Christmas comes early as Apple refreshes web store with holiday gift ideas

Christmas 2013 (iPad Air, iPad mini Retina 001)

A seeming barrage of Apple product refreshes over the past few months has helped a great deal overhaul virtually the company’s whole lineup. For starters, with September’s dual-launch Apple’s replaced the iPhone 5 with the fingerprint-reading iPhone 5s and the colorful iPhone 5c and released iOS 7 for public consumption.

Moreover, Tim Cook & Co. have finally managed to give the iPad mini and 13-inch MacBook Pro some much-needed Retina/Haswell love while at the same time introducing the iPad Air and rebooting Mac Pro around a radical new industrial design.

Doomed, indeed!

This has become Apple’s modus operandi as of lately: they time product updates so that everything gets revamped ahead of the all-important holiday season. With less than three weeks until Black Friday, Apple’s now updated its online store with some nice gift ideas for holiday shoppers…

Some of the notable exclusives include the $199.95 Anki Drive (a cool robotic car racing kit demoed at the iPhone 5s/5c keynote), the $199.95 Philips Hue Starter Kit (an iPhone-controlled light bulbs), the $129.95 Orbotix Limited Edition Sphero 2.0 (a baseball-sized rolling ball controllable through an iOS app), the $79.95 Mophie Juice Pack Helium Battery Case for iPhone 5 (available in new playful colors and providing up to an additional ten hours of 3G/LTE talk time/web use) and lots more.

Explore theme-based gift selections by clicking on the following links:

Top Gifts
Gifts for Him
Gifts for Her
• App-Enabled Accessories
• Apple TV
Bags & Cases
Gift Cards
iPad Cases
iPhone Cases
Music Creation

The online Apple Stores is accepting all major credit cards, but if you don’t have one you could visit your nearest brick-and-mortar outlet and buy Apple Gift Cards with cash for the amount that will cover your purchase.

Most of the stuff Apple carries online is available for purchase with these cards, including the just-released Retina iPad mini. Simply scratch away the back to reveal the PIN and enter it during online Apple Store checkout right in the gift card number field.

I’ve already bought a green 16GB iPhone 5c for my Mom and she’s absolutely loving it even though she’s not a big fan of technology – in fact, I’d say she’s one of those people who are afraid of technology for no apparent reason.

Christmas 2013 (iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, Apple Store 001)

Apple is throwing in free shipping on $50+ orders and free returns online and in store.

You can also add free custom laser-engraving to any iPad model ordered. As per usual, Apple’s listed all kinds of interesting holiday gift ideas and products so do explore the above links and see if you can find something you fancy.

Or, visit your country’s online Apple Store for local gift ideas, if any.

Christmas 2013 (Special Deals, Apple Store 001)

With Black Friday now just a few weeks away, retailers are starting to tempt holiday shoppers with early deals.

Walmart’s Black Friday, for example, includes a $100 gift card with each iPad mini purchase or a $75 gift card with iPhone purchases. Target’s Black Friday preview includes the 16GB Wi-Fi iPad Air for $479 (a $20 saving) with a free $100 gift card, and other discounts.

We’ll be keeping an eye for noteworthy Black Friday discounts and promotions by other retailers, including Apple, so that you can make informed purchasing decisions and make the most out of your hard-earned cash.

Apple October 2013 event (Tim Cook, Apple logo 001)

Apple’s boss promised us an “iPad Christmas” in a recent conference call with investors.

Good thing Tim, 53, knows what kids want.

With the iPad Air recently having launched to some glowing reviews and today’s unexpected release of the iPad mini with Retina display is just what Apple fans needed.

I have no doubt in my mind that millions of school boys and girls have their minds set on one of Apple’s magical devices for some unforgettable holiday magic.

Meet Bridger, a two-year toddler working the original iPad perfectly.

Just one of the reasons Apple is winning.

Christmas can’t come soon enough!

Apple says “it’s unclear” whether it will have enough Retina iPad minis  for the Christmas quarter so your best bet is to order yours via the online Apple Store because walk-in purchases are not possible yet due to high demand coupled with ongoing manufacturing difficulties.

As a result, Apple likely won’t be guaranteeing iPad mini deliveries this Christmas like it did last year.

So, what would you like for Christmas?