Apple's Black Friday prices leaked; slightly better than last year

Apple's Black Friday discounts are modest as usual but slightly better than last year on higher capacity iPads and iPods.

Why do Apple's discounts usually suck?

It's simple really: Apple's products are so popular that it doesn't have to discount them. Heck, people still line up to buy the limited allotment of iPhone 4Ses at my local Apple shoppe, and it was announced almost two months ago.

Yesterday the Internet was aflutter that Apple's Black Friday deals were leaked, but the discounts are pretty anemic as usual. 9to5Mac got the scoop and promptly posted photos of what appears to be a printed sales circular (which is rare for Apple).

While pretty much in line with last year's discounts, 9to5Mac notes that Apple is offering better discounts on its higher capacity iPads and iPods than last year. The deals range from $11 off the iPod nano to $101 off the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac. Here's the short list:

  • $11 off iPod nano
  • $21-$41 off iPod Touch
  • $41-$61 off iPad 2
  • $101 off MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac

The best deal of lot is the $898 MacBook Air 11-inch which is a cool hundred of the normal $999 price and darned great entry point for a new Mac.

As a "Mac guy" I'm constantly asked about where to find Apple discounts, especially at this time of year. My default response is that Apple doesn't really discount its products, but there are some options worth exploring:

  1. Black Friday - one of the few (only?) official Apple sales.
  2. Apple Educational Pricing - gives students, teachers and staff members up to $200 off.
  3. Apple Special Deals (below) - code for "refurbished" Macs, iPods and iPads and a clearance section with a whopping two items in it.
  4. (Occasionally) Big Box chains - Best Buy is currently offering $200 off the 13-inch MacBook Air.
  5. Catalogers - online retailers like MacMall and MacConnection will sometimes offer modest discounts, free shipping and bundle options.

Apple's Black Friday deals leaked - Jason O'Grady

After that, the only way to get Apple gear without paying retail is to buy it used on sites like eBay and Craigslist.

Are you buying any Apple gear for the holidays? What's your discount strategy?