I recently taught an iPad class for the Naples MUG, and the organizers specifically asked me to add a few slides with my recommendations on which iPads and accessories to buy. After the class was over, I was reflecting on how many times per week I answer questions about which Apple product to buy or if it’s a good time to buy—from friends, family members, TidBITS readers, Take Control readers, and sometimes even people I haven’t seen since high school.
That gave me an idea: what if I put my recommendations on a website and sent people to that? That idea was the genesis of my new Apple Buying Advice site, which isn’t affiliated with TidBITS in any way. When my father-in-law called to ask for an iPhone recommendation while I was drafting content for the site, I knew I was onto something.
The goal of Apple Buying Advice is simple: to recommend specific Apple products for those who are overwhelmed by all the options and have only one question: “Which one do I buy?” I offer quick picks on the home page, backed by short guides for each product category that explain my rationale and offer a few alternatives. Think of it like Wirecutter but with an exclusive focus on Apple products.
You may disagree with some of my choices, but they’re exactly the same recommendations I make to friends and family, and I think they’ll please the vast majority of buyers. For example, I recommend the base model iPad but upgraded with 256 GB of storage so owners don’t suffer from a storage crunch later. I caution against buying the iPhone SE right now since reliable sources suggest that a third-generation model will debut early next month. At appropriate times, I’ll adjust my recommendations and add warnings to delay purchases if possible, such as if someone is shopping for an iPhone in August before the annual September release of new models.
If you’re an advanced Apple user, you may appreciate being able to refer friends, family, and high school classmates you barely remember to Apple Buying Advice instead of having the same conversation over and over again.
As I noted, Apple Buying Advice is not a TidBITS project but purely my own thing. However, Adam Engst was the first person outside my family with whom I shared it, and he agrees with most of my picks for the everyday user.
The site is monetized through affiliate links, largely to Amazon, and I get a small commission when you make a purchase through them. But the affiliate commissions don’t influence my recommendations. For example, I often recommend less expensive products, and I skipped affiliate links for the iPhone entirely because Apple is the most reliable source for seeing purchase options. Apart from the iPhone, I tend to send links to Amazon because most people are familiar with it and likely subscribe to Prime (at least 60% of US households). Of course, there’s no requirement that readers shop through the affiliate links if they have another preferred vendor.
The business plan is simple: I paid a whopping $47.28 for a year of hosting with Bluehost and another $12.55 for my logo from logoflow on Fiverr. If I can’t make at least $59.83 in my first year, I’ll close the site. My main source of income is and will continue to be the managing editor of TidBITS—and thank you for nearly a decade of support!
Check out Apple Buying Advice, and let me know what you think.