Leading up to the holiday season, Apple is said to begin rolling out Apple Store gift cards to third-party retail stores starting today.
According to 9to5Mac, anonymous sources say that retail stores other than Apple’s own locations will begin selling Apple Store gift cards ahead of the holidays this year. This is the first time that Apple Store gift cards will begin selling at other retail locations. Previously, only iTunes gift cards were sold in third-party stores.
The Apple Store gift cards will also receive a bit of a makeover and will come in space gray, silver, and gold colors to match the current iOS device color lineup.
This is certainly good news for those who want to get an Apple Store gift card for that special someone this Christmas, as the only way to buy one in the past was to either order it online on Apple’s website or go to a local Apple Store if there was even one in the area to begin with.
In other Apple news for today, tomorrow will mark the beginning of a new addition to the Genius Bar’s repair repertoire. Genius Bar employees will be able to service Beats products, as opposed to just Apple products, which is certainly good news for anyone who owns a pair of Beats cans that need fixed.
Black Friday is just a couple of weeks away, and while Apple usually doesn’t offer significant discounts compared to other stores, you can expect to see the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 to be on sale for a few bucks off, as well as a decent sale on MacBooks.
However, the bigger iPad sales will take place at Target and Walmart, where both stores are offering the iPad Air for the regular $399 price, but buyers will receive a free $100 store gift card, essentially knocking the price down to just $299.
Target will also have the iPad Air 2 on sale with a $140 gift card included. Best Buy will also have the new tablet for a straight $100 off on any storage size. However, while Apple’s latest tablet will certainly see a lot of attention come Black Friday, the iPad Air is the ultimate deal for frugal shoppers looking to buy an excellent tablet at a great price.
Be prepared to spend a little more than the technical $299 on the iPad Air (or $399 on the iPad Air 2) when Black Friday rolls around, though. We’ve discussed in the recent past that getting the entry-level 16GB iPad model isn’t the best option for many users, simply because with all the apps, games, videos, photos that you’ll most likely store on your iPad, that 16GB will fill up incredibly fast.
Instead, we’d recommend getting at least the 32GB iPad model, which Target will also be selling on Black Friday, with the 32GB iPad Air selling for $450 and a $100 gift card with your purchase, knocking down the price to just $350.
While many big retail chains still have yet to release their Black Friday deals to the public, this is probably the best iPad deal you’ll see this year, with Target and Walmart leading that pack, and the iPad in general will see many great deals.
For instance, Target will have the original iPad mini selling for $249 with the inclusion of a free $80 gift card with the purchase, essentially knocking down the price to just $169 for the older Apple tablet. Target will also have the iPad mini 2 starting at $299 and a $100 gift card to go with it, technically dropping the price down to just $199 for the 16GB model, and the same goes for the new iPad mini 3, but simply adding $100 to the price.