By ERIN VOGELSANGER



Valentine’s Day is upon us and if this is a shock, don't worry, there is still time to get your act together and gift creatively.  Rather than going the typical flower and candy route, why not give your Valentine something a little cooler? Monitoring the daily activities of IT manufactures hints that Apple is the best place to help you profess your undying love this year. Apple'sValentine’s Day gift guide has many options that will melt your honey bear’s heart.


For the committed relationship: Give the gift that’s so hot it’s even on Cupid’s wish list; the highly covetediPad! It’s Wi-Fi compatible with the option to upgrade to 3G lightening fast speed. The iPad offers state-of-the-art internet connectivity and only weighs 1.5 pounds. If you want to take this gift to the next level, pair it with theAltec Lansing Octiv Stage iPad dock. All you have to do is download your Valentine’s favorite romantic movie onto the device before you gift it. Then cuddle up and watch together, surely forgetting about the iPad’s hefty price tag.

Again, I only recommend giving this gift if you are in a serious relationship. The last thing you want to deal with is the pain of a breakup PLUS iPad withdrawal.

For a long distance love: The iPod touch offers several neat features like FaceTime, Retina Display, HD video recording, a game center, and it also plays MP3s. FaceTime allows users to talk face to face through Wi-Fi. The only downside is that you may have to take some extra time to look nice for your significant other before picking up a call.

For a new someone special: An iTunes gift card is the way to go for a person you are still getting to know. Plus, they come in pink, red, and Tiffany blue with a heart design. If you want to kick it up a notch, a candy colorediPod nano comes with a reasonable price tag. The new compact design is too cute for your Valentine not to fall in love with! Cupid prefers you to gift a nano in red or pink, of course.

For the schmoopies: Apple is offering free engraving on any iPod or iPad as a special way to personalize your Valentine’s gift. Each time he or she uses their iPod or iPad they will be reminded of how amazing you are for giving it to them. You can even engrave it with, “To: My Honey Bear, From: Your Googlely Boo.” That’s so sweet I think I just got a toothache!

For the environmentally conscious: Sending an electronic Valentine from the AppStore is a great way to save trees. My favorite is Country Livings Treemail App. It costs 99 cents and makes a big impact. You can “carve” a special message onto an electronic tree selecting the type of bark, thickness of the carving tool, and special symbol, such as a heart, to make your message extra special. Then share your proclamation of love with your Valentine via email, Facebook or Twitter.

For the movie buff: An Apple TV is the gift that keeps on giving. The newly designed system is not only reasonably priced, but it allows access to 90,000 movies through Netflix. You can also access your iTunes library, pictures, and YouTube accounts. Keep in mind you will need a TV that is HD ready in order for this gift to be useable. So, if your Valentine’s TV is from 1980, this is not a good gift option.

For the procrastinator: Apple has put together a handy Valentines Shipping Matrix. This way you can be sure to order your gift with the proper shipping so you don’t end up in the dog house because your present did not arrive in time for the romantic day. Apple just makes things so convenient!

No matter what you decide to give this Valentine’s Day, I hope you have a magical day full of romance, love and an Apple from your honey bear. If you’re flying solo, why not treat yourself to a snazzy gift? You deserve it. Who says you can’t be your own Valentine?

About the author: Erin Vogelsanger is a market analyst for Gap Intelligence, a San Diego-based independent technology research firm with emphasis in helping product manufacturers and retailers understand current retail market trends in order to respond to customer demands as they occur. She can be reached at evogelsanger@gapintelligence.com.

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