I began collecting Apple computers, accessories, and collectibles in the 1990s. When iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch devices were introduced, I began to collect those items as well. About twenty-five years later, I have an extensive collection of all things Apple.
Beginning in late 2018, I began to document and catalog my collection. I use a Nikon D3500 (with 18–35mm lens) and an inexpensive lighting setup. Each blog entry includes basic information, occasional personal commentary, and photos of the item(s).
The Apple Watch “Edition” is the name Apple gave to its most exclusive models of the Apple Watch. Original Apple Watch Edition models were considered highly exclusive with a price tag to match—the 38mm 18-Karat gold version was priced at $10,000, the 42mm version was $12,000, and the most expensive option went for $17,000. The Edition version that was released along with the Series 2 Apple Watch models reimagined the original Apple Watch Edition idea.
The Apple Watch Edition Series 2 was still exclusive, but instead of a precious metal, its material was a new, scratch-resistant ceramic. Apple described the composition and finish: “Sleek, light, and extremely durable, ceramic is more than four times as hard as stainless steel — with a pearly, lustrous finish that won’t scratch or tarnish.” The ceramic Apple Watch Edition started at $1,249 for the 38mm model, and the 42mm model was $1,299.
Apple touted a high level of craftsmanship behind this Apple Watch Edition. “The process of creating the Apple Watch Edition case begins with a high-strength zirconia powder that’s combined with alumina to achieve its rich, white color. Each case is then compression molded, sintered, and polished using a diamond slurry, which results in a remarkably smooth surface and an exquisite shine. With this precise level of workmanship, every Apple Watch Edition case takes days to make.”
For some reason, the Apple Watch Edition Series 2 models were slightly wider and taller than the aluminum and stainless counterparts by 0.1mm. It measured 42.6mm x 36.5mm x 11.4mm. The watch weighed in at 45.6g (for comparison, the 42mm aluminum was 34.2g and the 42mm stainless steel version was 52.4g). Like the stainless steel model, the OLED Retina display with Force Touch on the Edition used a Sapphire crystal at 312×390 pixels on the 42mm version.
All Series 2 Apple Watch models featured GPS and GLONASS, water resistance to 50 meters, a dual‑core processor, and a display twice as bright as the previous Apple Watch. Wireless connectivity included Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) and Bluetooth 4.0. Sensors included a heart rate sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, and ambient light sensor. The Edition included a Cloud Sport Band (a shade of light gray), and a Magnetic Charging Dock was included in the box.
One of the impressive features I found about this Apple Watch is in a small detail of the included band. Apple needed a band to show off the white ceramic case, but instead of including a white band, they included a light gray color they call “Cloud.” The Cloud color was never available separately, making it as exclusive as the Edition Watch. Since the band is a fluoroelastomer Sport Band, it requires a pin closure. Apple took the opportunity to make the closure pin in pearl white, a perfect complement to the case (most Sport Bands use stainless steel pins).
The HomePod mini was the second device in Apple’s HomePod line of intelligent, Siri-controlled speakers. Despite its small size and relatively low price, the HomePod mini offered impressive sound quality. Apple described the HomePod mini: “Jam-packed with innovation, HomePod mini delivers unexpectedly big sound for a speaker of its size. At just 3.3 inches tall, it takes up almost no space but fills the entire room with rich 360‑degree audio that sounds amazing from every angle.”
Apple designed the HomePod mini to allow homes to use multiple devices:
“With multiple HomePod mini speakers placed around the house, you can have a connected sound system for your whole home. Ask Siri to play one song everywhere or, just as easily, a different song in each room. And HomePod mini works with HomePod for multiroom audio and features like Intercom. If you want to take the amazing sound experience of HomePod mini even further, you can create a stereo pair. Two HomePod mini speakers paired in the same room create left and right channels for an immersive soundstage.”
The HomePod mini was spherical with a flat top and bottom. It measured 3.3 inches high and 3.9 inches wide. Internally, it used four microphones and allowed real-time tuning through computational audio. The HomePod mini had no ports and connected wirelessly to audio sources including Apple Music, iTunes music purchases, iCloud Music Library with an Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription, and some third-party services. In addition, it could play content from any device that allowed AirPlay streaming (AirPlay 2). Wireless technology included 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0.
The top of the device provided a backlit touch surface for certain controls: Tap to Play/Pause music or Siri; Double-tap to Skip; Triple-tap to Skip back; Touch and hold to access Siri; and Tap or hold + or – to control Volume up/down. The HomePod mini was available in black and white. This example is white.
I ordered this particular HomePod soon after it was released. While Apple packaging is well-known for its attention to detail, even the mailing box seemed to have received the Apple packaging treatment. The outer cardboard box featured a wraparound pull-tab that separated the box halves with no need for a tape-cutting blade. Once removed, the inner retail box was revealed which, surprisingly, was shrink-wrapped with no pull tab.
The AirPod mini used a permanently affixed USB-C cable and provided a 20W USB-C power adapter.
The original Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable was available in two versions, a white plastic back and a steel back. The Magnetic Charging Cable that shipped with aluminum Apple Watch models had the white plastic back, and Magnetic Charging Cables included with Stainless Steel and Edition models had the steel back. When purchased separately, the Magnetic Charging Cable used the steel back.
This 1-meter version of the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable has a USB-A plug. A version is also available with a USB-C plug, referred to on Apple’s website as an Apple Watch Magnetic Charger to USB-C Cable. These cables were available in three lengths, 0.3 m, 1 m, and 2 m.
Although not an official “MagSafe” product, Apple refers to MageSafe technology in the description:
“We wanted to make charging your Apple Watch utterly effortless. So we arrived at a solution that combines our MagSafe technology with inductive charging. It’s a completely sealed system free of exposed contacts. And it’s very forgiving, requiring no precise alignment. You simply hold the connector near the back of the watch, where magnets cause it to snap into place automatically.”
This Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable is shown below along with a 42mm Apple Watch Edition Series 2 (white ceramic case).
The iPhone 12 Pro Max Leather Case with MagSafe was designed with built-in magnets to offer “a magical attach and detach experience, every time. The perfectly aligned magnets make wireless charging faster and easier than ever before. And when it’s time to charge, just leave the case on your iPhone and snap on your MagSafe charger, or set it on your Qi-certified charger.”
As with previous leather cases for the iPhone, Apple included, “Made from specially tanned and finished leather, the outside feels soft to the touch and develops a natural patina over time. The case quickly snaps into place and fits snugly over your iPhone without adding bulk.”
Although the color is listed as (PRODUCT)RED, the label on the packaging specifies “Scarlet.” Apple specified that the new MagSafe charger built into the case “will leave slight imprints,” and added: “If you are concerned about this, we suggest you use an iPhone 12 Pro Max Silicone or Clear Case.”
In the past, (PRODUCT)RED purchases benefitted AIDS research, but in 2020, Apple changed the charitable cause to COVID-19:
“When you buy the (PRODUCT)RED Leather Case with MagSafe, we will now send a contribution to the Global Fund to fight COVID-19. Your support can make all the difference.”
This MacBook Pro 15-inch laptop shipped with a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo (Santa Rosa) processor and 2 GB RAM. It contained a 160 GB hard drive and 8X SuperDrive. The display was an LED-backlit 15.4-inch widescreen at 1440×900 resolution that was available in a matte or glossy finish. This example has a glossy display.
The keyboard design used a numeric keypad accessed using the fn (function) key, a feature removed from later models. This MacBook Pro had similar features to previous Core 2 Duo systems, including an ambient light sensor that adjusted keyboard illumination and screen brightness, a scrolling TrackPad, and a MagSafe power connector. It used a built-in iSight video camera at 1.3 megapixels.
Wireless connectivity on this 15-inch MacBook Pro included AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Bluetooth 2.0. Ports included an ExpressCard/34 slot, Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 400 and 800 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, optical digital audio in/out (in a single 3.5mm port), and DVI out.
Apple’s MagSafe Charger was released in 2020 along with the iPhone 12 line of devices. All iPhone 12 models (iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max) had MagSafe charging capabilities and could use this MagSafe Charger. Upon release, only the iPhone 12 models benefitted from the “magnetic alignment experience.”
Apple’s website states:
“The MagSafe Charger makes wireless charging a snap. The perfectly aligned magnets attach to your iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro and provide faster wireless charging up to 15W. The MagSafe Charger maintains compatibility with Qi charging, so it can be used to wirelessly charge your iPhone 8 or later, as well as AirPods models with a wireless charging case, as you would with any Qi-certified charger. The magnetic alignment experience only applies to iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models. Recommended: 20W USB-C Power Adapter (sold separately)”
In my opinion, this product—and the MagSafe 2020 concept—is riddled with ambiguities.
The the past, the “MagSafe” name was used by Apple to refer to a power plug on Apple laptops. This name made perfect sense in that it used a magnet (“Mag-”) to safely (“-Safe”) attach to the computer. If someone accidentally tripped over a MagSafe power cord, the cord would safely detach and save the computer from dropping to the floor and/or harming the port built into the computer—an overall excellent solution.
However, the MagSafe system used on the iPhone 12 is not the same. While the 2020 version of MagSafe uses a magnet (“Mag-”), it is in no way “-Safe.” Instead, the charger grips so tightly that an accidental trip over the charging cord will send the iPhone 12 to the floor. Further, the Apple Wallet, a leather wallet designed to hold 2–3 credit cards that uses the MagSafe magnets, has been shown by reviewers to easily detach when slipped into a pocket. Thus, MagSafe 2020 is decidedly UN-Safe!
In addition, although this product is named a MagSafe Charger, it does not charge on its own because it does not include a power adapter. A more accurate name for this product would be a “MagSafe Charging Cable” since that is all it is. A very similar product, the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable, also does not ship with a power adapter; thus, it is appropriately named.
Other reviewers have criticized Apple for not including power adapters in the box along with products. Apple asserts that this decision makes the company more environmentally friendly. I am not criticizing Apple’s decisions or motives. I am, however, criticizing the name of this product on two accounts. First, it is inaccurate because it is not “-Safe,” either now or when compared to previous MagSafe products. And second, because the name of the product does not accomplish the implied purpose of the device by omitting a power adapter to make the product function.
The iPod touch Loop is a custom wristband that shipped with iPod touch Generation 5 models with a capacity above 16 GB. The included iPod touch Loop matched the color of the iPod touch: black (shipped with the slate and later Space Gray models), white (shipped with the silver model), pink, yellow, blue, and red.
For owners of the 16 GB iPod touch Generation 5—or for anyone who wanted to customize their iPod touch—the Loop could also be purchased separately in packs of two including one color (pink, yellow, black, blue, or red) and one white Loop for $9.
The iPod touch Loop attached to a pop-out nub on the lower-left-back corner of the iPod touch. This pop-out nub was unique to the iPod touch Generation 5. The back of the packaging shows an excellent diagram of the installation of the Loop.
When I acquired a 16 GB Generation 5 iPod touch and noticed its pop-out nub, I immediately began looking for an iPod touch Loop to accompany it. I found this one on eBay from a German seller in 2020. I selected the “yellow” option because its unusual shade seems more green to my eye than yellow.
When Apple introduced all of the iPhone 12 models, they included a new method of wireless charging with an old name: MagSafe. Originally used for laptop power cables that used a magnet to safely attach and prevent a laptop from accidentally falling to the floor from a cord trip, this version of MagSafe used a strong magnet that caused an iPhone to fall to the floor with a cord trip. Thus, it is unknown why Apple continued to use the “MagSafe” name when no safety features were offered.
The case was crystal clear, and Apple specified that it resisted yellowing. The pattern on the back of the clear case was a white open circle with a downward dash. The downward dash allowed a MagSafe charger or an iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe to attach with the magnet and align perfectly.
According to Apple:
“Thin, light, and easy to grip — this Apple-designed case shows off the brilliant colored finish of iPhone 12 Pro Max while providing extra protection. Crafted with a blend of optically clear polycarbonate and flexible materials, the case fits right over the buttons for easy use. On the surface, a scratch-resistant coating has been applied to both the interior and exterior. And all materials and coatings are optimized to prevent yellowing over time. With built-in magnets that align perfectly with iPhone 12 Pro Max, this case offers a magical attach experience and faster wireless charging, every time. When it’s time to charge, just leave the case on your iPhone and snap on your MagSafe charger, or set it on your Qi-certified charger.”
This Clear Case is also pictured on an iPhone 12 Pro Max in Pacific Blue. Both items were purchased at the same time for my day-to-day use in November 2020.
In 2020 Apple released four iPhone 12 models simultaneously: the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 mini, the iPhone 12 Pro, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The four options offer two “regular” iPhone models in two sizes, the 12 and 12 mini; and two “Pro” iPhone models in two sizes, the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max. Overall, three sizes were available: mini, “regular,” and Pro Max, since the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro were the same size. The iPhone 12 models had arguably bolder color options, while the Pro models included more refined shades of Silver, Graphite, Gold, and Pacific Blue. This example is an iPhone 12 Pro Max with 256 GB storage in Pacific Blue.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max had an edge-to-edge 6.7-inch screen referred to as a “Super Retina XDR” display with 2778 x 1284 pixels (458 ppi). The camera system on the iPhone 12 Pro Max included four separate cameras, three on the back and one on the front. Apple listed the camera specifications for the Pro Max model as follows:
Pro 12MP camera system: Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto cameras
The TrueDepth Camera on the front gained many new features from previous front iPhone cameras. The 12MP camera had features including:
Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control
Portrait Lighting with six effects (Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono, High‑Key Mono)
Smart HDR 3
HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 30 fps
4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
Video recording features included:
HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 60 fps
4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps
720p HD video recording at 30 fps
Sensors included Face ID, LiDAR Scanner, Barometer, Three‑axis gyro, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, and an Ambient light sensor.
Apple described the iPhone 12 Pro Max finish as “surgical grade” stainless steel with flat stainless steel sides, a glass back, and a glass front with a “Ceramic Shield” cover for increased durability. The back had a MagSafe connector for wireless charging that used a magnet to attach a wireless charger (it is unknown why the term “-Safe” was used since the charger introduced no safety features).
The iPhone 12 Pro Max used the Apple A14 Bionic processor with 6 GB of RAM and 128, 256, or 512 GB of flash storage. Wireless connectivity included 802.11ax Wi-Fi, 5G wireless, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC (for Apple Pay). Its only wired connection was a Lightning port.
My personal iPhone upgrade pattern had been established as upgrading to “major” model releases, but skipping the “update” models. For example, I would upgrade from the iPhone 6, skip the 6s model, and then upgrade to the iPhone 7. However, beginning with the iPhone 8, this pattern was broken when the iPhone X [ten] was released along with the iPhone 8—and no iPhone 9 was released. Since the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 were released simultaneously, I never used an iPhone 8. Thus, I went from the iPhone 7 to the X, skipped the XR, and upgraded to the iPhone 11. Apple broke the pattern again by jumping from the iPhone 11 to the iPhone 12, skipping what may have been called the iPhone 11S or 11R (following previous conventions).
AirPods with Charging Case are the second generation wireless headphone product by Apple.
According to Apple:
“The new AirPods deliver the wireless headphone experience, reimagined. Just pull them out of the charging case and they’re ready to use with your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac. After a simple one-tap setup, AirPods work like magic. They’re automatically on and always connected. AirPods can even sense when they’re in your ears and pause when you take them out. To adjust the volume, change the song, make a call, or even get directions, simply say ‘Hey Siri’ and make your request. You have the freedom to wear one or both AirPods, and you can play or skip forward with a double-tap when listening to music or podcasts.”
Since the first version of AirPods, Apple touted an easy setup experience. For all intents and purposes, the setup has been truly simple, perhaps “magical” as Apple has claimed, from the start. The initial pairing process begins simply by placing a new set of AirPods in proximity to an iPhone or iPad. The pairing process takes just a single tap on the device.
The design of the original AirPods and AirPods Generation 2 is identical on the outside for both the AirPods and the charging case. Internally, original AirPods use a W1 chip and AirPods Generation 2 use the H1 chip that adds the hands-free “Hey Siri” feature and better battery life.
The name, “AirPods with Charging Case,” differentiates this product from the “AirPods with Wireless Charging Case.” AirPods with Charging Case offered charging only with a Lightning connector cable. For an additional $40 at the time of purchase, the AirPods Wireless Charging Case allowed a user to “set the case down on a Qi-compatible charging mat and let it charge. The LED indicator on the front of the case lets you know that your AirPods are charging.” To purchase the Wireless Charging Case for AirPods separately cost $79.
When purchased online, Generation 2 AirPods also offered free case engraving. “Engrave an emoji, name, initials, phone number, or date. Only at Apple.”