Welcome to our weekend Apple Breakfast column, which includes all of the Apple news you missed this week in a handy bite-sized roundup. We call it Apple Breakfast because we think it goes great with a morning cup of coffee or tea, but it’s cool if you want to give it a read during lunch or dinner hours too.
Deal with it
There’s always a stark contrast between the standard of “deals” that Apple offers for Black Friday, and those available from third-party retailers on the same products. But after battling though yesterday’s deals bonanza, I can report that the gap has been particularly vast this year.
On Apple’s end, economic gloom and the pleas of a certain Macworld columnist were not enough to persuade the company to actually discount its products. Instead, as usual, it is giving away gift cards (to be spent on a second item) with selected purchases–and several products were surprisingly excluded. (If you plan to buy more than one Apple device, mind you, this may still work out as the best option for some products. See Apple’s website for the offers, and do the math carefully.)
Meanwhile, the hundreds of companies that merely sell Apple’s products have managed to pull some excellent deals out of the bag. Costco has been selling the 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro for $900 (that’s $400 off the original MSRP and $300 off Costco’s normal price) and may still be now if you move fast. While it’s sold out now, Amazon knocked a whopping $99 off last year’s Apple TV 4K, while Walmart wiped $130 off the first-gen Apple Watch SE. And it’s a particularly good year for Mac sales: KRCS smashed all comers with its range of deals in the U.K., and Amazon and others slashed $200 off the M1 Air and $500 off the M1 Pro MacBook Pros. And every AirPods model is on sale—even the newest AirPods Pro, which has barely been on shelves for two months.
Of course, it’s hard to know why exactly the Apple deals have been all-around better than previous years, but we can look at some factors as the likely reasons. One is the reactive approach taken by so many businesses at times of heavy digital footfall: it only takes a couple of sellers to drop their prices and others will try to outdo them and snatch the top spot in those crucial price-comparison widgets. Another is the improvement in supply-chain health compared to 2021, as well as the relative lack of recent Mac and iPad updates to drive undiscounted sales. Maybe a few businesses calculated that inflation and spiraling costs of living would discourage customers from making purchases unless prodded by substantial discounts. It’s something of a perfect storm of factors that is leading to all-time-low prices across nearly everything Apple sells.
And the good news is that the deals season isn’t finished. The sales are still going strong and will continue to do so through Cyber Monday (November 28) and beyond. And you can check out the most unmissable offers by perusing our guide to the best Apple deals.
A report has cast doubt on Apple’s claim that iCloud user data is anonymous.
And with that, we’re done for this week. If you’d like to get regular roundups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news stories. See you next Saturday, enjoy the rest of your weekend, and stay Appley.