Where to Shop Apple Products on Black Friday 2020

Getty Images

It is not uncommon to see many retailers discounting Apple products during the holiday season. And even though Black Friday 2020 will be unlike any other Black Friday, it’s still a safe bet that loads of Apple products will be discounted in the coming weeks.

Apple has also announced several new devices, including the iPhone 12, over the last couple of weeks.  As we head into November, Apple fans could not be more excited at the tech dropping just in time for the holidays.

Smart shoppers looking for Apple products this year will want to pay particular attention to specific retailers in order to get in on some of the best deals possible.  While many retailers have yet to release their full Black Friday 2020 ads, or even their Black Friday 2020 plans, we can still predict based on previous years which retailers you’ll want to pay close attention to for big Apple savings.

Apple wearables

When it comes to smartwatches and in-ear listening devices, it’s tough to top Apple’s line of products. The Apple Watch is currently in its sixth iteration and most users couldn’t be happier with the product.  The device has been one of Apple’s hottest sellers over the last several years and many retailers offer big savings during the holidays on the previous year’s design.

We predict that Amazon and Sam’s Club will be two of the best places to find great deals for both the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch Series 5. Sam’s Club is currently offering $15 0ff either GPS model of the Series 6 and Amazon is only higher by a few pennies.  Walmart had similar savings on the 44mm Series 6 but sold out quickly.

Costco is known for their lower prices on Apple products, especially new iterations, but we predict their lower discounts will be found on non-wearables this year.

The other hot Apple wearable, Airpods, did not see a new design this year.  We predict that the pandemic had something to do with that, and it is likely we’ll see a redesigned Airpods Pro sometime early next year.

In the meantime, many retailers recently discounted the Pro versions down to $199 for the week of Prime Day and we predict it’s possible they’ll go even lower as we get closer to Black Friday.  The only real question is how much lower could they possibly get?  Dropping to $175 seems out of the question, but we predict it’s possible they’ll fall to $180 at certain retailers before the year is through.

We’d recommend shoppers looking for the best price possible on Apple’s Airpods Pro keep their eyes on Amazon.

iPhone

While there was a major delay in its announcement, the Apple iPhone 12 was officially unveiled on Oct. 13.  The iPhone 12 comes in several versions and, by all accounts, is a significant improvement over the iPhone 11.  One of the main reasons to upgrade is the 5G capability of the 12 as opposed to the 11, which launched last year without 5G support.

After the unveiling, it didn’t take long for carriers to announce their upcoming 5G support – including Verizon who launched a specific campaign recently to bring awareness to their growing 5G availability.

Almost immediately upon reveal, retailers dropped major discounts on the 12 and the 12 Pro.  AT&T offered the 12 for only $199 with qualified trade-ins.  Verizon did not wait until Black Friday to offer major savings, instead opting to launch the device for up to $550 off when activating a new line and trading in specific devices.  The new line required activating Verizon’s unlimited plan.

These sales were slightly beat by Best Buy, which ran similar pricing without the need for the unlimited plan.  The trade-in offers at Best Buy were slightly less, so smart shoppers will want to weight that into their decision.

Walmart has often dominated the cellphone Black Friday market and we predict that, even during a pandemic, nothing will change in that regard.  Walmart recently announced their Black Friday plans and included in them was a vague mention of holding a cell phone savings event before Black Friday.  Given that Walmart’s iPhone 12 preorders weren’t as strong as other retailers’, we predict that they are holding back for their Black Friday deals before unleashing their real savings on the latest phone from Apple.  Smart shoppers looking to pick up the iPhone 12 might want to consider waiting for Walmart to confirm their cell phone event plans before snatching up a preorder elsewhere.

Portables

It was a bizarre year for the iPad and Macbook and we suspect COVID-19 was to blame.  In March, right before the world shut down for almost six weeks, Apple dropped their latest iPad Pro alongside the new Macbook Air. The release gained lots of attention at the time, primarily due to the lack of any information regarding the iPhone 12.

In September, Apple surprised everyone again with an unexpected release of the new, 8th generation iPad.  The device outclassed previous iPads in the same size and category and sold quite well upon release. Apple has seen great reviews over their iPadOS and the operating system has become quite the selling point for iPads.

Retailers have been selling the 8th generation iPad and the iPad Pro 2020 at modest discounts and we expect to see a sharp uptick in the savings on Macbooks and iPads headed into Black Friday.

Best Buy has traditionally dominated the tablet and laptop market when it comes to Apple’s portable devices and we highly suggest that shoppers looking to snag an iPad or Macbook this season keep their eyes on all upcoming Best Buy ads. Best Buy has yet to disclose how they plan to proceed with Black Friday this year, but we predict that information will be coming in the next week.

Apple gift cards

Apple announced a major change to their popular gift cards this year, and it is both excellent and terrible news for shoppers.  Previously, Apple sold two types of gift cards: iTunes gift cards and Apple gift cards.  Itunes cards were only applicable within the App store on iOS whereas Apple gift cards were only applicable at Apple retail locations.

The idea was simple enough: keep iTunes gift cards locked to digital goods and keep Apple gift cards locked to physical goods.  Apple opted to throw that out the window this year by doing away with iTunes gift cards completely and instead hosting only one type of gift card going forward: the Apple gift card.

Users with unused credits still on iTunes card would see those credits usable both on digital and physical products.

In the past, many retailers were able to offer significant savings when it came to the iTunes gift cards. Best Buy, Sam’s Club, and Target have all been known to go as low as $80 for a $100 iTunes gift card during the holiday season. As a result of the move to just one type of gift card, it appears the days of those 20% savings have disappeared.

Now, some retailers are offering the Apple gift cards for full price while taking on a small savings in the form of a retailer gift card. Both Best Buy and Target have recently held deals where users could buy a $100 Apple gift card and receive a $10 gift card for that specific retailer via email. While these savings are nice (and can be applied to both physical and digital product!), it’s quite disappointing that the total savings will be lesser than in the past.

Sam’s Club has removed all iTunes and Apple gift cards from their stores as a result of the change, so shoppers looking to snag discounts on Apple gifts this year should avoid waiting on Sam’s Club to offer a sale.