The end-of-the-year holiday season is traditionally an important time for Apple, and this year should be no different. With the recent release of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad Mini 3, you can bet that the company will pass along some serious discounts to push both older and newer products.
The day-after-Thanksgiving mega-sales day is less than a month away now, and all eyes are on Apple to see how low the discounts will go for the popular line of devices. If last year's sale is any indication, we can certainly see a price drop for not only iPads, but also the Mac and MacBooks after the release of the newest operating system, OS X Yosemite. Apple neglected to reduce the iPhone 5's price during its Black Friday sales last year, but we're pretty sure we'll see the iPhone 6 featured this year.
But the big question is what differences we'll see between the discounts at retail stores versus what we'll see at the Apple Store. Will Walmart, Best Buy, Radio Shack, and Target have the better deals, or will we do best to buy straight through the manufacturer?
Last year, Best Buy, Walmart, and Target gave out gift card deals to offset the fact that Apple didn't offer any deals on the iPhone 5. These deals meant a possible price of $86 for the iPhone 5s with the retailer deals on a two-year contract.
We expect to see the same thing again this year. Even if you can't find a deal on the Apple product you want at the official Apple Store, retail stores can make up the difference with combo gift card offers of that sweeten the deal. Even if the discounts don't apply 100% to Apple products, these stores can offer combo sales on other items that make it worth it.
iPhone and iPod
Some are predicting $50 to $75 gift card deals for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at retailers, and as much as $100 off the off-contract pre-paid iPhone 5 since that's all the rage these days.With no new iPod out on the market, we may see the biggest discounts on the iPod line, including the iPod Touch and the iPod Nano.
The iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 are brand new, but you can still expect deals to get reluctant adopters to give up their old devices for the new shinies. Consumer site GottaBeMobile is predicting a $75 gift card from Apple on the iPad Air 2, and as much as $50 off the iPad Mini 3. Older iPads will most likely see deeper discounts in the $100 range. But since the iPad Mini 1 is already $200 for the refurbished model through Apple, the focus there will be on an "under $200" special to push inventory.
iMac and MacBook
GottaBeMobile also predicts discounts on the iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook Retina for this season ranging anywhere from $50 to $200 off through gift cards. The Retina 5K display is still trying to gather its footing for consumers, so we may see some particularly good deals to get mroe of those out there.
Apple is really pushing Apple TV this year, especially considering all the competition that's been popping up, so we're expecting to see some good prices on that service with $25 or more in gift cards.
Consumer Reports predicts that we'll see many more Black Friday deals being advertised through social media, email, and texts this year, despite the fact that the following Monday -- Cyber Monday -- is usually reserved for those types of online deals. But CR also predicts that Cyber Monday will turn into more of the Cyber Week that it's been evolving into in recent years.
Traditionally, Apple confirms it Black Friday deals on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, so we'll certainly know more by then.