Roundup: The best iPad, iPhone, Mac, iTunes, Beats, and other tech Black Friday deals

9to5toys-black-friday-2013-line

Black Friday can be absolutely overwhelming. Every retailer is vying for your attention and money. That’s why we’ve vetted each and every major Black Friday ad to find only the very best deals.

Remember, this master list was curated from pre-announced deals. We fully expect many retailers to hit us with surprise deals throughout the next week. That’s why it’s important you follow 9to5Toys on Twitter/Facebook, and sign-up for our email newsletter. The 9to5Toys team is going to be working around the clock to bring you the Black Friday deals you can’t afford to miss.

Continue on for the definitive Black Friday 2014 ‘Best Of’ list… Read more

MCX responds to Apple Pay blocking controversy with unconvincing ‘assurances’

mcx

MCX, the retailer consortium behind the CurrentC mobile payment system, has responded to the controversy over its members being required to block Apple Pay or face fines with some unconvincing ‘assurances.’

The first sign of trouble between MCX and Apple Pay was when CVS disabled NFC functionality from its payment terminals. When Rite Aid joined in, consumers responded by threatening to boycott MCX members.

In a blog post which MCX says is designed to “set the record straight,” it appears to do anything but …  Read more

Apple denies iCloud/Find my iPhone breach, says ‘very targeted attack’ hit certain celebrities

icloud

Apple has responded to this week’s hackings of celebrity iCloud accounts, which resulted in postings of private photographs. Here’s Apple’s statement in full:

CUPERTINO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–We wanted to provide an update to our investigation into the theft of photos of certain celebrities. When we learned of the theft, we were outraged and immediately mobilized Apple’s engineers to discover the source. Our customers’ privacy and security are of utmost importance to us. After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet. None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud® or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.

To protect against this type of attack, we advise all users to always use a strong password and enable two-step verification. Both of these are addressed on our website at http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4232.

Apple says that it conducted an investigation for more than 40 hours, and denies that iCloud or Find my iPhone was actually breached. Apple is presenting this as a very targeted username, password, and security questions hack on “certain celebrity accounts.” Apple recommends that users utilize the 2-step verification service for Apple IDs/iCloud. The company also says it is continuing to work with law enforcement on finding the hackers involved.

Read more

Deep iPad discounts at Staples and Target: $199 16GB Minis ($100 off), Airs $130 off AC(starting at $369)

From 9to5Toys.com:

9to5-image 2014-08-17 at 7.28.11 AM

Confirming our report from earlier this month, Target has revived its $199 iPad mini sale (Direct Link) this morning. At the time of posting it’s available both online at Target.com and at Target retail locations. That’s even $30 less than the retail price of top Android tablets Nexus 7 or Kindle HDX.

We’ve been told by a Target rep that quantities are limited and as such we highly recommend picking one up today. This deal is $100 better than retail and $20 less than Apple charges for a refurbished model. The non-Retina iPad mini features a 7.9-inch LED-backlit display, 10-hour battery life, and dual-core A5 chip.

Seperately, Staples is offering all WiFi-enabled iPad Airs (Space Gray or Silver) for $30 off (Direct link). Coupon code 79449 drops them another $100 yielding $369/$469/$569 on 16/32/64GB Wifi models.

As we’ve said before, these deals often sell out quick so if you are going to make a move, do so quickly.

Also, Apple is widely expected to update its iPads again in October but these prices are at or below what we expect current models to drop to so you are getting Apple’s holiday prices today. Read more

Ron Johnson out as CEO of JCP, Apple Retail boss job still open

johnson_jobs

Former Apple Retail Chief Ron Johnson is out at JCPenney after his radical retail redesign failed to ignite sales in the same manner in which Apple Stores had grown accustomed. Ron Johnson left Apple in 2011 for the JCP job after a decade at Apple.  He helped design the original Apple Store concept after being lured away from Target by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. He pioneered concepts like the Genius Bar which was unheard of at the time but still a growing trend in the industry.

We know more than a few folks who would like to see him back at Apple which meanwhile has found him difficult to replace. One such attempt was the hiring and subsequent firing of John Browett, a former Dixon’s UK CEO.

Johnson continued to live in the Bay area during his stint at JCP commuting to Plano Texas via Jet so…

We’ve reached out to JCP and Apple for comment and will update as appropriate. Press release follows:
Read more

Walmart now offers iPhone 5 for $127, 4S for $47, and third-gen iPad for $399; Target to discount Virgin’s Prepaid 4S to $399 (updated)

iphone5

Walmart is continuing to slash price tags on Apple products this holiday season, as the global retailer just announced it is now offering the 16GB iPhone 5 for $127.

Walmart also cut the iPhone 4S from $89.97 to $47 starting today, with both smartphones sales subject to the usual two-year contract, and it further lowered the (update below16 GB third-generation iPad with Wi-Fi to $399. Walmart said its iPad deal would feature a bonus $30 iTunes card beginning Dec. 17, but all special rollback prices are in-store only.

Target plans to offer an Apple product sale, as well. It will discount Virgin Mobile’s Prepaid 16GB iPhone 4S from $449.99 to $399.99 starting Dec. 16, but the deal is only available at Target Mobile locations.

Update 1: Walmart’s story continues to evolve. We’ll continue to update.

Update 2: Walmart’s PR agency made multiple corrections to its original announcement today. While the first press release said the third-generation iPad would go on sale for $399 on Dec. 17, a later correction indicated the deal actually started today for the fourth-generation iPad. Now, this evening, Walmart’s PR agency has made another correction: today’s $399 sale is for the third-generation iPad. The rollback prices for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S remain correct.

9to5Mac contacted Walmart directly today on multiple occasions to verify the sale prices advertised in the press release, but only its PR agency would comment on specifics and make subsequent corrections. Read more

iPad 2 & iPod touch up to $50 off, Target offering $25 off iPhones on contract

According to an in-store iPhone advertisement in at least one Target location in Orlando, the store is offering $25 off the 8GB iPhone 4 and both the 16GB and 32GB iPhone 4S models until the end of the month. A tipster sent the image above showing the deal is offered for upgrades or on a new two-year contract available through AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint depending on your location.

(Thanks L. Nielsen!)

We are also noticing some of the best prices ever on iPad 2s. When Apple dropped the price of the iPad 2 by $100 (now starting at $399) after the introduction of the new iPad, retailers immediately started slashing prices even further on the last-generation device. We already saw the 16GB entry-level iPad 2 go for as low as $360, and today 9to5Toys pointed us to a 32GB model in white or black for $449 from Go4Computers through eBay Daily Deal. That deal includes free shipping and no tax (outside Florida), and the same goes for the 8GB iPod touch, which is usually $199 but now goes for $169.

If you live close enough to swing by a local Micro Center, it is currently offering the 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad 2 for $359.99.
Read more

Top 10 places to trade an iPad for cash or credit

The Internet is abuzz with stats about iPad trade-ins going through the roof as the March 7 iPad 3 unveiling in San Francisco looms closer, and while percentages and graphs are vaguely interesting, the real meat to the story concerns where and how people can get the most bang for their buck.

Look no further as 9to5Mac compiled a list of places to trade in an ole’ dusty iPad for cash or credit to buy Apple’s upcoming toy. Before perusing the options, identify the condition, features, and model of the swappable iPad. This knowledge will help decide its maximum value, because most of these online programs use a survey to determine the slate’s estimate. Moreover, it is prudent to act now as some reports indicate retailers are steadily dropping prices with Apple’s event drawing nearer.

Trade-in websites and their prices are available below. 

Read more