There are plenty of USB-capable guitars. But there aren’t many $200 USB guitars. Now, you can not only get a USB Stratocaster for the price of a terrible Android tablet, but it actually comes from Fender — albeit under the Squier diffusion brand. But whatever, right? It’s a Strat, and you can hook it straight up to GarageBand and play it through some of the sweet (not Fender either) amps.
The guitar is just fine as a cheap-o beginner instrument, and I’d argue that little Johnny will stick with a guitar that can be tweaked and processed on his iPod or iPad for far longer than he’ll keep interest in a better quality but totally analog axe.
In addition to the standard jack you get a USB port, a regular USB cable (for running to your Mac) and a 30-pin dock connector cable for iOS.
Yes, there are other options — a jack-to-USB adapter, for one — but who wants to dick around with that kind of stuff on Christmas morning? The result will be just like one of my biggest childhood traumas:
One Christmas my parents bought me a chemistry set and an electricity set. They also forgot to buy methylated spirits for the burner, or batteries. And as this was 1970s England, no stores would be open for a few days. My gifts were useless. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOUR CHILD.