Wow, the world has certainly never stopped providing the power nerd with cool products. Apple's latest announcement provides ever more expensive and ever cooler technology for every day use. Here are some notes on things to get the person who has everything this Christmas. In order of coolness to value ratio.
iPhone XR Red 128GB
Well normally I suggest getting the fastest possible processor you can and as much storage as you can stand. My iPhone X for instance with a massive 64GB is constantly running out of storage. Mainly because once you have it you put more on it. In my case that includes my entire archive of 52K photos and then 4K videos galore.
This year however, it makes a lot of sense to get the iPhone XR if you don't take many photos. The price is much lower at $799 base. Most importantly it has the same A12+ processor so you are not giving up anything there. The screen is not OLED and lower resolution though. Net, net a good value.
The only reason to really get the iPhone XS is if you really need the 2x zoom. The iPhone XS Max if you really want a phablet. Personally, I find the high resolution screen goods enough so the XR and the XS are fine.
In terms of what specific model to get there are two big choices. How much memory and what Size-wise, the 256GB seems like a good middle choice. Like 64GB before, it will be a while before you get it filled.
Color. The two good choices are black because it goes well with the notch at the front and red because it looks good with the black front and is an incredible color.
iPad Pro 12.6" Cellular Space Grey 512GB
Well Apple is finally saying the iPad Pro could be a PC replacement. It's about time. Right now the only thing that I really need for that runs locally these days are the image processing software. Adobe has a nice set (but DxO and others haven't unfortunately).
So the next question is what size, color and accessories?
Screen Size. the 12.9" is just about perfect as a paper replacement. It is just so easy to read a research paper on it particularly with the edgeless display. But it's super expensive and less portable, so the 11" is probably the best value because it has the same A12X Bionic processor and memory and storage.
Case Color, there are just two choices space grey and silver. The silver is the standard color that Apple has used for years and hides scratches. Space grey is the newer color and hides bigger scuffs. Personally I like the space grey because, heck, it is newer 🙂
Storage, Really the minimum is at least 64GB, but it depends on what you are storing and editing on this. There are two big uses, as a Netflix storage machine and also for editing photos and 4K videos, each will require a lot more storage. Really 256GB is the minimum. And you want 512GB if you are doing graphics or editing of videos.
Cases. At least for me, these things are so valuable that it doesn't make sense not to have a case. The Smart Case is really the only sensible choice for an iPad Pro. It is also the only choice for typing intensive work.
Apple Pencil. Actually I'm not quite sure what I would do with it, but can't imagine not having it. Wait, I guess that doesn't make much sense but is true 🙂
Cellular. It's hard to imagine in this day and age not wanting to do computation just about everywhere and the new data plans are pretty reasonable at $10-20/month.
Buy with AppleCare and your Amex Platinum
Finally, make sure that when you buy it, you use an American Express card with extended Warranty and also get Applecare. Applecare extends the warranty to two years and with American Express, you get yet another year. Pretty good for a consumer electronics product 🙂