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Target Black Friday Ad Analysis: The iPhone 8 Gets a $250 Gift Card

This big-box retailer will have the best prices on Google Home and Amazon Echo, as well as incredible video game prices and gift card bundles.
Target Black Friday

Target's Black Friday ad is officially here! Like several other 2017 store ads, it's a little earlier than we were expecting. In addition to the Black Friday deals, Target's 40-page ad also has a few pages of early access offers.

We've rounded up our favorite offers from the ad below, but there's one perk that won't apply to everyone. Target's REDcard members will get early access to more than 150 select Black Friday deals on November 22. If you're not a cardholder yet and that offer appeals to you, there's still time to apply.

Putting together your shopping strategy? Be sure to check out our Target Black Friday guide below the deals, and read up on all our Black Friday predictions so you know exactly what to expect.

Target Black Friday Ad Analysis

Best Deals

  • 20% off Future Purchase with $50 purchase
    Should You Buy It? Yes You're probably going to spend $50 anyway.

    Target isn't huge on coupons, so seeing an offer like this is especially exciting. And $50 isn't that much to spend when you're shopping on Black Friday! It'll be valid both in-store and online between November 28 and December 10.

  • Samsung 65" Smart 4K UHD TV for $849.99
    Should You Buy It? Yes It's a brand-name big screen with a deep discount.

    It actually beats our predictions for the average price of a brand-name set of this size. Even though it's higher than our expectations for doorbusters, this is still a quality TV at a great price.

  • Westinghouse 55" Smart 4K UHD TV for $249.99
    Should You Buy It? Yes It's a big-screen set at a super affordable price.

    This TV doesn't quite match our predictions, but it comes pretty close. It's only $11 more than our predicted doorbuster price for 4K TVs of this size, and for the time being, it's the lowest price we've ever seen for a 55" 4K TV.

  • Select AAA Video Games for 50% off
    Should You Buy It? Yes Many titles are a low by $5 to $20.

    This deal matches our predictions! The sale includes recent titles, but steer clear of other games that have been around for awhile. It's notable that at least one Switch game is included — Just Dance 2018. However, games in that series tend to drop pretty quickly every year, regardless of platform.

  • Google Home for $79
    Should You Buy It? Yes It matches the lowest price we've seen all year.

    This incredible home assistant discount beats our prediction by a whopping $10! We've already seen it drop to $79 this year, although last Black Friday we saw it drop to $74.

  • Google Home Mini + $10 Gift Card for $29
    Should You Buy It? Yes It's a super affordable home assistant.

    Google just released the Home Mini last month, so we weren't expecting to see any discounts. Even without the gift card, this is a surprising drop for a piece of the latest tech.

  • iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus + $250 Gift Card with 24-month plan
    Should You Buy It? Yes It's the newest iPhone with a hefty perk.

    It matches our predictions for the amount of the bundled gift card. Target's ad doesn't provide enough details to note how much you'll actually pay, but the fine print does state that well-qualified customers can pay $0 down. It seems to apply to Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T.

  • Apple Watch Series 1 for $179.99
    Should You Buy It? Yes It's a solid pick for anyone not afraid of slightly older tech.

    A match to our predictions, the closest we've seen to this deal is refurbished models for around $180. While it's a bit older, Apple definitely made improvements to the Series 1, so it's a great buy for anyone looking for a smartwatch.

  • Amazon Echo for $79.99
    Should You Buy It? Yes it's the best price for a just-released model.

    Because Amazon just dropped this second-generation Echo (it started shipping on October 31), we expected a modest discount of maybe $10. This deal beats our predictions by another $10, and is the lowest price we've seen yet.

  • Amazon Echo Show for $179.99
    Should You Buy It? Yes It's an all-time low for high-end tech.

    Anyone who wants a video screen with their home assistant will be interested in bagging this deal. The lowest we've seen the Echo Show fall to so far was around $200, and it's regularly priced at $230. As such, this is a hefty discount you shouldn't miss.

  • Google Chromecast for $25
    Should You Buy It? Yes As expected, this is one of the most affordable streamers.

    Whether you're comfortably camped within the Google ecosystem, or you're just looking for a cheap streaming media player, the Chromecast remains a great pick. At this price, it matches our predictions, and it's the lowest price we've seen.

Worst Deals

  • Xbox One S 500GB + $25 Gift Card for $189.99
    Should You Buy It? No Kohl's has a better deal on this console.

    This deal is a massive fails on all fronts. We expected the 500GB models of the Xbox One S to drop to around $150, but even taking the gift card into account, this "deal" falls short. Head to Kohl's for a better bargain.

  • Apple Watch Series 3 from $329.99
    Should You Buy It? No This is the starting price for this gadget.

    It's true that we predicted the Series 3 would be regular price, but we also thought it'd be bundled with something extra, like a gift card. However, Target is offering this Apple Watch at MSRP. We're advising you to skip this one.

Excited for Black Friday deals? Consider subscribing to the DealNews Select newsletter to get a daily recap of all our best deals; you never know when a Black Friday price will be released! You can also download our app, visit the Black Friday Hub for the latest ads, or check out all our blog articles for more buying advice.

You can also brush up on what's still to come for Target this Black Friday with our guide below.

What to Expect From Target Black Friday Sales in 2017

Target is often one of the first major stores to drop its Black Friday ad. That gives you an idea of what the other retailers will do, as they may try to beat Target's prices. But this doesn't mean Target isn't worth shopping during the holiday season — you can still find seriously awesome savings at Big Red.

Read on for everything you can expect from Target's 2017 Black Friday deals.

When Will the Ad Be Released?

Target debuted the ad on November 6, a couple of days earlier than expected. You can check out Target's Black Friday ad here.

Target's ad comes out so early, its deals may look great at first and then lose status as competitors' ads are released.

It's not the very first ad to drop in any Black Friday season, but it's definitely one of the earlier ones. Target's ad comes out so early in fact, its deals may look great at first and then lose status as competitors' ads are released.

When Does Target Open on Black Friday?

Target Black Friday hours actually start at 6 pm local time on Thanksgiving Day. Stores will close at midnight, and then reopen on Black Friday at 6 am. Locations will likely be open until 11 pm (or later) on Black Friday itself.

That said, for the last couple of years, Target has utilized the "Early Black Friday" sales strategy. In 2015, select deals started as soon as the ad dropped. However, last year, doorbuster-caliber deals didn't kick off until the day before Thanksgiving. Early Black Friday deals are back for 2017, with a preview sale on November 6.

When Is the Best Time to Shop?

Thanksgiving is easily the best day to shop at Target. There were more deals overall that day, and around 59% of them earned our Editors' Choice badge. Although the store will continue to have offers throughout Black Friday and Cyber Week, we don't expect the quality and volume to be the same as on Thanksgiving.

SEE ALSO: Thanksgiving & Black Friday 2017 Store Hours: Know When to Go!

What Will Be On Sale?

It's likely to be an excellent time to stock up on iTunes gift cards and holiday decorations. Last year iTunes gift cards were buy one, get one for 30% off. The day after Black Friday proved to be the best time to stock up on holiday decor, since Target took a whopping $50 off select items. Home goods is another popular category, offering everything from bed linens to bathroom essentials.

Clothing will see a decent discount as well. Last year there was a wide-ranging discount of 30% off apparel for all ages and shoes for the whole family.

What Will Be the Big Doorbusters?

If you're looking for new Apple tech, don't bother looking at the Apple Store; Target had some of the best deals around last year. Not only did it beat our predictions for the Apple Watch Series 1, but they also had an excellent price on the 9.7" iPad Pro. Plus, Target was one of the only stores to significantly discount the Apple TV, taking 25% off all models.

If you're looking for new Apple tech, don't bother looking at the Apple Store; Target has some of the best deals around.

Also look for deals on super affordable TVs. Last year, there was a Polaroid 32" LED TV going for $85, if you could manage to grab it. Bigger names also graced the doorbuster ads, with a Samsung 50" 4K Smart TV going for $398, and an LG 55" 4K Smart TV going for $500.

What You Need to Know

Wherever you decide to shop during Black Friday, you'll need a solid strategy to make sure you don't miss out. Here's everything you need to know to put together your plan for Target's Black Friday sale.

  • When the sale starts: Target will likely kick off its sale the day before Thanksgiving with a presale. Black Friday deals will begin on Thanksgiving morning online.

  • Time limitations: Doors will open at 6 pm on Thanksgiving, but deals will be available online before then. Doorbusters will be available when the door opens. Note that the store will close at midnight on Thanksgiving, and then reopen on Black Friday at 6 am.

  • In-store or online? Target will have a number of deals available both in-store and online. Some will be available online before stores open.

  • Get the right app: The Cartwheel app was merged with Target's main app earlier this year. Last year Target offered app-exclusive savings and deals through Cartwheel, so be sure you've downloaded the new version.

  • When the ad drops: Target's ad is out! The retailer released it on November 6.

  • Best day to shop: The best day to shop at Target will be Thanksgiving. We expect to see more deals that day overall, as well as more Editors' Choice deals.

Staff Writer

Julie joined DealNews in 2015, after many years of becoming well-versed in technology issues as a communications professional for a software company. She first entered journalism in college, reporting on issues facing frugal students for Julie lives in DealNews' hometown of Huntsville, AL.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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The 'see details' pop up fine print suggests that the iPhone 8 deal with the $250 gift certificate is in-store [only]. Can you please also check if that's true,and not on line purchases? Thanks.

Free $250 Target GiftCard with qualified activation*
TM and 2017 Apple Inc. All rights reserved. Apple, iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. ONLY AT STORES WITH TARGET TECH. In stores only.
Lindsay Sakraida (DealNews)

That's a good question. The ad didn't specify, but we're reaching out to Target PR about that deal, so we'll ask!
Anyone know if the iphone 8/8+ deals are for new lines only? Or can those of us looking to upgrade phones on an existing line also get the $250 gift card?
Westinghouse is a garbage brand for TVs. It's weird that you would talk about it the same way you would a Samsung. It's third-tier at best. You're gonna get what you pay for.