Note: Due to delays, nothing in this article can be delivered by Christmas, so you’ll have to pick it up from a physical store. Most of the stuff in this article can be found in Apple Stores, and you can find your nearest one here
If you’re reading this, you probably know the kind of person I’m talking about. They’ve got the latest iPhone in their pocket and the latest Apple Watch on their wrist. A gigantic iMac takes the pride of place on their desk, with an iPad on the side. Their living room has an Apple TV, and their house is filled with Apple smart speakers that sound awesome, but who’s name you can never remember (it’s called a HomePod).
But, when Christmas comes around, you are stumped as to what to buy them. You buy wine lovers a bottle of vintage. You buy coffee lovers a box of premium South American super-espresso. But what do you get for that one person who seems to just be all apple, all the time? Fear not, because as I am one of the above-described Apple fanboys, and I know just what to buy them for Christmas.
For their iPhone
Most every Apple fan in the world has an iPhone; it’s the world’s most popular smartphone (and camera) in the world. It seems appropriate then, that we start there.
If your friend likes cases, they probably have one already. But Apple sell an enormous range of cases for iPhones made of high-quality silicon/leather, and you can spend anything from $35 to $135, which makes them a great budget option. The case shown here is the XS Max ProductRED folio case. You can view and buy them on apple.com
DJI OSMO Mobile 2
If your friend is into videography, they’ll love this little trinket from DJI. You mount your iPhone in it and it uses a hopelessly complicated system of motors and software to keep it completely stable (click here to find out more) so you can have the freedom of a handheld camera with the stability of one on a tripod. Most newer iPhones come with Optical Image Stabilisation, which does a great job on its own, but this will give their videos that edge. Still not sure? Check out this great review. You can buy it for $130 from apple.com.
A great addition to any budding photographer’s kit, the GorillaPod is a tripod in a category of its own. It’s bendy legs are also magnetic, so as well as all the usual stuff, you can bend it round a tree branch or a pole for a time-lapse, or even fit it to your shoulder and turn your iPhone into a shoulder-cam. As an added bonus, it’ll also fit any GoPros your friend has, and it comes with its very own remote! You can pick it up for $50 on apple.com.
AirPods will possibly always be the de facto iPhone accessory. They last six hours on a charge (24 if you include the case) and there are no wires at all. Plus, it’s got Apple’s W1 chip for super-easy pairing with your iPhone and Siri integration. The perfect pair of headphones for the Apple fan? Well yes. But because of all this, chances are your friend probably has one, and that coupled with the $160 price tag makes the AirPods a terrible gift. You definitely want to use the bonus guide at the bottom of the post before you even consider gifting these.
Beats urBeats 3
If your friend is still sticking to wired headphones but can’t stand EarPods, you can give him and his adapter a break and buy him some urBeats 3. These earbuds have a lightning port for connecting to newer iPhones with no headphone jacks, but still retain the traditional silicon cups design. As well as this blue colour, they’re available in Silver, Black, Yellow and Coral, and you can pick them up for $60 on apple.com.
A wireless charger
If your friend uses wireless chargers, it’s a rule of thumb that they can never have enough. Since 2017, iPhones have supported the popular Qi (pronounced Chi) wireless charging, which means that you can buy pretty much anything from $2–$200. Apple sell some chargers on their site, which are great, but if you don’t fancy spending $60 on a charger, just search Amazon for “Qi Charger” and pick from there. Pictured, by the way, is Google’s Pixel Stand, which you can pick up from the Google Store for £70.
A lightning dock
If your friend is not on the wireless charging bandwagon, how about a lightning stand? Your phone charges nice and quick, and looks super elegant while doing so. They’re available in black, silver, space grey and gold from apple.com.
For their Mac
If they have a computer, it’s a Mac. Let’s see what you can buy for it.
Western Digital My Passport SSD
If they have a MacBook, they’ll need a drive. If they have a drive, they’ll need an upgrade to an SSD. For those who don’t know, SSDs are Solid State Drives, and they are fast, light, portable and amazing. And none are more amazing than the My Passport drive from Western Digital. We have one of these at the office, and it’s brilliant. It has a USB-C cable, so it’ll work with the new MacBooks, and it’s so light that the cable is heavier than the actual drive! If your friend is still holding on to an old MacBook with legacy ports, don’t worry, it includes a USB 3.0 adapter, so it’ll still work. You can pick it up for $80 on Amazon
HyperDrive USB-C Hub
If there’s one thing in this world that’s both completely awesome and completely annoying, it’s the fact that Apple went all out on USB-C with the new MacBook lineups. While most of us agree with Apple’s version of the future, we can all agree that we’re not there yet. Until then, every MacBook owner needs to carry about a ton of adapters, and that means the perfect gift for them is a HyperDrive. This adapter has all the ports anyone could ever want, and it looks super-sleek doing so, plus it has an awesome name! You can buy this one for the MacBook Pro, and this one for the MacBook Air
Everyone needs an awesome pair of headphones for the desk, and for an Apple lover, there’s (arguably) no better pair than the Beats Studio3. Beats are owned by Apple, and the Studios have Apple’s W1 technology for super-easy pairing and extended range with Apple devices. As well as this red-and-black colour, they’re available in Black, Grey, Red, White, and Blue, and you can pick them up for $350 on apple.com.
Named “The Perfect Computer Desk Lamp” by Review Geek, the BenQ ScreenBar is the perfect accessory to any iMac. It balances itself on top of your monitor (it doesn’t fall off, don’t worry) and lights up your desk without glaring on your screen. It even has a colour temperature adjuster, so it’ll fit right in to any environment. Out of all the gifts listed here, this will (probably) be the one they appreciate the most. You can buy it for $99 here.
For their Apple Watch
The tiny computer-watch that has 50% market share and has literally saved people’s lives. Most true fanboys have one.
Apple have a great selection of Apple Watch bands, on which you can spend anything from $50 to $540. There are tons of different styles, so you can really make your gift personal. You can browse Apple’s full selection here.
A Charging stand.
Charge all night, wear all day, or at least that’s what Apple says you should do, and this neat little charging stand from Apple makes charging even more useful with this stand that turns your Apple Watch into an alarm clock!
For their iPad
The tablet that can (almost) replace your laptop, and outsold all PCs from major manufacturers.
Apple’s marketing team refers to this gadget as “a magic wand” and most reviewers say it’s well worth the $100 price tag. You can write notes which are spellchecked and searchable, draw incredible pictures and even mark-up PDFs. However, you should note that most iPad fans do have one of these, so you should always check. Also, if your friend has a new iPad Pro (with no home button), you’ll need an Apple Pencil 2.0, but if they have an older iPad, you’ll need an Apple Pencil 1.0.
A Smart Keyboard
Made by Apple, this is just like a regular keyboard, except it connects to the iPad with Apple’s Smart Connector, and they don’t need batteries. They also act as a stand and protect your iPad. Not many iPad owners stretch to the $200 price tag, but you should always check. You can pick it up from apple.com.
A Smart Cover
If you don’t fancy spending $200 on an iPad accessory, then the Smart Cover may be for you. It’s essentially a case for your iPad, and it also acts as a stand. While your friend may have one, the come in plenty of colours, so you can probably get one that they don’t have yet. You can browse and buy them on apple.com.
Beats Solo3 Mickey Mouse 90th Anniversary Edition.
Ordinary Beats Headphones are fine, but if you want to go the extra mile for your Apple-loving Disney fanatic, these Mickey Mouse Beats are perfect. They even come with their own special edition carry-case. The perfect gift that will leave any Disney fan speechless (maybe). you can buy it on apple.com for $330.
An iTunes or Apple Store Gift Card
The perfect gift if you don’t want to spend too much, you can spend $10-$200 for an iTunes Gift card, with which they can buy apps, movies, TV programs and music. You can also put $25-$2000 toward an Apple Store gift card, with which they can buy (or put towards) anything on the Apple Store. I recommend emailing them a gift card, because if you get it sent by post you have much less freedom with card designs and amounts. You can buy them on apple.com
I hope you have found some inspiration of what to buy your Apple fanboy friend! If you still don’t know what to get, you can browse iPhone Accessories here, Mac Accessories here, Apple Watch Accessories here, and iPad Accessories here
Bonus: How to find out if they have what you were planning to give them, or what sort of iPhone/iPad they have!
I can think of few things more embarrassing than giving a gift and then finding out that they already have it. Fortunately, if you’re going to talk to them during the holidays, you can subtly find out, and they won’t suspect a thing! Here’s how…
Begin by saying something that is guaranteed to steer the conversation towards the product in question. For example:
“Hey, so, I was looking for some earphones for my iPhone and was wondering if you’ve got any suggestions?”
With luck, they will say, “Well, I’ve got these really cool pair that I love called [here] and…
In which case, you will be done! Sometimes, though, it can be a little harder. If you’re checking if, describe the item, but don’t outright say what it is. For example, if you’re describing AirPods, you might say,
“Don’t you have those Apple earphone thingies with no wires?”
With luck, they will say, “You mean AirPods? Yeah, I do have a pair”. or “You mean AirPods? No, I don’t have those. I’ve got…”
And then they’ll be done! If you’re checking to see if they like the item you’re thinking of buying, replace “Don’t you have those” with “What about [item]?” For example:
“What about those Apple earphone thingies with no wires?”
and then they’ll say, “Well, they’re OK, but…” and then you’ll know.
Buying the wrong gifts for people is very embarrassing for both parties. But hopefully, with these tips, you’ll hardly ever make a mistake. Happy shopping!