Is it worth it to buy Apple products on Black Friday?

Black iPhone 12 mini standing upright
Black iPhone 12 mini standing upright (Image credit: iMore)

It's definitely worthwhile to purchase Apple products on Black Friday, whether you buy from Apple directly or other retailers. There are plenty of Black Friday Apple deals to be had right now and continuing through Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We'll be updating that guide as the deals come up, so there's no need to wait until the official day. If you see a great deal now, snap it up because stock may be limited this year.

The Apple Store

Apple Holiday Hero Airpods Iphone

Apple Holiday Hero Airpods Iphone (Image credit: Apple)

Many of us prefer to make our Apple purchases directly from the Apple Store, whether it's the Apple experience or the convenience of purchasing directly from the seller. While that might not always be the way to get the absolute best price, there are certainly deals to be had buying directly from Apple.

In recent years on Black Friday, Apple has offered an Apple Store gift card worth up to $200 with certain purchases. You probably won't be able to stack with other discounts such as the student/educators discount, so you might find the education discount to be a better deal.

Another reason to buy from Apple is that if you order from certain retailers, you may not be able to get AppleCare+ to protect your device. Also, certain retailers such as the cellular carriers and Amazon may only sell carrier-locked iPhones.

However, if you use your Apple Card to make your purchase at Apple, you will be getting both the Black Friday deal and the cash back.

Apple Card: The best credit card for Apple Black Friday purchases?

Apple Holiday Hero Iphone Case Wallet Magsafe

Apple Holiday Hero Iphone Case Wallet Magsafe (Image credit: Apple)

Apple's own credit card, the Apple Card, is a user-friendly credit card that's easy to manage and offers cash back on all purchases. If you buy directly from Apple, you get 3% cash back. However, if you use your Apple Card to make Apple Black Friday purchases elsewhere, you'll get 2% back using Apple Pay or 1% back using your physical card in a store. You might also consider the American Express® Cash Magnet card. You'll get $150 statement credit plus 1.5% cash back, accidental damage protection, and 15-month free financing.

Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, cellular carriers, and more

There are definitely some fantastic Apple Black Friday deals on just about any Apple product at several retailers. We'll keep you apprised of the latest prices so you can compare each item to see where you can get the best price. If you do see an irresistible price at an authorized retailer, grab it. Supply constraints are even more common at other retailers than they are at Apple.

Perhaps you shouldn't buy Apple on Black Friday

Apple Holiday Hero Apple Watch

Apple Holiday Hero Apple Watch (Image credit: Apple)

If you like having the latest in Apple technology, you should always be mindful of where a product is in its cycle before you buy. Sometimes Apple products are marked down because a new model is about to be released. You don't want to end up with buyer's remorse or a disappointed gift recipient. That doesn't mean you should NOT buy any older items on Black Friday, just make an informed decision.

Recent releases: Yes, buy!

The latest generation iPad and iPad Air are good purchases to make now, as they were released this fall. Obviously, the entire iPhone 12 line is very new, just out this month and last month. The brand new Apple silicon M1 chip computers, MacBook Pro (13-inch), MacBook Air, and Mac mini would be amazing to snap up at a discount for Black Friday. The 27-inch iMac was just released in August, but it still has an Intel chip. The Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE are just a couple of months old and will be great buys now.

Older releases: Maybe

The iPhone SE and iPad Pro (both 11-inch and 12.9-inch) are mid-cycle, having been released this past spring. New models may be released this coming spring. The iPad mini was last released in March 2019, so it's about a year and a half old by now. The iMac (21.5-inch), Mac Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, and iMac Pro all have the older Intel chip and are ready for a refresh. I'd avoid purchasing an Apple TV right now, as it's over three years old now and due for a new model. Likewise, the original HomePod is approaching the three-year mark.

The Apple Watch Series 3 is years old by now, but it's still a solid device, and its price point still makes it a decent buy if you can get a deeper discount for Black Friday. Although AirPods and AirPods Pro aren't the newest things right now, they remain extremely popular.

What will be the hottest Apple gifts this year?

I predict that the brand new HomePod Mini, with its appealing diminutive size, mighty sound, and tempting price point, will be THE hot gift this year. I also believe that both AirPods and AirPods Pro will remain extremely popular gifts, even though we haven't gotten a new model recently. In the next price tier, the Apple Watch is a perennial favorite. Both AirPods and the Apple Watch saw big Black Friday discounts last year; we expect to see AirPods 2 and Apple Watch Series 3, in particular, get the deep discount treatment this year.

Stay tuned; as the deals roll in, we will write them up! In addition to Apple Black Friday discounts, our sister site has an ongoing Black Friday Deals roundup. Many of us would love to get an Apple product as a holiday gift but let's be real: many of us are taking advantage of Black Friday prices to buy Apple stuff for ourselves! Either way, this time of year is a great time to buy.

Karen S Freeman

Karen is a contributor to as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at TechRadar and Tom's Guide. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, CNET, AppAdvice, and WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.