Black Friday 2012 is four days away, but you don’t have to wait that long to score good deals on Apple’s popular iPods, iPads and MacBooks. While Apple waits until the last-minute to announce its Black Friday discounts, other retailers are getting a jump-start.
Apple doesn’t typically offer deep Black Friday discounts. The company does typically offer modest discounts on its iPads, iPods and MacBooks, but don’t expect to any discounts on its latest devices, including the iPhone 5 and iPad mini. Apple retail partners are typically prohibited from slashing prices to act as loss leaders to lure shoppers into their stores on Black Friday.
If you don’t want to wait until Black Friday to buy discounted Apple gear you can actually get some excellent deals online without having to line up early or dealing with the throngs of turkey-stuffed shoppers.
Here’s a round-up of the best Black Friday Apple deals we’ve found so far. The biggest discounts are naturally going to be on Apple’s higher-priced items, with slim pickings on its more affordable gear.
MacBook Air for $699
Mac Connection is selling the 2011 11″ MacBook Air for just $699 while supplies last. The 64 GB 11″ MacBook Air usually sells for $999 and is Apple’s cheapest laptop. Though the 2011 model is a year old, it is a very capable machine and is an excellent value. In fact, it’s discounted to the same price as an iPad with Retina display with the same amount of storage capacity. This MacBook Air ships with 2 GB of RAM and an Intel Core i5 processor.
$400 off MacBook Pro Retina 15″
While the 11″ MacBook Air is a good little mobile computer, some users need more horsepower. Shoppers looking for a desktop replacement that’s also slim and portable can score a high-end configuration of the 15″ MacBook Pro Retina for $2,399 from Frys.com through Wednesday. That’s a $400 discount off this beast of a MacBook, which ships with a 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD. Even with the discount, this is a pricey machine, but it’s a far better price than we expect to see at Apple stores on Black Friday. Last year, Apple discounted MacBooks by about $100 on Black Friday.
$20 Gift Card with iPod touch Purchase (4th Generation)
Target is offering a $20 gift card with the purchase of a 32GB iPod touch (4th Generation). While there is a new iPod touch available that resembles the iPhone 5, it is more expensive ($299 to $399) and we probably won’t see any significant discounts on it since it’s so new. Since Apple doesn’t allow retailers to heavily discount gear that it still sells through its own stores and online, Target can’t just discount the iPod touch. Instead, buyers will have to ‘save’ by accepting a $20 Target gift card at checkout.
Refurbished iPod touch from $129 (4th Generation)
For a limited time you can buy a refurbished 4th generation iPod touch for just $129 directly from Apple.com. It isn’t the most current iPod touch, but it’s perfectly capable of running iOS 6 and running games and apps. Not bad considering that Apple’s selling the device for less than the cost of a new iPod nano. Apple’s also offering the same iPod with 32 GB for $179 and with 64 GB for $229. Apple has a very thorough refurbishing process and we’ve had good experiences buying refurbished items from the company.
If you or your loved one doesn’t need the latest and greatest iOS device, the $129 iPod touch is a real bargain. There are plenty of kids that would be ecstatic to get this iPod touch as a gift and parents can justify the purchase by making the iPod touch double as a gaming device and learning tool.
$10 off iPod Nano, Free Car Accessory Kit
Wal-Mart if offering $10 off the new iPod nano and throwing in a car accessory kit. The kit includes a car charger and 3.5mm cable to plug the iPod nano into a car’s stereo system. It also comes with a USB cable that’s not compatible with the iPod nano, a headphone jack splitter, cleaning cloth and dust cover. It’s not an incredibly fancy kit and users will need to bring their own Lightning cables, but it does make for a more complete gift.