Is Amazon Prime Day good for Apple deals like iPhone, iPad and MacBook?

amazon prime day apple
(Image credit: Future)

Prime Day is coming, and we know exactly when – July 11-12. We’re gearing up for two days of massive deals, with big savings on all sorts of products, including, with a little bit of luck, some top Apple kit.

We’ve seen it before; the best Apple Watch Prime Day deals that brought the smartwatches down to their lowest prices ever, Prime Day iPad deals that made the tablet line a whole more affordable, and more beyond. But then you remember that there are other massive sales over the course of the year, and you ask a very important question – is Prime Day actually a good time to think about buying an Apple product, or are there better times of the year to look at sneaking a new MacBook into your shopping bag?

To find out we’re going to have to do some investigation. We'ved looked back at previous discounts on Apple tech over Prime Day to see if they were the cheapest deals of the year, or if other periods offered better savings. We've double-checked what kind of products made their way to the deals event, which products are worth watching out for; and, by extension, which products we think you shouldn’t get your hopes up for.

Prime Day deals: Just how good are they?

Prime Day 2023

(Image credit: Future/ iMore)

Prime Day has been happening for a relatively long time now. The first Prime Day was in July 2015 and ran over the 15th of the month to celebrate Amazon's 20th birthday. In the ensuing seven years, Prime Day has grown to an extra date in September, and an extra day in the main event itself. It now rivals in size Black Friday, and you’ll even find other retailers around the web bringing prices down in retaliation against the biggest online retailer on the planet.

Since the first Prime Day, Apple products have been included in the Prime Day sales. Last year, for example, the Apple Watch SE was reduced by $100, and the AirPods 2 dropped down to their then-lowest price of $89. This is not representative of the whole picture, however.

Since the first Prime Day, Apple products have been included in the Prime Day sales.

iPhones were pulled completely from the store, for example, and hot ticket items like MacBooks and iMacs didn’t receive much in the way of discounts, if any at all. That’s not to say there were no good Apple deals, only that there were less than you might hope for — one to temper the expectations.

What products should I be watching out for?

Prime Day 2023

(Image credit: Future/ iMore)

There are already deals to be had on some products. There are some great AirPods deals at the moment, so if you’re looking for a deal on some new headphones then those are going to be a good bet. The AirPods Max had a pretty stellar saving last year as the product entered its third year without an upgraded model, and they’re even older in 2023 so there may be some big reductions this time around. In fact, AirPods are a pretty good segment to watch out for over Prime Day overall – there may well be some big AirPods Prime Day deals to be snagged.

Apple Watches are also expected to have some good discounts. Last year the Apple Watch line received some of the best price cuts over the two days, so we’re looking forward to seeing what deals this next money-saving window will bring. It’s unlikely you’ll see much from the Apple Watch Ultra, being Apple’s latest and greatest smartwatch, but the Series 8 and the SE may well find themselves with some much lower prices. Whatever happens, we’re hoping for some of the best Apple Watch Prime Day deals to arrive this summer — if only by virtue of the newer models finally becoming likely to land at more deeply-discounted price points.

Last year the Apple Watch line received some of the best price cuts over the two days, so we’re looking forward to seeing what deals this next money-saving window will bring.

Macs and MacBook Prime Day deals are a trickier one. Sometimes, they have some been great, with super low prices – the MacBook Air M1 reached a new low last year, and even the MacBook Air with M2, a very new machine at the time, had a decent $150 saving. Neither of these savings was unique to Prime Day, however, with the former price appearing before the sale and the latter poking its head up a couple of days prior, only to disappear a few hours into Prime Day. Pro models see lesser discounts, although there have been some nice savings in recent weeks, so we could be surprised.

iPad Prime Day deals are a good one to watch out for as well, although the more expensive models aren’t likely to have monster price cuts. The 9th generation iPad is the one to watch out for here, although there could also be some good prices on the iPad Air and the iPad mini as they are now aged slightly compared to their recently-released compatriots.

Finally, iPhones rarely get any discounts at all. Last year, as mentioned, they were completely pulled from the Amazon store, leaving no iPhones on Amazon to even get a Prime Day discount. Do, however, look around at other carriers online like Verizon which often lower prices across the board to answer Amazon's price drops – sometimes, this even includes iPhones.

How does it stack up to other sales?

Prime Day 2023

(Image credit: Future/ iMore)

Prime Day is just one of many sales that occur throughout the year, and while it may be one of the biggest, that doesn’t mean that its necessarily one of the best. With dates like Black Friday and Labour Day sitting in the calendar, how does Prime Day compare in raw deals – which sale is the best, with the biggest savings?

Black Friday is perhaps the biggest and oldest sale of the year. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, it can trace its roots back to 1960, with suburban tourists descending on Philadelphia to spend all of their money, which the police started calling Black Friday. Since then, Black Friday has grown into a shopping giant, with savings online and in-store. It’s well known for some killer deals – last year, the then top-of-the-range iPad Pro 11-inch received a $300, along with discounts of up to $400 on the 12.9-inch version. The iPad Air received a $150 discount at one retailer, Making for the lowest price that is still yet to be beaten. Moving away from iPads, the then incredibly new Apple Watch Series 8 was reduced by $50, and the outgoing Apple Watch Series 7 was reduced by $170. Black Friday has some of the best deals of the year, and even better, those deals can be found across a range of different retailers.

Black Friday also has a bonus up its sleeve – It’s just before the Holidays.

Black Friday also has a bonus up its sleeve – It’s just before the Holidays. People looking to buy Christmas presents look everywhere for a good deal, and they can often find it when they look at the Black Friday sales. Prime Day is in a stranger spot in the year, being around mid-summer. If you’re looking for Birthday presents or something for yourself, this can be good, but perhaps one reason behind those lower prices over Black Friday is that retailers know that people will be ready to buy more in the run-up to the present giving season.

To a lesser degree, Labor Day is also known for some great savings, but not as big as Prime Day or Black Friday. Prices on Apple products tend not to drop too much, and when they do the deals aren’t that much better than normal deals that happen throughout the year.

All in, if you’re you’re looking for a solid deal, then Prime Day and Black Friday are two of the best times to find them. Black Friday traditionally has better reductions at a wider range of retailers, but Prime Day is just as good for those looking for a deal in the middle of the year.

What else do I need to know about Prime Day?

Prime Day 2023

(Image credit: Future/ iMore)

Well you’re going to need an Amazon Prime Account for one. The best deals on the site are reserved for Amazon Prime subscribers, although even those un-initiated will be able to see the deals so that they know what they’re missing out on. Thankfully, you can very easily sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime for 30 days, so you’ll get all the benefits for a bit without the cost — here’s how to get the Amazon Prime free trial.

There are also deals out there that aren’t ‘Amazon Prime Day’ deals. Some of these, over the two days, will be slightly better than normal, so if you really don’t want the free trial, you can still net some solid deals. They just won’t be the most impressive ones.

Look beyond Apple-branded items and hero products, too — look for accessories and other things that will work with the equipment you’ve got. I got my Logitech MX Master 2S through the Amazon Prime Day sales, and the mouse has been going very strong for me ever since – I saved $50 when I bought it. There are always loads of iPhone, MacBook, and iPad cases in the sales as well, so make sure you’re looking for those too. Protecting your kit is always a good idea, and getting that protection cheap is always a bonus — and a money saver overall if it protects your expensive gadgetry from bumps and scrapes.

Finally, make sure you keep track of the deals with our Prime Day Apple hub. We’re here to help, and we’ll be tracking all the best prices and deals on all the coolest Apple tech over the course of the two days. There are already some great deals to be had, and more are certain to follow as Prime Day 2023 approaches. 

Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.