The Ultimate Apple iOS Holiday Gift Guide

With the holidays around the corner, chances are you are checking off items on the shopping gift list. For many individuals, some things on that list will include gadgets and technology. One company that has been quite busy this year in terms of gadgets is certainly Apple. For consumers, this means they are presented with choices – a lot of choices – of what they should give out this holiday season. Today, we will take the mystery out of the various choices presented to you by Apple. From iPhones to iPods to iPads, we will decipher which is best to give to whom.

apple holiday gift guide - iPhone

At the moment, we have the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 4 still available for purchase. Each have their own benefits and drawbacks, and they all have their own respective price points.

Which iPhone should you get?

The iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 4 all have their own appealing points. The iPhone 5 is appealing because of it’s attractive price point while still not skimping on too many features. The iPhone 4S still has Siri, the device that debuted Siri actually.

The 4S ($99.99) also has the same camera quality, Facetime, and iOS 6 compatibility. Some appealing points for the iPhone 5 is the refreshed design and the increase in performance power. We then have the iPhone 4, the cheapest device here, selling in some places for free, in others for $0.99. The iPhone 4 doesn’t have Siri and is the last device on the line that will be booted come the next generation this coming fall.

So who gets what? If you are super price conscious, then obviously we can exclude the iPhone 5. The $199 minimum price range isn’t worth stretching the budget for what you are receiving in comparison to the others on the market. If you want the latest and greatest, the iPhone 5 is a choice you’ll want to look into. If your recipient is upgrading from a 4 or 3GS, then the 5 is a worthy upgrade, not so much for 4S users.

apple holiday gift guide - iPod

If you have decided to give an iPod rather than an iPhone, then you have much more choices, and a harder decision to make.

 iPod Touch: iOS + iPod

Apple refreshed their iPod product line this year, releasing a renewed iPod Touch, redesigned iPod Nano, and minor changes to iPod Shuffles. Along with these, Apple also has the iPod Classic available for purchase. The iPod Touch pricing can be a bit confusing for some shoppers.

At the moment, the newest iPod Touch devices (5th generation), with the arm strap and all, is available in 32GB and 64GB for $299 and $399 respectively. The iPod Touch 4th generation is available in 16GB for $199 and 32GB for $249. So what’s the difference? The newest iPod Touch has Siri, 1080p video recording, along with a ton of other new capabilities. The iPod Touch 4th generation is sans Siri and has 720p video recording.

They are nearly identical in battery life and the newest one has Apple’s newest Lightning dock. So, who should get what? Truly, while we are always in the assumption that if it costs more, it should be better, in this case that isn’t true. Unless you are crazy about Siri or require a bigger storage (64GB), it is a better option to go for the 4th generation.

Classics, Nanos, and Shuffles

The iPod Classic reigns supreme for serious music lovers. If your recipient is serious about their music, this may be your best option and best value. For $249, you get 160GB and many of the other features we expect, before the iPod Touch made it to the scene. This is, of course without all the hoopla of Siri and cameras.

Finally, those who are looking for a great value may want to look into either the Shuffle or Nano. The Shuffle is perfect for the active crowd or casual music listeners. If you want to give something to accompany runners or travellers, the Shuffle is good. However, those who want the features like cameras and Siri will look at the Shuffle like a hunk of coal. Then there’s the Nano, with more memory than the $49 2GB Shuffle, the $149 Nano with 16GB has a larger screen, basic features like movies, videos, television shows, along with your music. Of course, it makes use of Apple’s new lightning connector.

 Age appropriate iPods

The older crowd and younger children will appreciate the Nano due to it’s simple navigation, heavy use of simple to understand icons, and it’s home button (aka the emergency escape button). Whenever they get confused, they can always click the home button to get to a familiar environment on their iPod. Teens these days are all clamoring for iPod Touch devices. Those looking to save money would want to look solely at the iPod Touch 4th generation. Also, teens who aren’t ready to have an iPhone would appreciate the many similar features that Apple has made available for iPod Touch users.

apple holiday gift guide - iPad

Apple currently has the iPad Mini, iPad 2, and the iPad with Retina Display. As the name entails, the iPad with Retina Display is the only one with a Retina screen. The iPad Mini has the smallest screen – 7.9 inches. Both the iPad Mini and iPad 2 has an A5 processor, the iPad with Retina Display has the new A6X processor and a faster speed. The camera quality of both the iPad Mini and iPad with Retina are the same. Aside from the iPad 2’s lack of Siri compatibility and Lightning connector, everything else is the same.

So, who get’s what? The iPad Mini is certainly more child friendly. If you are looking to get an iPad for your pre-teen or teenager, the iPad Mini is a good option. If you are more of a web surfer, the larger screen of the iPad with Retina may be best for you. The iPad 2 and iPad Mini should be considered for those on a budget.

Share your favorites iOS devices in the discussions below.

Image credit: christmas gift box by BigStockPhoto