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The 8 Best Apple Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals 2021: iPhone, AirPods, iPad & More


The best Black Friday 2021 weekend deals on Apple devices

(Update 11/27/21 7:30 pm EST): Black Friday has passed, but the deals roll on. We’ve swept through for changes to price, stock, and additional Black Friday deals still running through the weekend. We’ve also added Apple’s $50 gift card deal for the lower-priced iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, and iPhone SE.


Original post (11/26/21 9:30 am EST): Apple doesn’t typically like to associate itself with the madness of Black Friday, but if you know where to look, you can pick up some helpful discounts on many of the company’s hottest devices. This year, Apple itself is dipping a toe in the deal pool itself by offering Apple Gift Cards with select devices on its own online store. If you go that route, note that Apple says it’ll send the credit to your email address within 24 hours from the time your purchase ships or is available for pickup.

Below are the most worthwhile Apple deals we’re seeing as of this writing.

Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

Our Black Friday Coverage

Apple's AirPods Pro.
Enlarge / Apple’s AirPods Pro.

Apple AirPods Pro for $160 ($205) at Walmart

or receive a $50 Apple Gift Card with purchase of AirPods Pro from Apple OR $170 at Amazon

We’ve recommended the AirPods Pro a number of times in past buying guides. This is one of our favorite audio deals for Black Friday and roughly $30-$40 off the Pro’s usual street price. Either way, the Pro’s noise cancelation and sound pass-through modes are effective at drowning out or letting in the ambiance of your surroundings, and their balanced sound is among the best in the segment.

If you prefer the open-back feel of the eartip-less AirPods, meanwhile, Apple is selling the second- and new third-gen (with noise-canceling) models of those with a $25 digital gift card. Amazon also has the third-gen AirPods for a modest $10 discount, down to $170.

It’s also worth noting that the Studio Buds from Apple subsidiary Beats are on sale for a new low of $100, which is roughly $40 off their street price. This lightweight true wireless pairs shares many (but not all) of the same benefits you’d get from a pair of full-on AirPods, and they work more handily with Android devices, though their noise cancellation isn’t as strong. We gave them mostly positive marks in our review earlier this year.

The Apple Watch SE is the best low-cost alternative to the Series 7.

The Apple Watch SE is the best low-cost alternative to the Series 7.

Apple

Apple Watch SE for $219 ($279) at Amazon, Target, Best Buy

or receive a $50 Apple Gift Card with purchase of Apple Watch SE from Apple

The Apple Watch Series 7 tops our list as the best smartwatch you can buy, but the Apple Watch SE is the next best option. Neither of these is the best fitness tracker available, but they both offer more than 50 different activity-tracking modes, ranging from dancing to e-biking and everything in between. The real draw here is watchOS’s wide app compatibility, which brings most, if not all, popular smartwatch apps right to your wrist. Though it lacks the always-on display and more advanced health features (electrocardiogram (ECG) support, blood oxygen monitoring) of the Series 7, the Apple Watch SE’s GPS, optional LTE, and music storage still makes it a device you can confidently use to leave your phone at home.

This deal brings the best price we’ve seen for the SE outright, while Apple’s gift card deal is effectively $10 off the same discount. Sadly, we’ve yet to see any major deals on the Series 7 as of this writing.

Apple

AirPods Max for $429 ($550) at Amazon

or receive a $75 Apple Gift Card with purchase of AirPods Max from Apple

This is the lowest price we’ve clocked for the impressive Apple AirPods Max and well off their MSRP of $549.

The Max’s best-in-class noise cancelation, full-bodied sound, swanky design, and intuitive controls make them a joy to use. Just note that, like all AirPods, they’re best used with an iPhone or MacBook. Their lack of a dedicated power button can sometimes be annoying as well. We gave a fuller breakdown of the AirPods Max in our best headphone deals roundup.

Samuel Axon

MacBook Air (2020) for $900 ($1000) at Amazon, Best Buy

or receive a $100 Apple Gift Card with purchase of MacBook or Mac Mini

We may get an updated model next year, but the 2020 MacBook Air is perennially lauded for its speedy M1 chip, fantastic battery life, light weight, and thin profile. This deal covers the entry-level configuration with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, so it’s not a workhorse, but it should be alright for more general usage, which is where the Air excels anyway.

Student discounts can often take $100 off, and this deal matches it. Briefly, we saw it dip $50 further to net a total of $150 in your pocket. If Amazon and Best Buy run out of stock, Apple’s $100 Gift Card offer is nice, though only $20-30 lower than the notebook’s typical going rate on Amazon.

A 512 GB SSD MacBook is available for $1100 (normally $1250) if you need more storage.

The Apple iPad Pro.
Enlarge / The Apple iPad Pro.

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 128 GB for $999 ($1100) at Amazon, Best Buy

or receive a $100 Apple Gift Card with purchase of iPad Pro 11-inch or 12.9-inch

The iPad Pro is billed as a laptop replacement by Apple, and although iPadOS’ limitations still make that claim a stretch, the Pro’s speed and storage capacities aren’t too far off from a MacBook. Discounts get $50 deeper for any storage over 256 GB (512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB). Still, the iPad Pro is a luxurious tablet and great complementary devices for work, school, art, or leisure. Some Apple accessories, like Apple Pencils and iPad keyboard covers, are also being offered with up to $50 Apple Gift Cards.

The new Apple TV 4K.
Enlarge / The new Apple TV 4K.

Apple

$50 Apple Gift Card with purchase of Apple TV 4K ($180) or Apple TV HD ($150) from Apple

The Apple TV is far from the best value on the 4K streaming device market, but if money is no object, it supports almost every major streaming service, works with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision HDR content, and has a relatively easy-to-navigate user interface that doesn’t stuff you with as many ads as cheaper streamers. A redesigned remote control has made things much easier, too. Most notably, if you’re in the Apple ecosystem, it’ll fit right in, as it’ll let you easily mirror content from your Mac, iPad, or iPhone to the TV.

The Apple TV is still expensive compared to the latest Google Chromecast—our favorite affordable streaming stick, which is currently on sale for $40—but if you know you’ll use Apple’s $50 gift card, this deal will effectively represent the best price we’ve tracked. Outright discounts on the newest streamer have been rare otherwise.

Apple's AirTag.
Enlarge / Apple’s AirTag.

Samuel Axon

Four-pack of Apple AirTags and $25 Apple Gift Card for $100 ($125) from Apple

For iPhone owners, Apple’s AirTags are the best trackers you can buy to keep tabs on your stuff. Their range is theoretically endless, as its works off of other Apple devices in the area. That doesn’t make them the best for finding something you dropped in the woods, but in areas with multiple Apple devices in relatively close proximity, AirTags are highly effective.

Never let it be said there isn't a range of size options at this point.
Enlarge / Never let it be said there isn’t a range of size options at this point.

Samuel Axon

$50 Apple Gift Card with purchase of iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, or iPhone SE

Fans of smaller and less expensive iPhones can snag a $50 deal on the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone SE. The iPhone 12 also works with this deal, but if you’re actually looking for an iPhone you can use with one hand, then the 12 Mini is just as powerful the iPhone 12—just smaller. It has the same triple cameras, A14 processor, OLED display technology, etc. For $600 (plus a $50 Apple Gift Card), it’s a decent bargain, even with the $700 iPhone 13 Mini on the market.

The iPhone SE is a couple of processor generations behind, which shows particularly in its single-camera design and bigger bezels surrounding the display. But you can still snap enviable daytime photos and it runs smoothly on the 2019 A13 processor (you can expect software updates for another three or four years) making its $400 price tag very attractive, alongside the $50 gift card bonus.


More Black Friday Coverage

 



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