Retailers try to compensate for Apple's lame deals

Faith Merino · November 23, 2012 · Short URL:

Target and Walmart offering gift cards to go along with full-priced Apple products

Black Friday doorbusters in the Apple store now!  There’s no time to waste!

No, not really.

Once again, Apple disappoints with its lame-o “Black Friday” deals, which aren’t really deals, but rather slight (SLIGHT) price reductions that feel less like doorbuster sales and more like King Apple is going to give us peasants the leftovers from his holiday pudding.

By that, of course, I mean that Apple makes some pretty heady margins on its devices, so it’s not like it would take a loss on a real sale of its devices. 

What are these awesome discounts, you ask? 

Behold: you can get an iPod Nano for $138—a savings of $11 off its usual price tag of $149.  An iPod Nano!  Who even buys those things anymore?  I’ll tell you who: grandparents who think they’re getting the latest gadget for their 12-year-old grandkid.  Indeed, Apple only sold 5.3 million iPods last quarter, a decrease of 19% over the same quarter last year.  Compare that to 14 million iPads sold.

And yet…they only shave $11 off the original price.  Why you play games, Apple?  Pretending your iPods are still hot stuff…

If you want to spring for something a little fancier, you can save $41 on an iPad with Retina display—now only $458, rather than $499.  If you don’t have $458 to blow, maybe go to the next best thing: an iPad 2, which is on sale for $368—a savings of $31 off the usual $399 price. 

My God, Apple.  No one is holding a gun to your head and telling you you have to have Black Friday deals.  If you don’t want to offer real discounts on your devices, then don’t! 

Some retailers are actually trying to offer deals on Apple products without reducing Apple’s prices.  Target, for example, is offering the iPhone 4S without a contract for $499.99 plus a $100 Target gift card.  It’s also selling the iPad with Retina display and the iPad 2 for their regular prices, but each comes with a $60 Target gift card.

Walmart is offering a similar deal on the iPad 2, which is being offered for its regular price, but with a $75 Walmart gift card (imagine how many $3 towels and boxes of Cheez-Its you can get for that…).

I think my favorite is Best Buy, though, which is offering the new iPod Touch for $294.99.  It’s normally $299.  The same iPod Touch is on sale in the Apple store for $268, a savings of $31.  


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