Forget the Apple Store Black Friday gift card offer. You can find better prices here


The Apple Friday Black Friday deals are here and not many.

Óscar Gutiérrez / CNET

That’s part of the story Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift selections provide expert advice, reviews and recommendations on the latest technology gifts for you and your family.

Black Friday sales are in full swing and prices are fluctuating wildly. But if it’s fast, at the time of writing, you can get the AirPods Pro for $ 170, the new 2020 eighth-generation iPad for $ 280, and the Apple Watch Series 6 for $ 350 on Amazon or Best Buy. In the Apple Store, the same products cost $ 50-79 more – but you get a gift card for a future purchase. In a nutshell, this is the problem with Apple’s Black Friday “offer” offering: The company virtually never lowers prices and prefers to hang gift cards instead. The current promotion heat throughly Cyber ​​Monday, November 30, with gift cards up to $ 150, depending on the item purchased.

In fact, this $ 150 gift card is a rarity and is only available if you purchase any of them Intel-powered 16-inch MacBook Pro obsession 21.5-inch iMac. Other Macs, including new 13-inch MacBook Pro that features Apple’s M1 chip, are not eligible. Neither is the new MacBook Air, Mac Mini, larger, 27-inch iMac or iMac Pro. If you can still find a 13-inch Intel-compatible MacBook Air or an Intel-compatible 13-inch MacBook Pro with two Thunderbolt ports, you can get a $ 50 Apple Store gift certificate. Since Apple has discontinued both models, you will need to find one of them in a physical Apple Store.

Beyond Macs, most new Apple equipment is not eligible for the gift card promotion. You can get a $ 50 gift card at iPhone 11, XR obsession NEITHER (so not the new iPhone 12 line). A gift card for iPad cards is up to $ 50 for the iPad Mini, or $ 100 for any size of iPad Pro, no offer is available for the new iPad or iPad Air.

Apple also doesn’t offer a double Apple Card cashback, which it did last year. This year, the refund rate appears to remain at the usual 3%.

The promotions are a reminder once again that the best Apple deals can almost always be found outside of Apple’s own physical or virtual stores. For example, a new set in the Apple Store AirPods ($ 159) or AirPods Pro ($ 249) You can get a $ 25 Apple Store gift certificate, but there’s no discount on the standard price. In contrast, the standard AirPods and Pro models have dwindled 110 USD and 170 USD, and at the Amazon. That saves $ 49- $ 79 – both of which are much more than a $ 25 gift card that can only be redeemed later.

It has all the major American carriers promotions running on the latest iPhones while Amazon has made deals on Apple Watches (including the latest 6 Series), iPads (Standard, New Air and Pros) and Intel MacBook Air (currently $ 199 discount on Amazon).

Apple also makes it easy to see which products get the discounts on its promotional page, but if you’re interested in the full list, you can find it here.

It seems that the best deals are full size HomePodto get a $ 100 gift card, and Apple TV 4Kto get a $ 50 gift card. None of the products had the same discount in other stores this season, although the HomePod previously plunged $ 200 at Best Buy.

All in all, unless you want to buy one of these two devices or buy something directly from Apple, it’s probably better to buy elsewhere with Apple products.

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