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The best Cyber Monday deals on Apple devices – Ars Technica


The best Cyber Monday deals on Apple devices

(Update 11/29/21 6:43 pm EST): With Cyber Monday coming to a close, we’ve made sure our Apple deals are up to date. We’ve added some deals on Apple Pencils, Leather MagSafe cases, and $500 promotion on 2020 MacBook Pros that lack the M1 chip but offer large storage and memory options.


Original post (11/26/21 9:30 am EST): Apple doesn’t typically like to associate itself with the madness of Cyber Week, 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 also dipping a toe in the deal pool 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 Cyber Monday Coverage

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

Apple AirPods Pro for $179 ($205) 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 $20 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. We’ve seen them for as low as $160 in the past few days, but that deal seems to have dried up by now. Apple is also offering a $50 Apple Gift Card, if that’s more your fancy.

If you prefer the open-back feel of the eartip-less AirPods, 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 $90 (with an extra $10 coupon clip), which is roughly $40 off their street price. These lightweight true wireless buds share 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 $220 ($279) at Target (or $279 with a $50 gift card at Apple)

Apple Watch Series 6 for $299 ($340) at Walmart

Apple Watch Series 7 for $379 ($400) at Amazon

The new Apple Watch Series 7 (on sale for $380) tops our list as the best smartwatch you can buy, but the Apple Watch Series 6 is the next best option.

The Series 7 has 2X faster charge times, a QWERTY keyboard for text input, and a bigger screen that allows for three larger font sizes—a potential game changer for those with low vision. The Apple Watch SE further lacks an always-on display and more advanced health features (electrocardiogram (ECG) support, blood oxygen monitoring) of the Series 7 and Series 6, but it does have GPS, optional LTE, and music storage. It’s still a device you can confidently use to leave your phone at home. Apple Watches aren’t necessarily the best fitness trackers available, but there are more than 50 different activity-tracking modes, ranging from dancing to e-biking and everything in between. The main draw of Apple Watches is watchOS’s wide app compatibility, which brings most, if not all, popular smartwatch apps right to your wrist.

This deal price of $220 is the best we’ve seen for the SE to date, but we’re only seeing it for store pick up at Target. That likely won’t change through the end of the day. The Series 6 deal was previously at another retailer and has now hopped to Walmart. Being that the Series 6 is discontinued, we don’t expect stock on this deal to last long. The Series 7 is new, so it’s nice to see any discount on it.

Apple

AirPods Max for $440 ($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 ($1,000) at 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 $1,100 (normally $1,250) if you need more storage.

And a MacBook Pro (2020) 13.3-inch with Touch Bar, Intel Core i5 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD for $1,300 ($1,800) if you need more storage and memory, though overall power gains may be mitigated by the lack of Apple’s M1 processor.

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

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 128 GB for $999 ($1,100) at Amazon

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 256GB (512GB, 1TB, 2TB). Still, the iPad Pro is a luxurious tablet and great complementary device 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.



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