This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.
While Black Friday officially falls on Nov. 27 this year, plenty of stores are getting a head start and offering up savings long before you even think about popping the turkey in the oven. That means you can score some great deals on Apple products, including the Apple Watch SE, the 2020 (Intel) MacBook Air and Apple’s signature AirPods Pro — some of the best wireless earbuds out there.
Interestingly, we’re now seeing discounts on Apple products that generally meet or exceed the discounts we saw last month during Prime Day. Below, we’ll keep track of current prices and how they square up with discounts we’ve seen in the past. It should be noted that Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Newegg are all having competing sales, and they sometimes out-discount Amazon when it comes to Apple products. So long as it’s an authorized Apple retailer — and each of those stores is — we’ll be sure to feature them here, too. For us, the best price always wins.
Black Friday 2020 sales and deals
Vanessa Hand Orellana/CNET
Last weekend saw the first big price cuts on the Apple Watch SE, which was just introduced back in September. Sales at Target and Walmart chopped $50 off the retail price of both sizes, and that was later matched by Amazon. As of Friday morning, the discounts had disappeared. But now, the $49 discount (versus the Apple Store price) is back at Amazon: The 44mm model is back down to $260. The 44mm cellular LTE model is also about $49 off ($310, down from $360).
Weirdly, the 40mm model is only $10 off ($269), but that makes it $9 more expensive than its larger sibling. Read our Apple Watch SE review.
Please note: this is not the brand new MacBook Air that runs on the company’s M1 chip, and becomes available later in November. But that model starts at $999. This one is the March 2020 Intel Core i3 model with the improved Magic Keyboard, and Amazon continues to sell it for $150 off — that meets an all-time low price for this model, and probably the lowest price we’ll see until Black Friday. (You’ll see the full sale price at checkout.)
The eighth-gen iPad features a 10.2-inch display powered by the A12 chip. The 32GB model has a list price of $329, but many retailers sell it for $299, which is also Apple’s education discount price. Read our 10.2-inch iPad preview.
The Powerbeats Pro are superior to the AirPods in sound and battery life — and also feature fast pairing, rock-solid wireless connectivity and always-on Siri voice-recognition for iOS users. This is a very good price for the yellow version. Read our Powerbeats Pro review.
The GPS-only Series 3, which came out in 2017, remains the least expensive model in Apple’s watch portfolio — and, in light of its age and humble feature set, also the most dubious value. With the Apple Watch Series SE currently selling for $260, it’d be hard to recommend buying the Series 3, even at its current sale price. If Amazon drops the price significantly lower — maybe. (The 42mm version is also $20 off.) Read our Apple Watch Series 3 review.
The priciest, fastest and most feature-packed of the bunch, the Series 6 can measure your blood oxygen level and runs on the new S6 processor. Both the red and white 40mm models are currently on sale for $20 off — which is Amazon’s “standard” though intermittent discount on the newest Apple Watch models. Given that the Series 6 is the current top-tier model, and came out just recently in September, it’s quite possible that a $20 discount is the best deal we’ll see in the near term. That noted, Black Friday could bring even lower prices. Read our Apple Watch Series 6 review.
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