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, minuscule discounts.

Ah, but Black Friday is just around the corner. Even Apple products go on sale that day, right? Perhaps: Apple just announced its Four-Day Savings Event, which kicks off on Friday, Nov. 23.

We don’t know yet whether that will bring actual discounts or just Apple’s usual (cough, lame, cough) gift-card bonuses. But here’s what we do know: There are deals to be had elsewhere on a variety of Apple items. Below I’ve rounded up the best prices I can find on the Apple AirPods, HomePod, iPad, iPhone and Watch. Some are available now; others will arrive on or around Black Friday.

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.

Second, many stores — Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, etc. — will 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.

For example, below you’ll see the iPad at $250 from a variety of stores. If you find, say, a 5 percent cashback option at one store and only 2 percent at the others, you’ll pocket $12.50 instead of just $5. Those extra savings add up!

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. It’s available right now on Amazon! It’ll be available not just at Walmart, but also Costco, Target and other stores.
$250.00 at Amazon iPad 2018 review

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


Apple AirPods: $139 (save $20)

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET
Surprisingly, Apple’s highly sought after earbuds dipped as low as $129 during a few pre-Black Friday sales — but the best option for Black Friday proper is at Newegg. One exception: If you purchase a new iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch from US Cellular, you can save $50 on AirPods.
See at Newegg AirPods review

Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm + GPS): $179 (save $100)

César Salza / CNET
The Apple Watch deal to beat is at… Meijer? Yep, the superstore chain will knock $100 off the price of the base Series 3 model, undercutting the likes of Best Buy, Target and Walmart. Don’t want to wait? Concerned you’ll miss the deal? Macy’s is currently selling the Series for $199 — an excellent price by any standard.
See at Meijer AirPods 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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