Apple Black Friday Gameplan – knock out holiday shopping quickly, save tons of cash
Update: We’ve got hundreds of items in our Apple Black Friday Mac/iPhone/iPad accessories and software guide
As the Thanksgiving turkey and wine buzz starts to wear off and we head into the pinnacle of American consumerism known as Black Friday, we here at 9to5Mac have some tips which should make the shopping experience pleasant, efficient and productive. Over the next 24 hours, everything Apple related will be at the lowest prices of the year. We’re going to guide you to getting in, saving a bunch of cash and getting on your way.
First some don’ts:
- Don’t for any reason actually go to a physical store. The 2-3 $150 50″ Best Buy TVs per store isn’t worth being in the vicinity of Black Friday shoppers and the “Door Busting”. It’s a nightmare out there. Go to a park. Play with your kids. Spend a few minutes with us and we’ll knock out that gifting.
- Don’t actually buy anything online until Black Friday. Prices keep dropping in the runup to Black Friday. Wait. Enjoy the time with your family, watch some football. If you must, grab some small ticket items and get those out of the way. If you miss something, it will likely be around again on “Cyber Monday”.
- Don’t buy anything at an Apple Store or Apple.com. Apple has outsourced Black Friday to their retail partners and have normal prices across the board. The stuff you buy at Target/Best Buy/Walmart/Amazon/etc.com is the exact same product and warranty you get at Apple. Pro-Tip: Apple Stores are for showrooming and repairs.
- Don’t touch that dial. Stick with us here at 9to5Mac, 9to5Google and most importantly 9to5Toys for all of the best deals. Heck, now’s the time to subscribe to 9to5Toys Twitter, RSS Feed, Facebook, Google+ and Safari push notifications. We’ve got a team of 20 people scouring the web for the best deals out there and tomorrow it is going to come fast and furious.
As for Apple products, we’ve distilled the absolute best deals out there into just a few options. Important considerations include state tax at time of purchase, gift cards vs. actual savings, shipping and rewards. Also, AppleCare discounts. Here’s the quick rundown:
Target, B&H and Best Buy in the US have the biggest discounts we’ve seen this year. Best Buy will knock off $50 on Sport and $100 on Stainless. Target gives you a $100 gift card on both models which is of course good for an additional 5% cash back using their RedCard. Both sites charge tax in all 50 states but offer free shipping.
However, the best option might be B&H Photo which offers the Apple Watch in fewer varieties than Best Buy but for the same $50 off Sport/$100 off Stainless. In addition, B&H throws in a $50 gift card, B&H only charges Tax in New York State which may save you big money.
- Sport 38mm: starts at $299 (Reg. $349) +$50 gift card
- Sport 42mm: starts at $349 (Reg. $399) +$50 gift card
- Stainless Steel 38mm: starts at $449 (Reg. $549) +$50 gift card
- Stainless Steel 42mm: starts at $499 (Reg. $599) +$50 gift card
- Sport 38mm: starts at $299 (Reg. $349)
- Sport 42mm: starts at $349 (Reg. $399)
- Stainless Steel 38mm: starts at $449 (Reg. $549)
- Stainless Steel 42mm: starts at $499 (Reg. $599)
Apple Watch Sport starts at $349 and comes with a free $100 Target Gift Card. Use your REDcard to save an additional 5% and your effective net cost is just $231.55. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen on new Apple Watches. Target will throw in the free gift card on any in-stock Apple Watch.
Target has the New Apple TV for ~$50 off in store but those prices will likely hit retailers like Walmart ($112) tomorrow. HHGregg also is expected to have some availability on Black Friday at reduced cost. Staples has $25 off if you checkout with Visa Checkout. The 3rd Gen Apple TV is $50 in a number of places and $40 Geek squad refurb at Best Buy. Stay tuned.
iPhones with plans from the major US carriers are marked down significantly in a number of retail outlets
- Boost Mobile No Contract iPhone 6s for $549 | Boost
- All iPhones $100 off + $100 Black Friday Gift Card | Walmart
- iPhone 6s/Plus $200 Gift Card w/ iPhone 5 (or newer) trade | Best Buy
- iPhone 6s/Plus, get a free $250 Gift Card (installment plan) | Target
- iPhone 6s/Plus 16GB/64GB $50 off (2-yr contract) | Target
- iPhone 6S 64GB (all colors): $719 (Reg. $749) | eBay
- iPhone 6S Plus 64GB (all colors): $819 (Reg. $849) | eBay
- Any iPad Air 2, get a free $150 Gift Card | Target
- iPad Air 2 16GB/64GB $100 off, 128GB $125 off | Best Buy
- iPad Air 2 16GB WI-Fi (Gold): $399 (Reg. $499) | Walmart
- iPad Air 2 16GB Wi-Fi: $374 (Reg. $499) | Staples
- iPad Air 2 64GB Wi-Fi: $449 (Reg. $599) | Staples
- iPad Air 2 64GB/128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular $175 off | Sam’s Club
- iPad Air 2 64GB/128GB Wi-Fi $150 off | Sam’s Club
- Any iPad Air, get a free $100 Gift Card | Target
- iPad Air 16GB Wi-Fi: $349.99 (Reg. $399) | HHGregg
iPad mini 2/3/4
- iPad mini 2 16GB Wi-Fi: $199 (Reg. $269) | Walmart
- Any iPad mini 4, get a free $100 Gift Card | Target
- iPad mini 4 16GB Wi-Fi: $299 (Reg. $399) | Staples
- iPad mini 4 64GB/128GB $100 off | Best Buy
- iPad mini 4 64GB Wi-Fi: $450 (Reg. $499) | eBay
- Any iPad mini 2, get a free $80 Gift Card | Target
- All iPad Pros $12 off at MacMall, Tax in only a handful of states
- 32GB iPad Pro: $749.99 ($50 off)| Buy.com tax in a few states
Mac prices and inventory will fluctuate wildly on Black Friday. Best Buy gives an extra $50 off to students on iMacs and MacBooks
Retina 12-inch MacBooks are now widely available in Gold, Silver and Space Gray. The best prices as of this writing are:
- $150 off the 1.1GHz/8GB/256GB at Amazon, Best Buy
- $170 off the 1.2GHz/8GB/512GB without tax at B&H and eBay
- $100+ off configured at MacMall including 1.3GZ models.
MacBook Airs: B&H are running the table as of this writing with $120 off across the board, Tax only in New York and 6 months of Parallels Access but things will likely change – stay tuned.
- 11.6-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB: $180 off ($729) at Ebay, $120 off at Best Buy and Amazon: $779, B&H (Tax in NY Only) $100 off: $799
- 11-inch 4GB/256GB: $979 ($120 off at B&H)
- 13-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB:$150 off at Amazon $850, $879 ($120 off at B&H)
- 13-inch 1.6GHz/4GB256GB: $1,079 ($120 off at B&H)
The entry level iMac is a whopping $200 off at Best Buy ($899) and with the .EDU credit drops down to $850 shipped. After that B&H is leading the way with at least $100-$300 off on standard models and MacMall leads the way on custom configs. We’ve heard whispers that a retailler is going to do some serious price drops so we’ll post those when they happen.
The above prices and inventory will likely be all over the place on Black Friday so we’ll be updating frequently. Thanks again for joining us for Black Friday 2015.