These are the iPads to avoid buying this Black Friday

iPad (2021)
(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Finding a great Black Friday iPad deal might be on your list this holiday season. Despite this, there are some Apple tablets you should avoid — no matter the discount you might find. Here's a look at the iPads you should skip and those to consider this Black Friday.

It's about iPadOS support, folks

Each year, Apple releases new software versions for its most important products, such as iPhone, Mac, and iPad. The current operating system for iPad, for example, is iPadOS 16. x, which was released in October. This will eventually be replaced by iPadOS 17. x in late 2023. 

When Apple launches new software versions, some products are left behind regarding compatibility. For example, the iPad Air 2 and iPad 5 supported iPadOS 15. However, neither can run iPadOS 16. Therefore, compatibility is something to consider when buying an older Apple device, either new or used. 

Even if you find a significant discount on an older iPad, it wouldn't be valuable to you long-term if it doesn't support the latest operating systems. Therefore, I strongly suggest avoiding the following models, which are the ones most likely not to support iPadOS 17:

  • iPad (5th generation) (2017, 2018)
  • iPad 6 (2018, 2019)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation) (2019, 2020)
  • iPad Pro (1st generation) (2015/16, 2017)
  • iPad Pro (2nd generation) (2017, 2018)
  • iPad Pro (3rd generation) (2018, 2020)

Get these models instead

The following older iPad models are ones you should consider buying this Black Friday if you come across a terrific deal: 

When in doubt, you can always check our list of the best iPads.

Check out these deals

Black Friday iPad deals are already online at various retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and many others. These deals will change often between now and the actual day, Friday, November 25. Here's a few worth checking out right now:

iPad Air |$599$519 at Amazon

iPad Air | $599 $519 at Amazon

While no longer the latest Apple iPad, it is still a very new device. It's also seen some really big discounts over the last few months, most recently meeting its new lowest price in the Amazon Prime Early Access Sale.

iPad Mini |$499$459 at Amazon

iPad Mini | $499 $459 at Amazon

The iPad Mini, as it enters its second year, has now started to see some great discounts. We think that there will be similar reductions over Black Friday as well.

When do the Black Friday iPad deals begin?

Officially, Black Friday will kick off on Nov. 25 this year, and there are already some deals available. This is when many stores offer the lowest prices of the year on some models.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.