3 Tips For Buying Apple Black Friday Deals
1. Don't Rely on an Apple Store Black Friday Ad
Apple is notorious for not hosting a Black Friday sale — at least, not one with any kind of discounts. The retailer might have an Apple Black Friday ad, but the best ones will be found elsewhere.
2. Look For Gift Cards to Make Deals Sweeter
Don't expect Apple savings to be outright, particularly from the company itself. In many cases, the best deals on Apple products will be due to their being bundled with hefty gift cards. This especially holds true when it comes to the latest iPhones; Apple also tends to offer gift card deals for Black Friday in its own stores.
3. Shop Certain Gift Cards Anywhere but Apple
If you're hoping to buy App Store and iTunes gift cards for the holidays, don't look to Apple. You'll have better luck shopping stores like Target, which has historically offered a "buy one, get one for 30% off" deal for Black Friday. And warehouse stores like Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's Wholesale Club often have gift cards for cheaper than list price all year long.
Apple Store Black Friday Deals Preview
Apple Black Friday Ads: Gift Cards Worth Up to $200
Since Apple isn't known for having its own Black Friday sales, you might be wondering if they'll have any special offers at all. The last few years, the retailer has offered gift cards worth up to $200 on select purchases. However, it's important to note that the highest-value cards come with the highest-priced purchases — so don't expect a $200 gift card on a pair of $199 AirPods.
Apple Black Friday iPad Deals Preview
New iPads Could Go as Low as $250
Hoping for a new iPad to cost as little as $250 might seem unreasonable, but this type of price drop isn't unheard of. Last year we saw the latest model drop to $230 during Black Friday season, after having a starting price of $329. Considering Apple just announced the 8th generation of iPads, which have a starting price of $309 (education pricing), it's hard to imagine they won't drop in price to at least $250 for Black Friday 2020.
We've seen the latest iPad mini drop to $330 already this year for the 64GB WiFi version, so we wouldn't be surprised to see it drop that low for Black Friday. However, there's a good chance it could drop even further; we could see the small-but-mighty iPad mini go as low as $300 in 2020.
Apple also just unveiled a new iPad Air, with a starting price of $549 (education pricing). It'll be available in October — right before the Black Friday hype really gets going — so we aren't expecting much of a discount, if any at all. We could see a modest price cut to $500 for the lowest tier, but you might be better off waiting until next year to shop this device in pretty pastels.
Apple Black Friday iPhone Deals Preview
The iPhone 11 Will Be Bundled With Hefty Gift Cards
We're still expecting the iPhone 11 models to see permanent price drops when Apple finally announces the iPhone 12. As such, the starting price of the 11 could be as low as $550 for Black Friday.
But the real value of iPhone 11 devices will come with the hefty gift cards that sweeten the offer. For instance, last year we saw the previous generation of iPhones — the XS line — come with gift cards valued at up to $400 or $450 at stores like Walmart. The iPhone 11, newly released at the time, came with its own gift card perks, though — just not as big as ones for the older models. We saw the iPhone 11 bundled with gift cards with max values of $300 last year.
Because of these trends, we fully expect the iPhone 11 iterations to be part of bundles that include gift cards worth up to $450 this year.
The iPhone SE Could Drop to $120
The latest version of the iPhone SE already has a comparatively low starting price of $399, so it might seem like it couldn't drop in price much further. But we've already seen offers that brought it down to $120 — or even free — this year. However, those deals had catches. Namely, to get those prices, you had to trade in eligible devices, as well as sign up for contracts. Don't expect to score the latest iPhone SE this cheaply without jumping through hoops.
Apple Watch Black Friday Deals Preview
The Apple Watch Series 6 Could Start at $350
The Apple Watch Series 5 was released in September 2019, and by Black Friday, we were already seeing notable discounts. If the Series 6 Apple Watch follows the trends of the Series 4 and Series 5 models, more discounts could pop up for Black Friday 2020. The Series 5 dropped to $355 during the holiday shopping season, so we expect the Series 6 to follow suit. Come Black Friday, we could definitely see the $399 models drop to $350.
The Apple Watch SE Will See Modest Discounts at Best
The introduction of the new Apple Watch SE is no doubt a move to provide a more affordable option for users who want an Apple Watch without having to spend a lot. Think of it as being similar to the iPhone SE, which also saw an update this year.
However, with the Apple Watch SE's already affordable price point and the Series 3 still being the least-expensive option at $199, we don't expect the discounts to be huge. If we see any, we expect them to be modest. They may drop the Apple Watch SE's starting price to $250 for the holidays instead of the standard $279.
Apple TV Black Friday Deals Preview
The Apple TV 4K 64GB Could Hit $169
Last Black Friday had a serious lack of Apple TV deals, and this entire year hasn't been great for them, either. With the Apple TV 4K having a low price of $179, Apple may just not have as much incentive to offer serious savings on this streaming media player.
We have seen the Apple TV 4K 64GB — the highest tier available — drop to $174 this year. It could fall slightly lower for Black Friday, possibly as low as $169. However, if the 64GB model fails to do so, there's also a chance we could see that price on the 32GB model. It won't be as valuable if it's the lower tier, but it could be a better deal if it comes bundled with Apple TV+ service or the newly announced Apple One service bundles.
Apple Black Friday MacBook Deals Preview
MacBooks Will Be Bundled With Gift Cards
Most of the time, the deals we see on MacBooks of any kind are older models that aren't powerhouse machines. With savings on these Apple laptops being so rare, any kind of perceived discount is worth checking out, especially if you want the latest and greatest versions.
If you're shopping for the newest MacBooks this Black Friday, your best bet is probably going to be to head straight to the source. Apple has historically offered gift cards worth $200 with select MacBook purchases, and if you're a devoted enough fan to consider spending a hefty amount on a MacBook, you probably won't have any trouble putting that gift card to good use!
Are you less picky about having the newest tech? Then you can also look to stores like Best Buy, which often have sales that include Apple items during the weeks of Black Friday or Cyber Monday. For instance, last year, the electronics retailer had a sale that knocked up to $300 off various MacBooks.
Apple Black Friday HomePod Deals Preview
HomePods Will Once Again Hit $200
Apple hasn't released a new HomePod since the initial one came out in February 2018. While some retailers — looking at you, Amazon — like to release new smart speakers practically every year, it seems like Apple is taking a different approach. That is, if it isn't broke, why fix it?
As such, we're not expecting any crazy HomePod Black Friday deals in 2020. They should drop to $200 at a variety of stores, and if you want to spend less, refurbished models will likely fall under that $200 threshold. Just don't expect to save too much more compared to buying new. Last year, we saw a refurbished HomePod drop to $175, but if you can afford to spend the extra $25, why not just go for a new one?