Apple generates a lot of news, and it can be hard to keep up. If your mind was on other things this week, our Saturday-morning roundup of Apple-related headlines will bring you up to date.

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A surfeit of deals

Apple Breakfast is usually a haven of positivity but readers will, I hope, forgive a degree of weariness this Saturday morning. It has been a trying week.

As we predicted in previous instalments of this column, the Black Friday deals this year were a little underwhelming. Stock shortages afflicted all of the late-2021 iPhone models, for example, and it was tough to get significantly below RRP on any of Apple's smartphones. Cupertino's gift card promotion, usually the object of derision (you get vouchers for your next purchase rather than saving anything on this one), was an uncharacteristically appealing option for once.

There were bright spots among the gloom. Retailers managed to pull off significant discounts on various AirPods models - one would imagine these weren't affected so badly by the semiconductor shortage - and there were some solid offers on the iPads. At least some readers, we hope, have managed to a pick up a bargain or two thanks to our advice; if so, it has all been worth it.

And the good news is that there will be more opportunities, starting with Cyber Monday in a couple of days. What was once (in this country at least) an unknown event has blossomed into a day, a week and latterly an effectively month-long promotion - and its proximity to Christmas means pretty soon we'll be looking at deals from October to January. Which is an exciting prospect... as long as you're not the schmuck who has to write about it.

News in brief

Apple has finally agreed to let staff discuss their pay, and to address workplace issues in the way that feels most comfortable to them. This shouldn't really be news, as this is stipulated in US law. But there have been question marks recently over Apple's willingness to listen to aggrieved staff members, some of whom said they did not feel heard at an all-hands meeting in September.

Apple and Amazon have been heavily fined for 'price fixing' in Italy.

There might be a reason why running the ARM version of Windows on a Mac, while technically possible, is a bit of a tricky one right now: a contract that Microsoft once signed with Qualcomm states that the ARM version of Windows should exclusively run on Qualcomm chips. Luckily the contract should end soon so hopefully that will make running ARM Windows on a Mac easier.

What will be Apple's most important product in ten years, asks Samuel Nyberg.

Some celebrities - or "celebrities", since we haven't heard of them, being extremely old - have started a bizarre trend for wired headphones. AirPods are now too widespread to be cool, according to the cool kids.

Apple's right to repair programme is a privilege for a lucky few, reckons the Macalope. But it's nice to have.

Apple launched the HomePod mini in three new colours in the UK and elsewhere this week. (For those of you in the US, Apple launched them at the beginning of November.)

Speaking of new colours, some people were disappointed by the colours of the latest Apple Watch model, so a designer has dreamed up some new colours for the Apple Watch 7. And they look rather nice.

Apple will have to open offices in Russia by the end of the year, or face the consequences.

iFixit have performed a tear-down of the third-generation AirPods and the new Beats Fit Pro and found that (predictably) they are completely irreparable - but at least the battery is easy to remove.

Video of the week

The iPhone 13 Pro may look a lot like last year's iPhone 12 Pro at a glance, but there are some differences. In this video, Jason Cross walks you through all the key differences and new features.

Software, bugs & problems

Martyn Casserly has unearthed 15 hidden features in iOS 15. How many did you know?

Apple is to warn users of espionage attacks such as Pegasus. The notification will come via email or messages and will include recommendations about how the affected users can protect themselves against attack. In related news, Apple has sued the NSO Group over Pegasus spyware.

The rumour mill

It's no secret that Apple will be launching a replacement for the 27in iMac at some point in 2022, but will it run on the M1 Pro, M1 Max, or something better? This week it was suggested that Apple might double up the chips. Hence the iMac could ship with two M1 Max chips and thus bring twice the number of CPU and GPU cores, and support up to 128GB RAM.

The Apple Car has an aggressive new launch schedule.

Prepare for disappointment with the 2022 Apple Watch. Running up to the launch of the Watch 7 we hearing that there would be a redesign which didn't happen, but there was some hope that the 2022 version would sport a new look. Not happening, apparently: Apple Watch 8 will keep the old design, according to LeaksApplePro.

We may only have a year to wait until Apple launches the AR/VR headset according to wonder analyst Ming Chi Kuo. He reckons that Apple's AR/VR headset is coming at the end of 2022. He suggests that the specs will include an M-Class chip that will take care of computing and a slightly more powerful chip that will control the sensors and collect data from them. As a result you won't need an iPhone or Mac to use them.

Apple deals of the week

Black Friday was yesterday, but the deals don't stop: there's Cyber Monday in a few days, and then the Christmas buying cycle starts revving up.

I've embedded a list of the best current Apple deals below, but other than that, we're done for this week. See you next Saturday, enjoy your weekend, and stay Appley!

1. Apple AirPods Max

From: Laptops Direct

Was: £549

Now: £399  (£150 off)

This £150 saving on the AirPods Max is the best around. It only applies to the models in pink and green, but you can find discounts across the other colour finishes too, with £120 off the silver version and £49 off the blue version.

2. Apple Magic Mouse 2

From: Smartfone Store

Was: £79

Now: £59.99  (£19.01 off)

Apple may have discontinued the Magic Mouse 2, but you can pick it up from the Smartfone Store with £20 off. Very has the second-best price at £64.99.

3. Apple AirPods 3 (2021)

From: John Lewis

Was: £169

Now: £159  (£10 off)

Considering how new they are, this £10 discount on the new AirPods is well worth having. AO and Amazon are both matching the deal.

4. Apple Watch SE (44mm, GPS + Cellular)

From: Amazon

Was: £349

Now: £301.37  (£47 off)

The Apple Watch SE may not have all the bells and whistles of the Series 7, but at £301 with a 44mm case and cellular connectivity, it's a tempting buy. 

5. Apple Watch Series 6 (44mm, cellular)

From: Amazon

Was: £509

Now: £329  (£180 off)

Save £180 on the 44mm Watch 6 with cellular connectivity from Amazon. It's the lowest price we've seen for this variant.

6. Apple AirPods Pro with MagSafe charging case

From: Laptops Direct

Was: £239

Now: £179  (£60 off)

This is an excellent saving on the AirPods Pro, Apple's excellent true-wireless earphones with ANC, but look out for the delivery fee. John Lewis is charging £189 but charges less for delivery and includes a 2-year guarantee.

7. Apple iPhone SE with iPad 10.2in (2021)

From: Virgin

Now: From £29 per month (2GB)

If you were looking to buy the new iPad along with a new iPhone ahead of Christmas, why not pick this offer from Virgin where both come bundled together.

See our dedicated articles on the best iPhone SE deals along with the best iPad (2021) deals.

8. Apple iPad Air 4 (64GB, 2020) Wi-Fi Only - Refurbished "Good"

From: Music Magpie

Was: £579.99

Now: £509.99  (£70 off)

Music Magpie has £70 off a Space Grey refurbished iPad Air 4 (2020) in "Good" condition. It's not the best price it has ever been, but it includes a free 12-month warranty for peace of mind and free delivery too. 

9. Apple iPad Pro (2021, M1, 12.9in)

From: Amazon

Was: £999

Now: £956.92  (£42.08 off)

Apple's super-powerful flagship tablet is a bit less expensive if you buy from Amazon, but note that this has gone up since the turn of the year. The same retailer had it for £899 before Christmas.

10. Apple Watch Series 7 (41mm, GPS + Cellular)

From: Amazon

Was: £469

Now: £440.86  (£28.14 off)

The Apple Watch Series 7 offers a larger, brighter display, slimmer bezels and more. Right now you can nearly £30 from Amazon on the 41mm cellular option.

11. Apple MacBook Air, M1, 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 512GB (2020)

From: Amazon

Was: £1,249

Now: £1,099.97  (£149 off)

Amazon has a great deal on the 512GB MacBook Air with M1. This price means it's only £100 more than the entry-level model would usually cost, plus you get twice as much storage and that all important extra graphics core.

When we checked it was out of stock, but it's worth checking in case Amazon gets more in.

12. Apple 13in MacBook Pro, M1, 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 256GB (2020)

From: Amazon

Was: £1,299

Now: £1,159  (£140 off)

This is a decent saving on the entry-level 13in MacBook Pro with M1.

 

13. Apple Mac mini, M1, 8-Core CPU / 8-Core GPU, 256GB

From: Amazon

Was: £699

Now: £648.97  (£50.03 off)

Amazon has a decent discount on the M1 Mac mini. If it sells out, you can also find it for £657.66 from the BT Shop.

14. Apple iPad Air with Apple Pencil

From: Virgin

Now: £26 per month (2GB data)

Get an Apple Pencil with the cellular iPad Air from Virgin – a great bundle if you were already after the Apple Pencil! It's a £19 upfront cost and £26 per month with 2GB of data to play with.  

15. Apple iPhone 12 with Watch SE (GPS, 40mm)

From: Mobile Phones Direct

Now: £79.99 upfront, £55 per month (60GB)

This bundle from Mobile Phones Direct includes a 40mm Watch SE (GPS) and 60GB of data. You also get free next day delivery.

16. Apple iPhone 13 mini with iPad (2021)

From: Virgin

Now: From £40 per month, no upfront cost

Pick up the latest iPad and iPhone 13 from Virgin in this Black Friday bundle, which is still available in December 2021.

17. Apple Watch Series 6 (44mm, cellular, Stainless Steel) - Refurbished

From: Music Magpie

Was: £699

Now: £389.99  (£309 off)

The Stainless Steel, 44mm cellular Apple Watch 6 is the most premium option you can buy - but not if you buy refurbished from MusicMagpie, where it currently costs less than £400. 

18. Apple iPad Pro (2021, M1, 11in)

From: Amazon

Was: £749

Now: £717.45  (£31.55 off)

Apple's exceptionally powerful M1-equipped iPad Pro for 2021 has a chunky price tag to match. But it's a little less chunky if you go to Amazon - and note that it's dropped by another couple of quid since before Christmas.

19. Apple MacBook Air, M1, 8-core CPU, 7-core GPU, 256GB (2020)

From: Currys

Was: £999

Now: £889  (£110 off)

Everyone seems to have this deal right now! You can get the £999 MacBook Air with 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU in gold for £889 from Currys or Amazon, AO and John Lewis.

 

20. Apple Watch Series 6 (40mm)

From: John Lewis

Was: £379

Now: £279  (£100 off)

It cost £379 when new, so this is a generous saving; bearing in mind that the Series 7 does not represent a huge step forward, making this an excellent at under £300. It's a better deal than the Black Friday price of £289.