ipad-pro-9-7-21Apple’s earlier version of the iPad Pro has a 9.7 inch screen.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Looking to buy some Apple gear this year? Same old story: Premium prices, infrequent sales and minuscule discounts.

Ah, but Black Friday has arrived like some mythical money-saving elf! Even Apple products go on sale today, right? Um, well, sort of. Apple’s Four-Day Savings Event is another lame batch of gift cards on select products. Cue the sad iTrombone.

Thankfully, other stores have risen to the occasion. Look past Apple and you’ll find deals on a variety of Apple devices.  Whether it’s Apple AirPods, HomePod, iPad, iPhone or an Apple Watch that you’re after, I’ve listed the best prices below. Just know that many of these deals won’t last long…

Read more: Black Friday 2018: The best deals you can get right now

Apple shopping tips

Before we dive in, some buying advice. First, you can get discounts right now by shopping for refurbished items from Apple proper. Currently, for example, the refurbished Apple Watch Series 3 38mm is $239, a savings of $40. And you can save $80 on the refurbished iPad Pro 9.7 (32GB). Apple’s certified refurbs are usually indistinguishable from new, and have the same warranty as their new counterparts.

Pro tip: Today only, cashback service Ebates will give you 4 percent back on the purchase of certified-refurbished Apple gear

Second, many stores — Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, etc. — have matching sale prices on Apple gear. So is there any advantage to choosing one over another? There might be: Check your favorite cashback service to see if one store is offering a higher rebate rate than another.

Free AirPods when you switch to Metro by T-Mobile (save $159)

Sarah Tew/CNET
The best AirPods deal at the moment comes from Metro by T-Mobile (formerly MetroPCS): Get it free when you buy an iPhone 6S for $49 or bring your own iPhone and sign up for an unlimited plan. Those plans start at $50 per month, with discounts if you add more lines. If you’re not looking to switch carriers, there are other AirPods deals to be had as well.
See at Metro by T-Mobile AirPods review

iPhones (save up to $750)

Angela Lang/CNET
There are too many options to list here, but suffice it to say, if you’re in the market, there are plenty of Black Friday iPhone deals. One that stands out: US Cellular will give you a free iPhone XR (in the form of bill credit on a 30-month plan) when you sign up for unlimited service. That deal is live right now and runs through Nov. 26.
See at US Cellular iPhone XR review

Apple iPad 9.7 (2018): $250 (save $80)

Sarah Tew/CNET
Not that long ago, even the base model iPad would run you $500. Although this one lacks Pro features, it’s still the current-generation model at an $80 savings. As of now, only Target has the deal.
$250.00 at Target iPad 2018 review

Now playing: Watch this: Tricks to score extra savings on Black Friday and Cyber…


In-store only coupon

Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm + GPS): $279 and a $100 gift card

César Salza / CNET
The Apple Watch deal to beat is at… Meijer? The superstore chain will give you a $100 coupon for a future purchase when you buy a Series 3 model. Or you can get it for $199 outright from Target.
See at Meijer Apple Watch Series 3 review

Apple HomePod: $250 (save $100)

Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Apple’s Siri-powered smart speaker offers some of the best sound in its class, and Best Buy will chop a rare $100 off the regular price.
See at Best Buy HomePod review

We’ll update this post when we spot better deals on these and other Apple items. So check back soon!

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Read more: CNET’s complete guide to Black Friday 2018

Read more: CNET’s Holiday Gift Guide 2018

CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!

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