While Apple may be synonymous with luxury in the tech world, there are things you can pick up at its store that fall under $50 — and we're not talking adapters.
Apple is actually making a push to not include accessories in the iPhone 12, which does make the boxes smaller — but also means Apple gets to charge you for some things it used to toss in for free. That actually works in your favor during gift giving season, because EarPods and chargers are now needed items. (And if you're someone who has never lost a set of headphones or a charger, you're a unicorn.) So this year, if you know someone who is getting one of these new iPhones, you actually have a chance at gifting them something they can use, and fits into a $50. budget.
There are more items too — cases, colorful bands and some cool charging systems, all at prices that aren't typical Apple-busting fees.
Beats Flex — $49.99
The Beats Flex are wireless headphones that loop around the back of your neck — a solid design for those who are afraid of earbuds popping out. These come in four different colors, black, white, yellow and a sky blue, and can hold up to 12 hours of power in one charge.
iPhone 12 or 12 Pro case — $49
Apple iPhone 12 caseApple
Pick up an iPhone 12 or 12Pro silicon case, or grab a clear case as well — both of which support the new with MagSafe charging, a way to wirelessly charge the new smartphone much like the Apple Watch. Silicon cases come in eight different colors from plum to white, and even a peach-colored option called kumquat. All of them are $49 each.
MagSafe Charger — $39
Speaking of the MagSafe Charger, you're going to need to buy one of these, as this charger is not shipping with the iPhone this time around. That makes this little item a perfect gift for anyone who is getting the iPhone 12 or 12 Pro. And if you're worried someone else picked up the charger already, getting a second is not a mistake, as you can have one in a suitcase for traveling and one at home.
EarPods with Lightning Connector — $19
Before you scoff at buying a set of EarPods, know that everyone has had that moment when their AirPods have run out of juice and they're left having a call on speaker or (gasp) holding their phone up to their ear. I've had to turn to my backup pair of EarPods more times than I recall. And for $19, you're actually providing a valuable commodity to any iPhone user.
Catalyst Waterproof Case for AirPods Pro — $29.95
Catalyst Waterproof Case for AirPods ProCatalyst
AirPods are known to take a tumble or two, getting dropped from a pocket for example. And that hit can affect the way they work. So protecting them with a case is a nice option — especially one that clips to a backpack or bag. The Catalyst Waterproof Case comes in a number of colors from red to a funfetti option. And you can grab one for just $29.95.
Native Union Leather AirPods Pro Case with clip — $49.95
Native Union Leather AirPods Pro CaseNative Union
You can also amp the case option up a bit with Native Union's Leather AirPods Case, which sports a metal clip, and comes in black or brown leather that promises to patina with time. And yes, you can still do wireless charging with this $49.95 case on your AirPods as well.
Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge Rockstar — $39.95
Belkin Lighting Audio + Charge RockstarBelkin
This little number lets you listen to music and charge at the same time — all through one simple Lightning connector. The $39.95 Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge Rockstar is a nice to have, not a need, which makes it a perfect accessory for anyone with an iPhone, letting them grab some extra juice for their device while still listening to a favorite podcast or tune.
AirPods Pro EarTips (small, medium or large) — $7.99
Apple Airpods Pro EarTipsApple
Before you say no to these, just understand that everyone has a need — who has AirPods — to switch out their EarTips now and then. They get messed up (which has happened to me) and sometimes, depending on the weather, you need a size bigger or smaller. (Again, me.) Typically you get these in the box with any AirPods purchase. But backups come in handy. (Again, hand raise here.) For $7.99 these are a solid stocking stuffer item as well.
Innovelis TotalMount Pro Mounting System for Apple TV — $29.95
Innovelis TotalMount Pro Mounting System for Apple TVInnovelis
For anyone with an Apple TV — or someone who is getting one this year — this mount lets you attach the box right to your TV's back, and get it off a table, book shelf or stand. The $29.95 Innovelis TotalMount Pro Mounting System also helps to bring the box to wall-mounted TVs, and there's a holder for the remote as well.
Apple Watch Solo Loop Band — $49
Nike Sport Band for Apple WatchApple
An extra Apple Watch band is a fun gift — a way for a friend or loved one to change up the look of their wearable quickly and easy. There are a few options all at $49, including the Solo Loop Band, which is just one piece and comes in multiple wrist sizes, also a regular sports band, and one made by Nike — one loop, which can be customize by size for your wrist so it can pulled on and off. That comes in a number of colors from navy to a dark green and a yellow called Ginger. You can also get a regular Sport Band, plus a Nike Sport Band with open holes that are edged in colors including one that a white with vapor green accents.
Apple Watch magnetic charger to USB-C Cable — $29
Native Union Belt Cable for Apple WatchNative Union
Here's an extra charger for anyone with an Apple Watch — a useful item again for those who are thinking they're going to be able to start traveling again soon. You can also spring for one with a bit more oomph and pick up the Native Union Belt Cable for Apple Watch which is $49.95, which has a USB end along with the magnetic charger, and comes with a leather strap to keep it neatly together.
Scosche BaseLynx Vertical Charging Station — $49.95
Scosche BaseLynx Vertical Charging StationScosche
This station can charge three devices at once from iPads to iPhones and gaming system. The Scosche BaseLynx Vertical Charging Station has three ports and three holders — and it promises to charge three times faster than regular chargers, which is itself one of the best gifts you can give anyone this year.