UPDATE: Check out the best Black Friday Apple deals
|Store||Black Friday Deal|
|Apple||Apple Store Black Friday Sale: $150 gift card with purchase|
|Apple||Apple iPad Air with $75 Apple Gift Card from $499|
|Best Buy||Apple iMac Core i5 Quad 2.7GHz 22" Desktop for $1,100|
|Micro Center||Refurb MacBook Pro Core i7 17" Laptop for $1,400|
|GiftCardMall||$50 Apple iTunes Gift Card for $40|
|RadioShack||iPhone 4 8GB Prepaid Phone for Virgin Mobile for $100|
|MegaMacs||Refurb Apple Mac Pro Xeon Quad-Core 3GHz Workstation for $450|
|MegaMacs||Refurbished Apple MacBook Pro 15" Laptops from $578|
Black Friday 2013 Apple Predictions
You may think that the Apple Black Friday sale is the best time to purchase all things Apple, but it's actually an extremely mediocre promotion. Yes, the media will flock to cover it and your local Apple Store will be overcrowded with shoppers, but year after year Apple offers the same predictable 5% to 10% off iPods, computers, and iPads with free shipping sitewide. These are discounts that, quite frankly, can be beaten elsewhere.
Where to Find the Best Apple Black Friday Deals
Like we've seen in previous years, authorized resellers like Amazon, Best Buy, and MacMall will have better discounts than the Apple Store. For instance, last year we saw Best Buy shave $60 off all new, current-generation iPads, whereas Apple took just $41 off. MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs also saw discounts at Fry's and Amazon that were better than Apple's own sale. Bottom line: if Apple is taking 5% to 10% off, you can expect resellers to discount as much as twice that amount, or up to 20% off.
Black Friday iPad Deals Will Include the iPad Air
The iPad Air and iPad mini 2 are now official. However, bargain hunters looking for iPads on sale may want to seek out Black Friday deals on previous-generation models.
For instance, last year when the iPad 3 was discontinued, Meijer took $50 off all models; conversely, we've seen two retailers in the past week drop the price of the now-discontinued iPad 4 to a slightly lower $399, or $100 off. (Keep that number in mind if you're considering buying the older iPad 2, which currently still retails for $399.) If you missed out on those deals, then be on the lookout: we will likely find similar offers between now and Black Friday, although the price is unlikely to drop below $399 since retailers still offer the iPad 2 at that price point. Alternatively, Apple currently offers refurbished iPad 4 tablets priced from $379.
Another potentially surprising prediction is that we actually expect to see deals on the iPad Air. Last Black Friday we found a few deals on the then brand-new iPad 4, and similar price cuts on the iPad Air would drop the 16GB WiFi version to $440 (12% off) just weeks after its debut. On its launch date Walmart dropped the 16GB model's price to $479 (a first for any iPad debut), and soon after Staples and Best Buy followed suit.
If you want a deal on the upcoming iPad mini 2, however, you might be in for a disappointment; last year we didn't see any Black Friday discounts on the iPad mini, probably because it was an entirely new product category. And with Apple admitting there might be a shortage of iPad mini 2s, scoring one will be twice as hard. However, starting in early 2014 we should see an influx of deals that drop prices on the new tablet by 10%.
Refurbished iPad Deals on Discontinued Models
With the iPad 4 erased from Apple's lineup, consumers can save a few bucks on this tablet by opting for a refurbished model rather than a factory-sealed one. Although refurb models tend sell fast, you can expect to see prices on refurbished units discounted to $379, which is roughly 24% off retail.
Surprisingly, Apple decided to keep the original iPad mini in its lineup slashing its price to $299, which is $30 less than before. But that doesn't mean the discounts stop there. When the iPad 2 was first knocked down to a lower price tier in 2012, resellers began periodically taking an additional 10% off its new retail price. By Black Friday, the 16GB version even saw a 15% discount. If discounts to the mini follow a similar trend, then resellers like MacMall and Micro Center might offer the iPad mini for prices between $254 and $269 in the coming months. However, keep in mind that Apple currently sells factory-refurbished iPad minis starting at $249, and many people consider these units good as new.
Is This the Year for Black Friday iPhone Deals?
Typically, the iPhone hasn't been a major player during Black Friday. Two years ago, we were surprised to see a single sale on the iPhone 4S (the latest model at the time), and last year the tradition of scarcity continued as we only saw a pair of refurbished deals; AT&T offered both the refurbished iPhone 5 from $99.99 and a refurb iPhone 4S for $1. While these offers were excellent at the time, no one could claim that iPhone deals have been numerous during the Black Friday season.
However, there are reasons to wonder if this year will be different. First, we've already seen some crazy deals on the latest iPhones in the name of marketing and publicity. While Walmart's modest discounts on the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S are comparable to what it offered last year shortly after the iPhone 5 release, Sprint took its promotion even further by knocking a full $100 off both models for new customers who port their number from another carrier and commit to a 2-year contract. While such a discount hardly helps someone who has no interest in leaving their wireless provider, it signifies one thing: retailers continue to push the discounting boundaries with the iPhone in the hopes of securing long-term business and garnering publicity; we thus wouldn't be surprised to see another retailer offer a deal on the current phones this Black Friday. Just remember that there will probably be some catch, like having to pick it up in-store or switching providers.
Moreover, Apple just discontinued two phones with the latest announcement — both the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4 are no longer being manufactured. It would be hard to make the iPhone 4 any cheaper, so if anything, retailers would have to offer it for-profit to make it an enticing Black Friday deal. More likely, however, is that we'll see discounts on the only-a-year-old iPhone 5, as it remains an appealing option for many users; it currently sells for $100 at many stores, so look for deals that knock it to $50 or less.
However despite the Sprint promotion (which is only applicable for a very small segment of users), it's important to keep in mind that only Walmart has stepped up to offer a "normal" price cut for contract renewals. Thus, if 2013 Black Friday iPhone deals mimic those from last year, then we might only see refurbished deals on older generation models like the iPhone 5 (and if you're lucky, the 5C and 5S). And in such a case, you'd be better off waiting to buy the iPhone 5S until December or later: Walmart and Fry's Electronics slashed more than $70 off the iPhone 5 last year during the holidays.
Summary: Apple Black Friday Predictions 2013
- Free shipping with no minimum at the Apple Store online
- 5% to 10% off iPods, computers, and iPads at the Apple Store
- Better discounts from resellers, taking up to 20% off Apple products
- Apple iPad 4 16GB WiFi for $399
- Apple iPad Air 16GB WiFi for $440
- Apple iPhone 5 for $50 or less
- Promotional discounts on the iPhone 5S and 5C