Apple generates a lot of news, and it can be hard to keep up. If your mind was on other things this week, our Saturday-morning roundup of Apple-related headlines will bring you up to date.

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A surfeit of deals

Apple Breakfast is usually a haven of positivity but readers will, I hope, forgive a degree of weariness this Saturday morning. It has been a trying week.

As we predicted in previous instalments of this column, the Black Friday deals this year were a little underwhelming. Stock shortages afflicted all of the late-2021 iPhone models, for example, and it was tough to get significantly below RRP on any of Apple’s smartphones. Cupertino’s gift card promotion, usually the object of derision (you get vouchers for your next purchase rather than saving anything on this one), was an uncharacteristically appealing option for once.

There were bright spots among the gloom. Retailers managed to pull off significant discounts on various AirPods models – one would imagine these weren’t affected so badly by the semiconductor shortage – and there were some solid offers on the iPads. At least some readers, we hope, have managed to a pick up a bargain or two thanks to our advice; if so, it has all been worth it.

And the good news is that there will be more opportunities, starting with Cyber Monday in a couple of days. What was once (in this country at least) an unknown event has blossomed into a day, a week and latterly an effectively month-long promotion – and its proximity to Christmas means pretty soon we’ll be looking at deals from October to January. Which is an exciting prospect… as long as you’re not the schmuck who has to write about it.

News in brief

Apple has finally agreed to let staff discuss their pay, and to address workplace issues in the way that feels most comfortable to them. This shouldn’t really be news, as this is stipulated in US law. But there have been question marks recently over Apple’s willingness to listen to aggrieved staff members, some of whom said they did not feel heard at an all-hands meeting in September.

Apple and Amazon have been heavily fined for ‘price fixing’ in Italy.

There might be a reason why running the ARM version of Windows on a Mac, while technically possible, is a bit of a tricky one right now: a contract that Microsoft once signed with Qualcomm states that the ARM version of Windows should exclusively run on Qualcomm chips. Luckily the contract should end soon so hopefully that will make running ARM Windows on a Mac easier.

What will be Apple’s most important product in ten years, asks Samuel Nyberg.

Some celebrities – or “celebrities”, since we haven’t heard of them, being extremely old – have started a bizarre trend for wired headphones. AirPods are now too widespread to be cool, according to the cool kids.

Apple’s right to repair programme is a privilege for a lucky few, reckons the Macalope. But it’s nice to have.

Apple launched the HomePod mini in three new colours in the UK and elsewhere this week. (For those of you in the US, Apple launched them at the beginning of November.)

Speaking of new colours, some people were disappointed by the colours of the latest Apple Watch model, so a designer has dreamed up some new colours for the Apple Watch 7. And they look rather nice.

Apple will have to open offices in Russia by the end of the year, or face the consequences.

iFixit have performed a tear-down of the third-generation AirPods and the new Beats Fit Pro and found that (predictably) they are completely irreparable – but at least the battery is easy to remove.

Video of the week

The iPhone 13 Pro may look a lot like last year’s iPhone 12 Pro at a glance, but there are some differences. In this video, Jason Cross walks you through all the key differences and new features.

Software, bugs & problems

Martyn Casserly has unearthed 15 hidden features in iOS 15. How many did you know?

Apple is to warn users of espionage attacks such as Pegasus. The notification will come via email or messages and will include recommendations about how the affected users can protect themselves against attack. In related news, Apple has sued the NSO Group over Pegasus spyware.

The rumour mill

It’s no secret that Apple will be launching a replacement for the 27in iMac at some point in 2022, but will it run on the M1 Pro, M1 Max, or something better? This week it was suggested that Apple might double up the chips. Hence the iMac could ship with two M1 Max chips and thus bring twice the number of CPU and GPU cores, and support up to 128GB RAM.

The Apple Car has an aggressive new launch schedule.

Prepare for disappointment with the 2022 Apple Watch. Running up to the launch of the Watch 7 we hearing that there would be a redesign which didn’t happen, but there was some hope that the 2022 version would sport a new look. Not happening, apparently: Apple Watch 8 will keep the old design, according to LeaksApplePro.

We may only have a year to wait until Apple launches the AR/VR headset according to wonder analyst Ming Chi Kuo. He reckons that Apple’s AR/VR headset is coming at the end of 2022. He suggests that the specs will include an M-Class chip that will take care of computing and a slightly more powerful chip that will control the sensors and collect data from them. As a result you won’t need an iPhone or Mac to use them.

Apple deals of the week

Black Friday was yesterday, but the deals don’t stop: there’s Cyber Monday in a few days, and then the Christmas buying cycle starts revving up.

I’ve embedded a list of the best current Apple deals below, but other than that, we’re done for this week. See you next Saturday, enjoy your weekend, and stay Appley!

1. Apple Shopping Event

From: Apple

Now: Get a free gift card worth up to £160

Apple’s Black Friday Shopping Event means you’ll get a gift card worth £20, £40, £60, £80 or £160 when you buy selected products including iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches and AirPods over Cyber Weekend. Apple’s newest products aren’t included, but if you’re after an older model this deal might be for you.

2. Apple iPad Air (64GB, 4th Gen, Wi-Fi + Cellular)

From: Amazon

Was: £709

Now: £599  (£110 off)

Amazon has £110 off the cellular iPad Air with 64GB storage, bringing it down to a particularly tempting price.  

3. Apple Watch Series 7

From: Amazon

Was: From £369

Now: From £349  (£20 off)

The Apple Watch Series 7 offers a larger, brighter display, slimmer bezels and more. Right now you can save £20 from Amazon, John Lewis, Currys and Very!

4. Apple Watch Series 6 (40mm)

From: Amazon

Was: £379

Now: £289  (£90 off)

Following its official discontinuation in September 2021, retailers have continued to sell the Apple Watch Series 6 at a discount.

It cost £379 when new, so this is a generous saving; bearing in mind that the Series 7 does not represent a huge step forward, this is a decent option at less than £300!

5. Apple iPhone 12 (64GB)

From: Amazon

Was: £679

Now: £649  (£30 off)

Pick up the 64GB iPhone 12 in any colour on Amazon for £30 cheaper than going to Apple directly. The price is also £150 cheaper than the handset’s launch price.

6. Apple iPhone 13 mini with iPad (2021)

From: Virgin

Now: From £40 per month, no upfront cost

Pick up the latest iPad and iPhone 13 from Virgin in this Black Friday bundle.

7. Apple iPad Air with Apple Pencil

From: Virgin

Now: £24.50 per month (2GB data)

Get an Apple Pencil with the iPad Air for just £2 more per month compared to Virgin’s price for the iPad Air alone.

8. Apple iPad Pro (2021, M1, 11in)

From: Currys

Was: £749

Now: £699  (£50 off)

Apple’s exceptionally powerful M1-equipped iPad Pro for 2021 has a chunky price tag to match. But it’s less chunky if you go to Currys – or Amazon, which is matching the deal.

9. pCloud Cloud Storage – Lifetime 2TB

From: pCloud

Was: £850

Now: £209.30  (75% off)

pCloud’s Black Friday offer slashes 75% off Lifetime Access with 2TB cloud storage. The service is one of the best cloud storage platforms around.

10. MacPaw CleanMyMac X (1 Year) – 30% off

From: MacPaw

Was: From £34.95

Now: From £20.97  (Up to £125.79 off)

Get 30% off CleanMyMac X from MacPaw this Black Friday. You can also get up to £47.45 off MacPaw’s ClearVPN which launched earlier this month.

11. Apple AirPods Pro with MagSafe charging case

From: John Lewis

Was: £239

Now: £185  (£54 off)

A solid saving on the AirPods Pro, Apple’s excellent true-wireless earphones with ANC. Amazon is matching the deal, but we’d go with John Lewis because of the firm’s longer guarantee.

12. Apple Watch Series 6 (40mm, Cellular)

From: Amazon

Was: £479

Now: £369  (£110 off)

13. Apple AirPods 3 (2021)

From: Laptops Direct

Was: £169

Now: £159  (£10 off)

Laptops Direct is doing some mathematical acrobatics here – how this can be a £25 saving when the RRP is quite clearly £169 is a mystery – but this remains a good price on the new AirPods.

In fact, barring some distinctly dodgy-looking websites we wouldn’t recommend you use, this is the only site we can find offering a discount at all.

14. Apple Pencil (2nd Gen)

From: Amazon

Was: £119

Now: £99  (£20 off)

The second generation Apple Pencil for iPad has £20 off for Black Friday on Amazon, in a price that beats the retailer’s Prime Day offer.

15. Apple Mac mini, M1, 8-Core CPU / 8-Core GPU, 256GB

From: KRCS

Was: £699

Now: £629  (£70 off)

This Black Friday deal will save you £70 on the price of the M1 Mac mini.

And that’s not all. The £899 Mac mini model is £809.10 at KRCS. Get that KRCS deal here.

16. Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac

From: Parallels

Was: £69.99

Now: £55.99  (20% off)

Parallels Desktop 17 for Mac is available at a discount of 20% as a part of the Black Friday Sale. If you’re upgrading to version 15 the price drops from £39.99 to £31.99.

For more information read our Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac review, in which the software was awarded 4.5 stars out of 5.

17. Apple AirPods Max

From: Laptops Direct

Was: £549

Now: £399  (£150 off)

This £150 saving on the AirPods Max is one of the biggest we’ve seen to date. It applies to the green and pink models only; Amazon has a good price on the blue and black ones too, but they’re not quite as cheap as this.

18. Apple MacBook Air, 1.1GHz quad-core, 512GB (2020)

From: LaptopsDirect

Was: £1,299

Now: £919.97  (£379.03 off)

LaptopsDirect has a decent saving on the 2020 quad-core MacBook Air with 512GB storage and 4-cores – which used to cost £1,299. It’s a great deal if you want an Intel-powered model.

19. Apple iPad mini (2021, 6th gen)

From: AO

Was: £479

Now: £463  (£16 off)

A small but worthwhile saving on Apple’s new iPad mini model for 2021.

20. Apple iPad Pro 11in (2021, M1, 2TB) – Wi-Fi + Cellular

From: Amazon

Was: £1899

Now: £1506.36  (£392.64 off)

We’re not sure if Amazon will bring back the £639 discount we saw in October on this iPad Pro M1 variant, but £392 off is still an excellent deal. See our review of the 11in iPad Pro with M1