Best Apple tech gifts for Christmas 2020
Christmas 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.
And 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.
The essential Christmas gift of 2020, at least for Apple fans. This compact smart speaker offers superb 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.
Read our HomePod mini review for more information.
iPhone 12 mini
This is the cheapest of the late-2020 iPhones and one we’d strongly recommend, as our iPhone 12 mini review makes clear. It combines the all-screen design of the post-iPhone 8 handsets with the petite chassis of the pre-iPhone 6 ones, and chucks in 5G 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 (2020) 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 case from Otterbox, which is available in sizes to fit the 12 mini, 12 or 12 Pro, or 12 Pro Max and supports the MagSafe wireless charging standard. It also comes in a range of cool designs: ‘Yellow’ doesn’t really do the pictured product justice, we feel.
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 12 mini cases, iPhone 12/12 Pro cases, iPhone 12 Pro Max cases, iPhone SE (2020) cases, iPhone 11 cases and iPhone XR cases.
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.
Make sure your loved one’s phone is compatible: only the 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max support the MagSafe standard. And 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.
iPad 10.2in (2020)
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 (2020) review calls it “a great all-rounder, offering speed, portable design and an appealing screen size at an affordable price”.
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. 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 12 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 Pro 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 a brand-new Apple Watch, but it’s (relatively) affordable. What’s that all about?
It’s 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.
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 straps section on Apple’s website (make sure you get the right size); but if they have as little taste as me, consider instead this wonderfully garish leopard design from Casetify.
The company has a wide variety of other designs on offer – 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
The latest addition to the Apple-owned Beats stable of headphones is also the cheapest – but don’t underestimate these high-quality earbuds. “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.
If your budget stretches a little higher, it’s worth considering the Powerbeats, an excellent options for runners which recently got a new glow-in-the-dark colour finish. Take a look at our guide to the best Beats headphones for detailed buying advice.