Great Apple deals are a hard thing for any creative to resist. We all know that Apple products can generally be relied upon to be beautifully designed and to do their job really well, but there's no escaping the fact that you have to pay a premium for any piece of kit with that iconic Apple logo.
Consequently the opportunity to get a healthy discount chopped off that Apple list price is one you won't want to miss. That's why we've gathered together a list of our favourite Apple products to point you in the right direction for savings. If you've been toiling away in lockdown for the past few months then you probably deserve an Apple-flavoured treat; read on to see what bargains can be had.
Apple deals: quick links
- Apple: fewer deals than elsewhere, but has everything you're looking for
- Amazon.com: deals on iPads, iPhones, AirPods, Watches and more available
- Amazon.co.uk: more Amazon deals for UK shoppers.
- AO.com: AO currently has deals on Macs, iPads, AirPods Pro and more.
- Best Buy: some great iPhone deals available, as well as other Apple kit.
- B&H Photo: get $150 off a MacBook Pro 16-inch; plus more Apple offers
- John Lewis: some enticing clearance deals on 2019 MacBook Pro 13.3-inch.
Apple deals: iPad
The best iPad deals available now
If you're after a tablet but you're budget's not up to much, it's hard to go wrong with the entry-level iPad 10.2-inch. While it lacks in comparison to more upmarket models – it doesn't have the lightness of the Air or the sheer power and versatility of the Pro range – it's nevertheless a perfectly serviceable tablet that'll handle pretty much everything you throw at it.
It supports the first-gen Apple Pencil, making it an effective drawing and painting tool, although its now ageing A10 processor means it might struggle with complex multi-layered images. And while the basic model looks like a bargain, you'll quickly burn through its 32GB of storage. Bite the bullet and go for the 128GB option. Oh, and don't forget to grab yourself a cheap Apple Pencil deal at the same time.
The best iPad Pro deals available now
Right at the other end of the iPad scale we have this, the mighty 12.9-inch iPad Pro that's pitched by Apple as being an actual alternative to a computer. And this time around we can almost believe the hype; pair it with Apple's Magic Keyboard and you have a proper multi-tasking productivity machine complete with a trackpad for a more laptop-like user experience.
With an A12Z Bionic CPU as well as an eight-core GPU, it's a powerful beast that's suitable for the likes of 4K video editing, 3D and AR, and its 12.9-inch display is gorgeously crisp and incredibly smooth, thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate. It even has a LiDAR scanner augmenting its dual cameras, making it a perfect AR platform.
It's not cheap, however if you crave its power and aren't too fussed about the size, the 11-inch model does exactly the same in a smaller format and costs $200/£200 less. Whatever Apple says, we don't believe it quite matches the versatility of a full-fat computer; as a tablet, though, it's impossible to beat.
More iPad deals
Apple deals: Mac
The best 16-inch MacBook Pro deals now
For anyone who prefers a laptop workflow but also demands maximum screen size, the 16-inch MacBook Pro, launched last year, is a welcome addition to the MacBook range. Superseding the old 15-inch model (which you can still find for sale if you fancy a bargain and aren't worried about that extra inch), it's an all-round creative powerhouse that can cope with heavyweight tasks in its more high-end (and expensive) configurations.
Its 16-inch Retina display is to die for and the keyboard, with scissor switches instead of the unreliable butterfly switches in previous models, is a huge improvement. The only issue is the price; even if you find a discount, you're still going to end up paying a lot for this 16-incher, in which case you might prefer to settle for the much more reasonable 13-inch model.
More MacBook Pro deals
Apple deals: iMac
The best Apple iMac deals available now
If it's a desktop Mac that you require, Apple has an iMac to suit. The basic 21.5-inch model is probably just a little too basic for most creatives, with its HD sRGB display, 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 CPU and Intel Iris Plus graphics; you'll want to spend extra for the 4K P3 display with a more powerful processor and Radeon Pro graphics.
For ultimate desktop swag, though, it's the 27-inch model you should be looking at, with its gloriously sharp and bright 5K display. Again it comes in a variety of configurations, enabling you to pick the right amount of power for your line of work.
The only real downside to the iMac is the mouse with its charging port on the underside, meaning you can't charge and use it at the same time; keep it topped up overnight. And whichever spec you choose, we'd recommend upgrading the amount of memory; every model comes with 8GB RAM, and for serious creative work then we'd advise increasing that to a more roomy 16GB.
The best Apple iMac Pro deals available now
Let's be clear about this: you probably don't need an iMac Pro. For sure, it's an immensely desirable piece of Apple kit, with its 27-inch Retina 5K display and Space Grey styling that marks it apart from the rest of the iMac range, but its breathtaking specs – and the heart-stopping price tag that comes with them – are way above and beyond what most designers are ever likely to need.
If you're working regularly with full-frame photography, high-end video or rich 3D environments, there may be a case for choosing the iMac Pro; realistically you're unlikely to ever use a fraction of its workstation-level power. But as we said in our iMac Pro review, your decision to buy should be based on a simple calculation as to whether the iMac Pro will make you more money than it costs.
Apple deals: Apple Watch
The best Apple Watch 5 deals available now
Last year's launch of the Apple Watch Series 5 finally addressed an issue that must have put plenty of people off spending money on a swank Apple timepiece: the fact that the display isn't always on. To preserve battery life, previous iterations of the Watch kept the display mostly off, requiring you to do the Apple hand-jive to see the time. It's an adequate compromise but far from ideal.
The Series 5's always-on display is a definite plus; it also offers ceramic, stainless steel and ceramic cases on top of the existing aluminium option, and you also get fresh goodies such as an ECG app, international emergency calling, fall detection and even a compass. Bear in mind, however, that battery life isn't amazing, and that it's double the price of the still pretty good Watch 3, which happens to be receiving some hefty discounts at the moment.
More Apple Watch deals
Apple deals: Apple AirPods
The best Apple AirPods deals available now
We've never been entirely convinced by Apple's AirPods. They look to us like they could fall out far too easily, and the lack of silicone ear tips makes us question just how good their audio quality actually is. You can't argue with popularity, though; since their launch they've become a much sought-after accessory and triggered a market for cheap fake AirPods that give you the look while not actually working.
Last year's update delivered improved audio quality, longer talk time, voice-activated Siri and an optional wireless charging case; if the latter's a clincher for you, we'd strongly advise paying a bit more for the far superior AirPods Pro.
The best AirPods Pro deals available now
It's lovely when an Apple product lives up to the hype. We initially laughed at the notion of AirPods Pro when they were launched last year, then we checked out the specs and features. It's those extra details such as the silicone ear tips, adaptive EQ, noise cancelling and transparency mode that made us realise that we definitely had to own a pair.
In classic Apple fashion, they just work. The noise-cancellation isn't perfect, but it's a lot better than you'd ever expect a pair of in-ears to be. Switching between that and transparency mode, which lets you hear everything that's going on around you, is as simple as squeezing one of the arms. And the fit is near perfect; it's easy to forget you're wearing them. We'd love a little more battery life, and changing the ear tips is a struggle until you learn the knack, but beyond that we can wholeheartedly recommend them, especially considering some of the price cuts available now.
Apple deals: Apple iPhone
The best Apple iPhone 11 deals available now
Apple is always happy to tempt us with bigger, more feature-packed models of the iPhone, but for our money the standard iPhone 11 is the best bet right now. It lacks the extra telephoto camera found on the Pro and Pro Max, it's only water resistant to two metres rather than four, and its display is Liquid Retina rather than the brighter, higher-res Super Retina XDR, but if you can live with that then its significantly lower price seals the deal.
The iPhone 11's wide and ultra-wide 12MP front cameras will suit most of your photographic needs, it'll shoot 4K video at 60fps, it has the same A13 Bionic chip as its more expensive siblings, and it comes in a range of much more alluring colours. If it's still a bit rich for your tastes, however, the new iPhone SE would be a fine budget alternative.