The Apple products you shouldn’t buy this month: September 2023 edition

iPhones in an Apple Store

It’s that time of year when Apple is prepping its product line for the busiest, most bouyant quarter of the year.

Bloomberg/Getty Images

While the holiday season might feel a long way away, this is the time of year when Apple will be getting its product ducks in a row and preparing for the most buoyant quarter of the year.

Also: iPhone 16 Ultra will offer biggest leap in photos since B&W-to-color

Let’s not beat around the bush, it’s September, and that means that it’s time for Apple to unveil the much-rumored iPhone 15. So if you’re thinking of buying an iPhone, wait! The same goes for the Apple Watch.   

As for the Vision Pro mixed reality headset, well, don’t hold your breath as that’s not going to launch until early 2024.

The ‘Naughty’ list

  • iPhone 14: iPhone 15 launch is imminent! 
  • Apple Watch and Apple Watch Ultra: Like the iPhone 14, save your money because an update is imminent.
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro: This is now overpriced for what you’re getting. Unveiled a year ago at WWDC 2022, this is due for a refresh to an M2 Pro or M2 Max chip.
  • 13-inch MacBook Air: With an M2 version of the MacBook Air now available for only $100 more, it no longer makes any sense to pay full price for one based on the M1 chip. However, right now you can get $250 off the Apple Store price at Amazon and Best Buy This makes sense for someone looking for a cheap(er) way to get into MacBooks, or upgrade an aging system without breaking the bank.
  • 24-inch iMac: Now that the M1 chips have been superseded by the M2, Apple is asking a lot of money to pay for a Mac that could see a refresh in the next few months.
  • iPad Mini: Released in September 2021, it’s worth keeping in mind the age of this tablet. Over 20 months is a long time in tech. Would you pay full price for an iPhone 13, which was released at the same time? No, you wouldn’t.
  • Joining the iPad Mini is the iPad Air. Released in March 2022, this isn’t as old as the Mini — but it’s still over that 12-month mark, making it a dubious buy for the price.
  • iPhone SE: This handset is speeding toward the 18-month-old mark, and while it could be 2024 before we see an update released, it’s worth bearing in mind that the current model was released in March 2022. 

The ‘Nice’ list

2023 Apple Mac Pro

M2 Ultra Mac Pro

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

This monster system finally gets the Apple Silicon treatment. With a starting price of $7,000, it’s not cheap, but once you start adding the extras it’s a lot cheaper than its predecessor.

  • Apple M2 Ultra chip, with 24-core CPU and up to 76-core GPU
  • Up to 192GB of unified memory
  • 32-bit Neural Engine
  • Up to 8TB of storage 
  • 2 x HDMI
  • 2 x 10Gb Ethernet
  • Rack or desk mounting options

2023 Apple MacBook Air

Apple’s “thin and light” laptop gets bumped up to a 15-inch display and an M2 chip.

  • 15.3-inch LED-backlit display with IPS technology
  • 2880-by-1864 native resolution at 224 pixels per inch
  • 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores
  • 10-core GPU
  • 16-core Neural Engine

2023 Apple Mac Mini with M2 chip

Mac Mini with M2 chip


Apple’s “starter” Mac gets the M2 Apple Silicon treatment, bringing it into 2023.

  • Apple M2 or Apple M2 Pro chip
  • Two Thunderbolt 4 ports (M2) or four Thunderbolt 4 ports (M2 Pro) 
  • Two USB-A ports (up to 5Gb/s)
  • HDMI port
  • Gigabit Ethernet port (configurable to 10Gb Ethernet)
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • 8- to 12-core CPU
  • 10- to 19-core GPU
  • 8GB to 32GB unified memory
  • 256GB to 8TB storage

Also: This $75 dock turns your Mac Mini into a Mac Studio (sort of)

2022 Apple MacBook Air Laptop with M2 chip

MacBook Air in Midnight.


Apple’s M2-powered MacBook Air is a powerhouse of a laptop, offering a huge performance boost over the older Intel-powered MacBook Air, such as 15 times faster video editing — yes, video editing on a MacBook Air! — and up to 18 hours of battery life.

Review: Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022): Sleeker, faster — and pricier

  • The 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display features over 500 nits of brightness, P3 wide color, and support for 1 billion colors.
  • Next-generation M2 8-core CPU with 8-core GPU and 8GB of unified memory
  • Up to 18 hours of battery life
  • 1080p FaceTime HD camera, three-mic array, and four-speaker sound system with Spatial Audio
  • A MagSafe charging port, two Thunderbolt ports, and a headphone jack
  • Weighs just 2.7 pounds

2nd-gen AirPods Pro

Airpods Pro 2 in hand.

Christina Darby/ZDNET

The second-generation AirPods Pro in a major upgrade over the previous model, gives Apple’s premium buds a massive lead over the competition.

Also: AirPods Pro might be an inexpensive solution to your hearing loss

  • Active Noise Cancellation reduces unwanted background noise.
  • Adaptive Transparency lets outside sounds in while reducing loud environmental noise.
  • Personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking places sound all around you.
  • Multiple ear tips (XS, S, M, L)
  • Touch control lets you swipe to adjust volume, press to direct media playback, answer or end calls, and press and hold to switch between listening modes.
  • Sweat- and water-resistant for AirPods Pro and charging case.
  • MagSafe Charging Case includes a speaker.
  • The case features a lanyard loop.

Also: Adaptive Audio listening mode is coming to AirPods Pro 2


Hand holding Airtag.


Blowing away the competition, Apple’s AirTags are the perfect gift for someone who constantly loses things. You can add them to your luggage, your bike, your remote, or even your moving boxes — the possibilities are endless. 

Also: How to find out if an AirTag is tracking you

Well-made, robust, and with a replaceable battery, these will make lost keys or wallet things of the past.

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