While Black Friday doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, Friday November 27th, that doesn’t mean that you have to line up at the crack of dawn — either physically or virtually — in order to get the best deals.
No doubt at least in part due to the ongoing global health crisis, Black Friday has shaped up a little bit differently this year from past holiday seasons. While retailers have already been starting earlier and earlier every year — Walmart put its first Black Friday sales up in October last year — this year that’s been even more the case, since nobody really wants crowds descending on brick-and-mortar stores in the middle of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
While most of the major retailers will still be opening their doors for those who want to shop in person, they’re also already offering up some amazing Black Friday deals online so we’d definitely recommend checking those out rather than braving the crowds, as you’re unlikely to find anything better in person, especially when it comes to Apple gear.
That said, here’s what you can expect from each of the big retailers for Apple gear.
Apple Black Friday Deals
Although Apple usually doesn’t pre-announce the specifics of its Black Friday sales until the actual day of the event — in the past we’ve only gotten an early sneak preview thanks to Apple Stores in other time zones — this year the company took the unprecedented step of announcing all of its Black Friday sales well in advance.
As usual, Apple is offering discounts on various products in the form of gift cards, although the maximum gift card value is $150, and that only comes with the purchase of a 16-inch MacBook Pro or 21.5-inch iMac.
As usual, Apple isn’t including most of its 2020 product lineup in the promotions, so if you’re looking for deals on an iPhone 12, a fourth-gen iPad Air or eight-generation iPad, the newest 2020 iMac, or the Apple Watch Series 6 or Apple Watch SE, or Apple’s new M1 Macs, you’re going to have to look elsewhere.
With the exception of the now-discontinued 13-inch MacBook Pro and 13-inch MacBook Air — the old Intel versions that have just been replaced the new M1 versions — all of Apple’s Black Friday deals can be found online, so there’s no need to visit an Apple Retail store, and the shopping event starts tomorrow and runs until Cyber Monday, November 30th, so you’ve got plenty of time.
In the case of the two end-of-life Intel MacBooks, these are being offered up in select stores with a $50 gift card accompanying them, subject to availability of stock; clearly Apple is using this event to try and clear out the older models, although it’s not that great of a deal when you consider that you can find the M1 MacBook Pro for $50 off on Amazon, and the even deeper discounts on the older models — up to $200 off some models.
Apple did offer a couple of interesting surprises in its own Black Friday promotion, however, with the HomePod now getting a $100 gift card, and the Apple TV — HD or 4K — coming with a $50 gift card, basically doubling the promo values from last year. While these are arguably some pretty good deals, it’s very likely that a new Apple TV and new HomePod could be coming very soon, and these deeper discounts make it seem like Apple is once again simply trying to clear out older stock.
With the exception of Apple’s flagship 24-hour Fifth Avenue store, all of its retail stores are closed today, although the Black Friday sales don’t start until tomorrow anyway, when the stores open at 8 a.m. Again, however, unless you really need to get your hands on a shiny new Apple product immediately, you’re probably better off just visiting Apple’s online Shopping Event page and ordering online.
Amazon Black Friday Deals
Unless you’re looking to pick up a new iPhone on a carrier plan, it looks like Amazon will still be offering up some of the best deals, and if you’d prefer to stay home and shop online it should really be your first stop for Apple gear, since almost everything sold by Apple is now available through Amazon.
We’ve already rounded up a full list of what you can find on Amazon, but here’s a quick taste of what’s available:
- $200 off a 13-inch MacBook Pro
- $300 off a 16-inch MacBook Pro
- $50 off AirPods Pro
- $150 off the 2020 iPad Pro
However be sure to check out our Best Apple Deals roundup for even more great deals at Amazon.
Best Buy Black Friday Deals
Big box retailer Best Buy has been offering up some great pre-Black Friday deals already over the last few weeks, but for those who want to visit in person, most Best Buy stores will be opening their doors at 5 a.m. local time tomorrow, although you should still check with your specific store to make sure they’re following those hours, since these days it’s hard to know what to expect.
Best Buy has put up a specific Apple Shopping Event page where you can see everything it’s offering at a glance. In the case of iPhones, almost all of the deals are the same ones you can get from carriers, but the retail chain is offering savings of up to $250 on select MacBook Pro models, and up to $200 on select MacBook Air models, although these do not include the new M1 MacBooks, so it’s more of a stock clearing sale, but also a great opportunity to save money if you’d still rather stick with an Intel on a new MacBook for now. You can also save $50 on AppleCare+ when purchasing an Intel MacBook Air.
Other deals include up to $70 off on the eighth-gen iPad, up to $100 off on the third-generation iPad Air, and up to $150 off on select iPad Pro models.
If you don’t need the latest and greatest Apple Watch models, you can also save big on the Apple Watch Series 5, with $250 off on the stainless steel models and $100 off on the aluminum versions, and as an added bonus they all come with six months of Apple Fitness+ for free, which works out to another $60 in savings (unless of course you’re already planning to get it as part of the Apple One Premier bundle, of course).
Target Black Friday Deals
Target has been offering up Black Friday deals all month, but if you’re looking for deals on Apple hardware, you won’t find too many here.
In fact, about the only big deal that Target is offering is the same one you can get from AT&T directly or any other retailer that sells AT&T phones, which is a $250 bill credit for porting to AT&T and purchasing a new iPhone on an installment plan, or up to $700 when you trade in an older smartphone, although eligible customers can take advantage of both offers.
Again, however, you can get these exact same deals by going directly to AT&T, or even at other retailers like Best Buy, and to make things even more complicated, Target is only offering them in-store.
Otherwise, Target is offering some good deals on non-Apple laptops, tablets, and smart home devices, but you won’t find any savings on MacBooks, iPads, HomePods, AirPods, or anything else by Apple.
Walmart Black Friday Deals
As usual, Walmart has some of the best and most unique Black Friday deals that are available, and while many of them are comparable to what Amazon is offering, the fact that you can visit a Walmart store in person may be a more attractive option for some than ordering online.
The standout deal at Walmart is Apple’s AirPods Pro for $169 — the lowest price at which we’ve ever seen Apple’s highest-end AirPods.
At only $10 more than the most inexpensive standard AirPods, it’s a fantastic deal if you’ve been waiting to pull the trigger on purchasing the new earbuds or if you’ve been contemplating buying them as a gift for someone special.
Here are some of the other deals that Walmart is offering online:
- Apple Watch Series 3 GPS, 38mm Sport for $119 — $80 off
- Apple Watch Series 3 GPS, 42mm Sport for $149 — $80 off
- Powerbeats Wireless Earphones for $99 — $50 off
- Beats Solo 3 On-Ear Headphones for $119 — 80 off
- Eighth-Generation iPad 32GB Gold for $379.99 — $76 off
- MacBook Air, Core i3 w/8GB RAM, 2565GB SSD for $889.99 — $168 off
More Black Friday deals are expected to be available, both online and in-store, beginning tomorrow, November 27th, with online deals starting at 12 a.m. ET and stores opening at 5 a.m. local time.