the eyes of this fashion-blind reporter at least, wouldn't look out of place on the shoulder of a chic Milanese, drinking coffee, reading Italian Vogue and saying "Ciao".
It accommodates laptops up to 14in in size, which means the MacBook Air and smaller Pros will fit happily. And there's further pockets for an iPad and other personal effects, and an RFID signal blocker for your security.
Browse our guide to the best MacBook cases for more present ideas.
Apple Watch SE
The SE is all about value: about delivering an up-to-date wearable with a great design and a slightly cut-down feature set.
Our Apple Watch SE review says "it's just as good as, if not better than, nearly every Apple Watch that came before it, and almost as good as the Watch Series 6". High praise indeed.
Apple has launched a new wearable since this came out - the Series 7 - but for sheer value the SE is tough to beat.
Casetify Apple Watch Bands
You can never have too many Apple Watch straps.
Every Apple Watch comes with a tasteful strap of the company's own design, and its owner is sure to appreciate a backup in another colour or design to match certain moods or activities or outfits. If they are a tasteful sort, you could do a lot worse than browse the bands section on Apple's website (make sure you get the right size); but if they enjoy something a little more jazzy, consider instead this wonderful Black Leopards design from Casetify.
The company has a wide variety of other designs on offer - we're particularly fond of Peonies on Black and Honey Bee Wildflower - and there's a whole world of third-party straps out there. Read our guide to the best Apple Watch straps for a look at some options to consider.
Beats Flex headphones
This member of the Apple-owned Beats stable of headphones is pleasingly affordable, but don't underestimate their quality. "If you need an affordable set of Bluetooth headphones that provide good audio quality at a competitive price then the Beats Flex will fit the bill very nicely," we said in our Beats Flex review.
Take a look at our guide to the best Beats headphones for detailed buying advice.
Apple One subscription
Apple has been gradually shifting its focus over the past few years, from hardware to software services that run on that hardware - Apple Arcade, Apple Music, Apple TV+ and so on. This process culminated in the launch of Apple One, a bundle that includes multiple subscriptions at a reduced price.
The individual and family plans include the three services listed above, plus an expanded allocation of iCloud storage. There's also a Premier tier that adds more storage, News+ and Fitness+.
We've asked Apple if there's a clever way to gift someone a subscription, but the best solution may be to give them a gift card for the subscription's value over a particular period of time.
Sphero's app-controlled toys are a great option for Christmas. They're easy to use and give kids an introduction to the worlds of robotics and programming.
The Sphero mini comes in a wide range of colours and can be customised with further shells. It's kitted out with a gyroscope, an accelerometer and a set of multi-colour LEDs, and can be programmed to follow a pre-planned routine or just whizzed around an obstacle course.
If you want something more spectacular, Sphero also makes an amazing R2-D2 Droid. All of its toys are incredibly well made and masses of fun to play with.