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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.

Here’s a dirty secret about the Apple Store: It’s the worst place to buy Apple products if you want the best deal. Whether it’s Black Friday or any other day. That means you can score some great deals on Apple products, including the new Apple Watch Series 6, the 2020 (Intel) MacBook Air and Apple’s signature AirPods Pro headphones, so long as you check out competing stores — albeit authorized Apple retailers — such as Amazon, Target and Walmart. Below, we’ll keep track of current prices and how they square up with discounts we’ve seen in the past.

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The latest Apple Watch with even more features is now on sale. In addition to an always-on display and ECG, the Series 6 monitors blood oxygen levels (though you shouldn’t expect medical-grade results there). Regularly $399, you save $49 at Target’s Black Friday Sale and Amazon is matching these sale prices on select colors. This is the first time this watch has gone on any sort of sale, so if you’ve been thinking about snapping it up, now is the time. Read our Apple Watch Series 6 review.


Apple’s 10.9-inch iPad Air has 64GB of storage, and it’s a solid device for the price. In fact, it delivers a good chunk of the iPad Pro experience for far less money than that model. $40 off its usual $599 price tag will be a welcome discount for customers seeking its mix of pro-centric features.

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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. The discounts have been coming and going, but the $49 discount (versus the Apple Store price) is back at Amazon for both sizes: the 40mm model is $230, the 44mm model (in silver) is $260. Read our Apple Watch SE review.

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Note this is not the brand-new MacBook Air that runs on the company’s M1 chip, and becomes available later in November. 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. Read our 2020 Intel MacBook Air 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. (The 42mm version is also $20 off.) But that will change on Nov. 25, when this model drops to a new all-time low at Walmart: $119 for the 38mm and $149 for the 42mm version. Read our Apple Watch Series 3 review.

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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. That said, we’re holding out for a return to the $249 price of its 2019 predecessor. Read our 10.2-inch iPad first take.

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