The biggest shopping day of the year is now here, and with it you can get some great deals on Apple hardware and accessories, both at traditional brick-and-mortar retailers from Apple to Walmart as well online in the usual places like Amazon.
While Apple is offering its own Black Friday promotion, chances are good you’ll be able to find better deals elsewhere, especially on Apple’s iOS devices and accessories like AirPods. Apple’s Black Friday event went live yesterday in Australia, which gave us a preview of what was coming, so the deals that Apple is offering in its U.S. Stores are pretty much exactly what we expected, ranging from $200 gift cards with higher-end MacBook and iMac purchases down to $25 gift cards with the second-generation AirPods, Apple TV, or Apple Watch Series 3.
Apple’s own deals also exclude all its latest devices — the AirPods Pro, iPhone 11, Apple Watch Series 5, 10.2-inch iPad, and 16-inch MacBook Pro — but the good news is that you can definitely find deals on all of these devices at other retailers.
For AirPods, Apple is only offering a $25 gift card, and although both of the second-generation AirPods are included — with or without the wireless charging case — the AirPods Pro are not. From Apple’s point of view, this probably makes sense, as the company can’t make them fast enough anyway.
Elsewhere, however, you can pick up the second-gen AirPods with the standard charging case from Amazon for $129 or the AirPods with wireless charging case for $154.99. Walmart is offering the same price on the AirPods with the standard charging case, although they’re currently showing them as out of stock online. Brick-and-mortar store Meijer also apparently has the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case available for $149, the best price we’ve seen, although you’ll have to live nearby, as it’s available in-store only.
Likewise, while Apple isn’t including its latest AirPods Pro in its Black Friday promotion, Amazon has no such qualms, offering the AirPods Pro for $234.98, around $15 off the normal price, although shipping estimates are still weeks out, so there’s no guarantee you’ll get them in time for Christmas.
You won’t find Apple’s latest iPhones on sale at the Apple Store, and even the older models that do come with a gift card offer are only the “SIM-free” unlocked versions, so if you’re looking for a better deal on a specific carrier, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Target is offering a $200 gift card with the purchase of any iPhone 11 model, from the standard iPhone 11 up to the iPhone 11 Pro Max, and the deal even applies to last year’s iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. The catch here is that you’ll have to activate the device on Verizon or AT&T to receive the gift card, but that’s not a big deal if you’re on those carriers anyway.
Meanwhile, Walmart is also in the game with a $300 Walmart eGift card if you purchase and activate an iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro Max on any qualifying plan with AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint, and they’ve sweetened the deal by offering up to an additional $250 gift card with the trade-in of an older iPhone, as long as it’s in decent condition, of course.
Best Buy is offering savings of up to $500 on an iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro provided you activate it on AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon and trade-in an older iPhone. The exact savings are dependent on the value of the iPhone you’re trading in, of course, so your mileage may vary.
T-Mobile is also offering a similar deal, but in its case up to $700 off an iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Max, or you can simply get the standard iPhone 11 with no money up-front. Again, though, you’ll need to trade in an old iPhone, and sign up for a 24-month instalment plan.
If you’re looking to purchase more than one iPhone, both Verizon and Sprint are offering a BOGO deal on the standard iPhone 11, again tied to a 24-month instalment plan. Verizon is also extending this deal to the iPhone 11 Pro models.
Apple’s 10.2-inch iPad is conspicuously excluded from Apple’s own Black Friday promotion, which is surprising when you consider how many retailers already had it on sale long before Black Friday season began.
However, with Black Friday upon us, many retailers, including Best Buy, Staples, Target, and Walmart are all offering the entry-level 32GB Wi-Fi version for $250, which is $80 off the regular price. For the 128GB version, Amazon has the best price at $330, which works out to about $100 off the normal price.
Most of the Black Friday deals seem to be focused on the entry-level iPad, likely because that’s considered to be the most attractive option for consumers, especially during the Christmas season; if you’re looking for an iPad as a gift for your kids or older parents, it’s almost the best value.
As a result, you aren’t likely to find too many in-store sales on the iPad Air or iPad Pro, but you can find some good deals on Amazon, where the 256GB iPad Air is going for $599 ($50 off), and the iPad Pro models are discounted from $100–$150:
- 11-inch iPad Pro, 64GB — $649
- 11-inch iPad Pro, 256GB — $799
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 64GB — $899
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 256GB — $999
Apple’s Black Friday promotions on its MacBook Pro and iMac actually aren’t too bad, with a $200 gift card for anybody purchasing one of those higher-end models. However, the deal excludes the just-launched 16-inch MacBook Pro, and if you’re only looking for a MacBook Air, Apple’s gift card offer is only for $100, so you can find better deals elsewhere.
Best Buy, for instance, is offering $200 off on the 2019 MacBook Air, which is definitely a better deal than what Apple has, but even for the 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro, iMac 4K, and iMac 5K, the straight $200 discount is likely better than an Apple gift card.
B&H Photo video also has the 16-inch MacBook Pro with up to $200 off in standard configurations, and up to $400 off the 2019 15-inch MacBook Pro , and $200 off the 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. There are also even better discounts on older 2018 MacBook Pros.
While you’re not going to find too many deals on the Apple Watch Series 5, the good news is that the older Series 3 is being deeply discounted, and many retailers other than Apple also still have older stock of the now-discontinued Series 4 that they’re looking to clear out.
If you want all of the health monitoring benefits and larger display of the newest Apple Watches and are wiling to live without the always-on-display and compass, the Apple Watch Series 4 is a good way to go, as there are some great prices on it right now.
Best Buy is offering up to $300 off on the Apple Watch Series 4, with the entry-level aluminum models starting at $299, and higher-end stainless steel versions as low as $499 — a great opportunity if you’ve always wanted an Apple Watch with one of the nicer finishes.
Meanwhile, the Apple Watch Series 3 can be had at Walmart for $129 — $70 off the normal price. Although it’s currently showing as out of stock online, you may be able to hunt it down at a local store. Target and Best Buy are also offering lower discounts on the Series 3, of $30 and $10 off respectively, so these may be worth a look if you can’t find a better deal elsewhere.
Meanwhile, you can get $20 off the Apple Watch Series 5 from Amazon, and Sprint has a great offer of 50 percent off any GPS+Cellular Apple Watch, which includes the Series 5, provided you’re willing to activate it — and your iPhone — on a 24-month contract.
Most of these deals run at least through Sunday, Dec. 1, while the online ones should be good until Cyber Monday, Dec. 2. If you’re planning on heading out into the streets to battle for Black Friday deals at retailers, be sure to check out our list of the Best 7 Brick-and-Mortar Stores to hit up, and whether you’re fighting through retailers or shopping from the comfort of your couch on your MacBook or iPad, be sure to check out of List of Black Friday Tips for Getting the Best Deals on Apple Gear.