Black Friday 2013: U.S. Apple stores offer gift cards instead of discounts on iPad, Mac products

Black Friday 2013: U.S. Apple stores offer gift cards instead of discounts on iPad, Mac products

Summary: The company's discounts used to be small, but this year they have been replaced with store gift cards with the purchase of select Apple products and third-party accessories.

TOPICS: Apple, iPad, Laptops, Tablets, PCs

Apple watchers woke up Thanksgiving morning to a new wrinkle in the company's typical Black Friday plans. Instead of the usual small discounts the company offered across most of its product lines in years past, the Australian Apple Store launched with gift cards being promoted for the purchase of many items instead. Then to confuse things more, European Apple Stores came online after midnight with the typical discounts, and not the gift cards.

What would Apple do in the U.S.? After the online store went down for a few hours this morning, it's returned with the same Black Friday gift card "deal" as greeted Aussie shoppers. In other words, there will be no sale prices for products sold at Apple stores this Black Friday, just gift cards.

If you're still willing to buy directly from Apple today, be prepared for further disappointment if you're planning to buy an iPhone 5c or 5s or the iPad mini with Retina display. That's because Apple isn't offering a gift for these popular new products. In comparison, Walmart will provide a $75 gift card if you pick up a 5c or 5s at its stores this weekend, and Target is offering a $75 card for an iPad mini with Retina display purchase.

You will receive a $75 Apple gift card if you buy an iPad Air, which is $25 less than what Target is offering on Black Friday if you purchase the tablet from that store. You can get a $50 gift card with the purchase of an original iPad mini or an iPad 2 -- Walmart offered a $100 gift card for an iPad mini purchase yesterday as part of its first round of doorbusters, while Best Buy matched it online earlier this week. Target is offering $75 gift cards for the first-generation iPad mini and $100 cards for an iPad 2. 

Those looking for a new Mac can score a $150 Apple gift card, whether you're grabbing a new iMac or a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. Note, however, that Best Buy is slashing the price on Macs for Black Friday, either by $150 or $200 depending on the configuration. Though a gift card is nice if you're planning on buying other in-store purchases, when it comes to systems, the lower price is probably preferable to most buyers. 

The iPod is still around and kicking, and will be part of the Black Friday gift card fest. The iPod touch comes with a $50 card, while the latest iPod nano includes a $25 card. Some miscellaneous Apple products are also being offered with gift cards, ranging from the Apple TV ($25 card) to the AirPort Extreme and 2TB AirPort Time Capsule ($50). 

Finally, there are some third-party accessories that Apple will sell with gift cards worth up to $75. Many will include a $25 card, such as the Nike+ FuelBand SE, Powerbeats by Dr. Dre headphones, and Mophie Juice Pack Air iPhone 5 battery case, while purchases of such items as the second-generation Nest Learning Thermostat, GoPro HERO3+ camera, and Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones will come with a $50 card. Buying the $499.95 Bowers & Wilkins A5 AirPlay wireless music system nets you a $75 gift card.

Topics: Apple, iPad, Laptops, Tablets, PCs

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  • Typical Apple

    Not surprised, this is what Apple does. Gift cards cost Apple far less in monetary value then money off their products. The deals on Apple products are certainly not at their stores.
    • Peter Oppenheimer likely cut back on deals

      With Peter Oppenheimer, the CFO who also has HR, Hiring, and Investor Relations Responsibilities being investigated on charges related to two Class-Action Lawsuits filed on behalf of Apple Retail Store Employees in the US; the decision of price drops, and the obligation to ensure people are compensated (based on legal process) was re-prioritized.

      Also, as Chief Auditor at Apple, his office found that Apple's overseas employers are successful in hiring employees to perform a 60-hour work-week... 38% of the time.

      It was reported that Peter makes 16x more in salary and bonuses than the CEO, Tim Cook makes.
      • I'm guessing you likely cut back on facts

        Why not try posting some links just to prove me wrong. ;)
        • BTW -

          Congratulations on being chosen the "12th" Doctor...
          • Thank you.

            Your the first to actually appreciate this.

            In return, I offer this-
  • Privilege

    Owning an Apple product is always a privilege. Apple worked hard to build a premium brand and you have to price accordingly in that position. Apple has never been about the best bang for the buck or discounts. I don't see why you're supposed to be entitled to price cuts for Apple gear.
    • Fool

      Ghest - Owning an Apple product isn't a privilege; it's available to anyone with MONEY. Apple not offering any 'real' price reduction form their stores shows how greedy/arrogant they are. I can't wait for the day Apple falls from their pedestal. It's only a matter of time; Apple, just like any other powerhouse company, will eventually be eclipsed (but who knows how long it will take).
      • I'm not a fan...

        ...of Apple but the reality is that they are perceived as a premium brand and they price accordingly(the highest margins in the industry). The market has validated their products and their walled garden model.
      • Apple's downfall

        Why would you want to see a growing company that employees thousands around the world, fail? Imagine how many people would lose their livelihood? Your hopes of a companies downfall is cruel.
    • Try harder

      Well marketed overpriced trash that continues to sell even after the death of the master snake oil salesman. People are amazingly stupid!
      • Ethnocentrism, shouted authoritatively

        does not constitute reality. In other words, just because someone doesn't agree with you does not make them stupid. It just makes you an arrogant, self-righteous boor.
    • A privilege? Really?

      You really should check that word in the dictionary. ;)
      • Commodity item

        Your right. A luxury item is rarely found at WalMart. It more likely qualifies as a commodity item.
    • Not so much privilege.

      In deed. I was told that Peter Oppenheimer's dad was a primary person on the Atomic Bomb.

      So, be sure to get the best BANG for the buck; and for that, just find the highest-paid executive.
      • Would it be that J. Robert Oppenheimer was his dad,

        which he isn't.

        J. Robert Oppenheimer's son would be in his early 70's at the moment, and Peter Oppenheimer's only in his early 50's.

        You should really do some fact checking.
    • You're so into Apple

      that it's actually scary. I'm serious, if I met you I'd be worried for my life. You are quite insane.
  • Apple makes more money by not giving you a discount.

    They know that billions of dollars in gift cards go unredeemed every year, so by enticing you to buy their product by giving you a gift card that you are unlikely to use only means more money in Apple's pockets.
    • Well, whether or not you use the gift card is entirely up to you

      but somehow it's Apple's fault if you don't use it?
      • I think he means like many stores do

        I don't think he's saying it's Apple fault if people don't use it, I think he's being realistic in saying that Apple, like many other stores, calculate that a certain percentage will go unused, which is like not giving any discount or bonus at all.

        The rest will likely be put towards a purchase of something that costs some [calculated averaged] amount more then the value of the card, bringing in even more cash.
  • Apple needs to do better

    appple need to do better, companies much smaller than apple are giving out []discount[/url]. Walmart di over a million today in black friday sales. Apple needs to do better