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, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.
Apple has revealed its Black Friday weekend deals, which run from Friday, Nov. 27, through , Nov. 30. As in years past, though, there’s a catch: offers little in the way of discounts on iPhones, iPads, Macs or accessories like , and . Instead, depending on the product you can get up to a $150 Apple Store gift card.
The exact value of the gift card will vary but in order to get the full $150 gift card you’d need to buy either an iMac Pro.or . Other Macs, including the that features , are not eligible. Neither are the new MacBook Air, Mac Mini, larger 27-inch iMac or
If you can still find a 13-inch Intel-equipped MacBook Air or Intel-equipped 13-inch MacBook Pro with two Thunderbolt ports you could get a $50 Apple Store gift card. As Apple discontinued both models, you’d have to find one of these in a physical Apple Store.
Beyond the Macs, most new Apple gear is not eligible for the gift card promotion. You could get a $50 gift card with the iPhone 12 line). Gift cards for iPads are limited to $50 for the iPad Mini or $100 for either size of the iPad Pro with no offers available for the new iPad or iPad Air., or (so, not the new
Apple is also not offering double Apple Card cash back, which it did last year. This year the cashback rate appears to be staying at its regular 3%.
The promotions are yet another reminder that the best Apple deals are almost always found outside Apple’s own physical or virtual store. At the Apple Store, for instance, a new set of($159) or ($249) can get you a $25 Apple Store gift card but no discount off the regular price. Woot, by contrast, has already cut the $250 price of AirPods Pro down to , and . Standard AirPods are currently , and have dipped as low as $99 at online retailers in recent weeks. That’s a savings of $59 to $80 on the Pro model and up to $40 on the standard AirPods — both much more than a $25 gift card that can only be redeemed later.
All the major US carriers have Apple Watches (including the latest Series 6), iPads (regular, new Air and Pros) and the Intel MacBook Air (currently , but that’s up from $150 off earlier this week).while on
Apple also doesn’t make the full list of which products get which discount easily accessible on its promo page, but if you’re interested in the full list you can find it here.
The best deals appear to be on the, which gets you a $100 gift card, and the , which gets youa $50 gift card. Neither product has seen the same level of discounting at other stores this season, though the HomePod has .
All told, unless you want one of those two devices or to buy something directly from Apple, you’re likely better off shopping elsewhere for deals on Apple products.