Apple Black Friday Deals Will Be Gift Cards, Not In
If the example of Apple's Australian store is consistent with what its American store will do, Apple's Black Friday sale will actually only be a gift card promotion. As 9to5 Mac predicted yesterday, the setup at the Apple Store tomorrow will be like its recent Back to School campaign but feature Apple Store cards instead of iTunes cards with purchases. As you can see in the example from the Australian store above, the Apple Store gift cards will vary in amount based on the product purchased. Australia crossed the date line at 8am EST, giving us a glimpse into the sale Apple is launching in the U.S. at midnight PST.
Although the gift cards appear to be worth more than the equivalent discounts at Apple's Black Friday sale last year, ($150 Australian equals $137 US compared to the $100 off last year on a MacBook Pro) the setup does not smack of generosity. Consumers looking for actual sales will go elsewhere, as this roundup from MacRumors shows.
The way the gift card psychology does work aligns with one part of the Black Friday appeal. As we buy holiday gifts for others there is always the temptation to buy things for ourselves. The gift card gives us the promise of buying something for ourselves later while still holding to our immediate non-self-centered agenda for holiday shopping. For Apple of course, the gift cards are the prod for a second cycle of (not-discounted) holiday shopping in December and immediately after.
For those interested in immediate cash money, the table below from that Macrumors roundup gives you a sense of who has the best deals:
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