Apple has just unveiled a useful guide to the latest online order dates for all of its major products if you want one in time for Christmas, providing a handy map to avoid gift disappointment this year. The biggest danger turns out be in iPads, which makes sense since they're always a mega-popular gift.
The good news for iPhone buyers is that despite suggestions that there would be iPhone 13 shortages towards Xmas, Apple is currently saying that all iPhones should be orderable up to 22nd December for immediate delivery, with the exception of iPhone 11, which will need to be ordered by December 15th.
iPads are the biggest area where you need to really worry about shipping times. For the new iPad mini 6th Gen, Apple saying you need to order by November 16th. Yes, that's next week. For the new iPad 10.2-inch 9th Gen, Apple says 24th November, so again you'll need to really get a move on. And then iPad Air has a date of 1st December, so also needs an early order. The 11-inch iPad Pro can be ordered up to 8th December, and the iPad Pro 12.9-inch has the most flexible dates, running up to 22nd December.
AirPods 3 are going to be one of the hottest gifts this year, but again Apple says you should be okay to order up until December 22nd as long as you don't want them engraved. That goes for AirPods Pro and AirPods Max too. Of course, lots of people might choose engraving for a gift, and in the US, Apple says December 13th is the date you need to buy before if you want to add a message.
The new MacBook Pro (2021) 14-inch and 16-inch are dated for December 1st (no surprise that they'd be popular), while most other Macs are mid-December – though the iMac 24-inch (2021) has a date of December 8th.
Finally, Apple Watch Series 7 and Apple Watch SE both have dates of December 22nd, so there doesn't seem to be much danger there, though you may need to keep an eye on stock of your favourite case/band colour combo.
It's also worth noting that these are just for online orders – you can still aim to buy items after the order dates if you use the online purchase and pickup option, and in some cases Apple will even courier items from their stores right to you.
Here's Apple's full official list of the products and dates – the page will be updated anything happens to cause a change, but that this guide should be accurate: