Apple’s four-day Black Friday shopping event is live, but as usual Apple isn’t actually offering any real savings on anything, instead handing out gift cards that can be used on a future purchase.
Click here to visit Apple’s shopping event page. We break it down further below.
First the bad news: Apple isn’t discounting any of its newest products except for the 3rd-generation AirPods. So, if you’re looking for an iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7, iPad mini, or M1 Pro MacBook Pro, you’ll need to shop elsewhere. Other noticeable absences are the iPad Air and HomePod mini. Here’s how the shopping event breaks down:
- iPhone 12, 12 mini, SE: $50 gift card
- Apple Watch SE, Series 3: $50 gift card
- AirPods (2nd or 3rd generation): $25 gift card
- AirPods Pro: $50 gift card
- AirPods Max: $75 gift card
- MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac mini: $100 gift card
- 27-inch iMac: $200 gift card
- Apple TV 4K or HD: $50 gift card
- MagSafe Duo Charger, Smart Keyboard Folio, AirTag 4 pack, Apple Pencil (2nd generation): $25 gift card
- Magic Keyboard: $50 gift card
Click here to visit Apple’s shopping event page.
Compared to last year, the gift card offers are quite similar with a few exceptions. The notable changes are an extra $100 for the 27-inch iMac (which we don’t recommend buying since a new model is on the way), and $50 instead of $25 on the Apple Watch Series 3 (though we don’t recommend buying one of those either).
Last year Apple offered discounts on the iPhone XR, but its replacement, the iPhone 11, is excluded this year. The $25 discount on newest AirPods is a surprising inclusion as is $25 on the AirTag 4-pack, which very rarely go on sale. And $50 back on the Apple Watch SE is quite good as well, though you can find actual discounts elsewhere.
While you’re not actually getting any real savings on the things you buy, the Apple Store is a surefire way to get a new Apple product in time for Christmas. Stock at Amazon, Best Buy and other retailers has been fluctuating quite a bit leading up to Black Friday, so we’re not sure what’s going to be in stock by the time the weekend’s sales are over. So if you want to make sure you get a new Apple device, don’t hesitate to hit up this shopping event. And be sure to use your Apple Card, which will save you an extra 3 percent on whatever you buy.
The gift cards can be used on any future purchase of either an Apple device, subscriptions, or digital purchase through iTunes or the App Store.
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Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.