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While Apple’s Black Friday deals started going live in Australia and elsewhere today with Apple Store Gift Cards in place of traditional discounts, it appears Apple will be offering discounts and not gift cards in at least some countries. The UK, France, Germany and other European Apple Online Stores have now started posting Black Friday promotions with discounts on iPads, MacBooks, iPods, Apple TV, and many accessories. expand full story

As we predicted, Apple’s Black Friday deals take the form of gift cards rather than discounts. The Australian store is first to come online with the promotion.

Buy a Mac, and you get a gift card for AUS$150 ($137), an iPad gets you AUS$75 ($68) and an iPod AUS$50 ($45) – with a range of gift card values on selected accessories. It’s likely these amounts will be rounded in the USA.

There appears to be no gift card with the Retina iPad Mini (only with the non-Retina model), likely a reflection of the limited supplies available and that Apple knows it will sell well into the holiday season without incentives.

While the gift card amounts are slightly more generous than past discounts (last year Apple offered $100 discount on a Mac), the fact that you have to lay out the full amount for a credit that has to be spent later may limit appeal …

We’ve posted some answers to common questions about the deal. 

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