Welcome to our regular collection of all the Apple news you missed this week, in a handy bite-sized summary. We call it Apple Breakfast because we think it goes great with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, but it’s cool if you want to read it during lunch or dinner hours as well.
When advantageous prices have a cost
Some say you get what you pay for. The late Sir Terry Pratchett argued that it is very costly to be poor. But most of our best minds agree that buying low is likely to come back and bite you to the bottom.
Apple products could hardly be described as cheap, but it’s all relative, and the company has long recognized the appeal of what we might call its more affordable adjacent offerings. I’ve always advised readers and family members to look beyond Apple’s eye-watering base prices, which may leave you with less storage than you need or lacking in features or specs. .
But that vague suspicion of low price tags has been heightened by recent experiences with Apple’s recently updated MacBook Air M2, which performs horribly poorly if you opt for the entry-level configuration. Read and write speeds of this machine’s 256GB single-channel SSD were 50% slower in our tests than the top-end $1,899 model, and the expected M2 speed boost was almost entirely absent. .
So the $1,499 model with a better chip, more storage, and a fancier charger is actually the better long-term deal. While the $1,199 model might be tempting, we recommend spending more for at least 512GB of storage, or looking for a discount on the 2020 M1 Air instead of buying this year’s cheapest model.
Low-cost entry-level products have become a trend. The iMac lineup holds a similar trap for the unwary bargain hunter. The cheaper ($1,299) version of the 24-inch iMac seems like an attractive option, given that it has the same 4.5K display as the $1,499 model and a very capable M1 processor. What Apple doesn’t publicize is that it lacks the power adapter with Ethernet, Touch ID keyboard, has fewer color options and ports, and only has one fan, which which means lower performance and more noise under load. For just $200 less, it’s hard to recommend.
Once you develop an instinct for price paranoia, you start noticing false economies across Apple’s lineup. What is the Apple Watch Series 3 still doing in the store, for example, when we’re only months away from the launch of the Series 8? I’ll tell you what it does: tempt innocent buyers with its exorbitant price, then disappoint them afterwards with its threadbare feature set and impending lack of software support.
2019’s second-generation AirPods are still available, but you really shouldn’t buy them either when the new edition easily justifies the extra cash. And the iPhone SE, which was recently updated this year and has what looks like a bargain price, is actually more expensive than the previous model and doesn’t add much in the way of modern features. Either way, you’d have to pay more for a better alternative, or go without.
Of course, it’s easy to say all of this as an Apple-focused reviewer who has access to (mostly high-quality) products on a reasonably regular basis. Of course, I prefer the premium editions, which are more expensive for a reason. In Apple’s world, expensiveness correlates quite accurately with quality.
But this does not mean that it is a linear relationship, and at different parts of the chart the price increases faster than the quality, or vice versa. At the high end, a lot of extra money gets you relatively little extra quality: the Apple Watch Edition has always represented poor value for money, and the Mac Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro aren’t worth their respective extortionate prices, unless you have a specific niche job or use case that justifies their capabilities. At the entry level, conversely, a little extra expense will lead to a huge improvement in your experience with the product.
Buying cheap, whether it’s a pair of boots or a laptop, is usually a waste of money. And because this is Apple we’re talking about, it’s a waste of a lot silver. Spend more or spend nothing at all, but you should probably skip the entry level if you can avoid it.
Trending: Top stories of the week
iOS 16 and macOS Ventura show how far ahead Apple really is, says Dan Moren.
An ounce of iPhone and no Mac makes one bitter apple “cocktail”. Yeah, that’s the results again.
After a backlash against the feature harmful possibilitiesApple cracked down on editing and undoing iMessage in iOS 16.
After precisely relaxing rules governing in-app payments, Apple is now accused of scaring off customers. It’s absurd.
The economy is doomed, notes the Macalope, and guess what? This is It’s all Apple’s fault.
Bad luck AOLers: Apple will no longer help you set up your dial-up modem.
It’s the end of an era. Apple’s M2 MacBooks no longer have any sign of Intel inside.
The rumor mill
Jason Cross takes a deep dive on the upcoming A16 processor and asks: How much faster will the processor be? iPhone 14 Pro really be?
It’s also been pretty much confirmed that the 14 Pro will have a permanent display. And we have seen what it will look like.
Be careful, the Apple Watch Series 8 may well eclipse the new iPhone. Here are 5 reasons to be excited.
On what subject, good news for squares and square lovers: Apple could finally redesign the Apple Watch-although it won’t have a new form.
The M1 Mac Pro has reportedly been scrapped as Apple plans a huge push M2 this autumn.
Product reviews and comparisons
Benchmarks confirm our fears: The performance of the $1,199 M2 MacBook Air is terribly bad in some tests.
It’s the ecosystem that matters mostargues Jason Cross in a comparison of the iPhone SE and the Google Pixel 6a.
Karen Haslam Compares MacBook Air M2 to M1 Model and Estimates to Spend $200 never made more sense.
Which Apple Charger Should You Buy For Your new macbook air m2? Or, if you want broader advice, check out our roundup of the best USB-C chargers for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
Want music? We’ve reviewed and rated the best wired Lightning and USB-C headphones for iPhone and iPad.
Podcast of the week
The product rumor mill great possibilities for the Apple Watch. Along with what’s coming in watchOS 9, we could see the biggest change to the Apple Watch lineup in its seven-year history. We talk about the next Apple Watch in this episode of the Macworld podcast.
You can watch every Macworld podcast episode on Spotify, Soundcloud, Podcasts app or our own site.
And with that, we’re done for this week. If you want to receive regular roundups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Twitter for the latest news. See you next Saturday, enjoy your weekend and stay Appley.