As Black Friday is fast approaching, get your shopping baskets at the ready as there are thousands of savings to look forward to in the biggest shopping event of the year. Plus, the pre-sales have already started, so you don’t even have to wait.
Hailing from America, the mad day of discounts originally began on the day after Thanksgiving, but has since arrived in the UK and now spand the weekend and the following Monday, aka Cyber Monday.
Usually retailers start their pre-sale deals a week ahead of the big day, but this year they have started earlier than ever before. Amazon launched its sale a whole month early and featured Apple products. Keep up to date on the sale with our guide to the best early Amazon deals.
Other retailers who have begun early sales include Very, Currys PC World, John Lewis & Partners, O2, and AO which are all great places to look for Apple deals too. But they’re not the only ones as Boots and Superdrug have also begun early deals.
Tech giant Apple is notorious for its lack of participation in sales and it can often be near impossible to find a discount on it products, especially on Black Friday. Typically, it only offers gift cards with qualifying purchases instead, which we’re predicting for this year too.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t find discounts across some of its most popular products such as iPhones, AirPods, Macbooks and more, you simply need to know where to shop.
We’ve hunted down the deals to expect on Apple products this year, and if you ever needed an excuse to treat yourself, 2020 is the year.
Here's our round-up of the best predicted discounts on everything from headphones to laptops.
Our IndyBest team hand-picks every deal we feature. We may earn some commission from the links in this article, but our selections have been made independently and without bias. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
When is Black Friday?
The annual sale will fall on Friday 27 November, and will run over the weekend until 30 November, which is Cyber Monday.
As usual, we’re expecting the sale to last far longer than just the main weekend though, as the pre-sales have started earlier than ever before. Amazon started its early Black Friday deals a whole month ahead, while Boots, Superdrug, Currys PC World and John Lewis have also followed suit. Keep your eyes peeled for other early sales from big name retailers in our Black Friday guides.
Best early Black Friday Apple deals
Apple MacBook Air (2020) 13 inch: Was £1,399, now £1,249, Very
If you’re an Apple fan, bag this bargain now as the tech giant is known for rarely offering discounts on its products. This MacBook has a retina display, backlit keyboard, touch ID for logins, stereo speaker and promises 11-hours of battery life and 8GB of memory. It’s thin, lightweight and made with a tenth-generation Intel Core i7 processor which claims to make light work of big projects and files.
The Apple macbook pro 16in previously topped our guide to the best high-end laptops for working from home.
Apple AirPods: Apple AirPods with charging case: Was £159, now £124.49, Amazon
Enjoy an impressive 22 per cent off the second generation AirPods in Amazon’s early Black Friday sale. David Phelan, our technology critic, rated these highly in his IndyBest review of the best wireless earbuds, saying: “Apple’s distinctive earbuds have been massively successful since they first launched and they remain even now some of the very lightest in-ears you can find.
“The design is unchanged since day one, but improved electronics inside mean that you can say, ‘Hey, Siri’ to invoke the virtual assistant without even touching the earbuds,” he added.
He also rated the pro version of the AirPods which are on sale too, down from £249 to £209, but still commended the standard AirPods for their sound quality: “The fit is slightly different from the pro – there’s no silicone ear tip – and there’s no noise-cancelling. Even so, audio quality is very good, as is call quality, which works even if you only use one earbud.”
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max with AirPods: From £38.50 per month with £99 upfront cost, Three
If you’re in the market for a new phone, Three has plenty of offers on contracts like this one, with six months half price at £38.50 a month, that also comes with AirPods, unlimited data, texts and minutes.
It has a 6.7in screen, the biggest screen ever on an iPhone, with a bigger battery and camera than other models. The Independent's technology critic, David Phelan, said in his review: “When it comes to battery life, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is epic, it just goes on and on.
"The 6.7in display looks magnificent and in performance terms, it’s near-identical to the other phones in the range, that is, it’s super-fast whether you’re playing a graphics-intensive game (which looks phenomenal on this big display), streaming video, or just opening emails and launching apps."
Apple Watch Series 3: Was £279, now £199, Very
If you’re keen to improve your fitness and want a piece of tech to help track your progress, add this bargain to your basket.
It monitors your heart rate, measures your sleep and workouts such as swimming, running, cycling and dancing, is swim-proof so you can get it wet and you can also use it take calls, reply to texts, sync your music and listen to podcasts on the go. The Apple Watch series 6 model also previously topped our review of the best smartwatches.
iPhone 12 Mini with AirPods: From £29.50 a month with £29 upfront cost, Three
Enjoy a half price contract for six months with this deal on the brand new iPhone 12 Mini – there’s plenty of extras thrown in too. For just £29.50 a month and an upfront cost of £29, you’ll be getting unlimited data, calls and texts, with a pair of AirPods and a year’s subscription AppleTV+ too.
According to Apple, it’s the world’s smallest and lightest 5G phone. The Independent's technology critic, David Phelan, reviewed the device, and said: “If you don’t want a big phone, because your hands won’t stretch to one or it’ll ruin the line of your suit, or some other reason, the iPhone 12 mini is pretty compelling. It’s also the first iPhone as small as this to feature an OLED screen, with a much higher resolution than the LCD screen of the iPhone 11, for instance.“
He explains that the display is the highest-resolution iPhone screen ever, beating the other iPhone 12 handsets, describing it as “pin-sharp, bright and with great colour fidelity.”
Apple AirPods Pro: Was £249, now £209, Amazon
If you want to upgrade your original AirPods or are just looking to go all out, look to the Pro version, which were awarded the best buy in our review of the best wireless earbuds.
David Phelan, our technology critic, said: “Apple’s deluxe earbuds offer the best noise-cancelling of any in-ear headphones. They fit the ears perfectly, with a near-spherical part nestling in the ear comfortably and securely. Three different sizes of silicone eartips are in the box, so you can choose the right size for a perfect fit.
“To help you out, there’s an eartip fit test screen on the phone which plays a short burst of music and can work out if the fit is good or not. The microphones which help with this test and ensure the noise-cancelling is effective also work well for hands-free phone calls.
“Pairing with an iPhone is incredibly simple: open the earbuds’ case near the phone and it’ll pair automatically. It’s also possible to pair them with other phones, but it’s most seamless with an Apple device.”
Apple iPhone 11: Save up to £288, O2
O2 has launched its “best-ever Black Friday deals” a whole three weeks before the big day. Running from 5 November until 2 December, the retailer has savings on phones, tablets and smartwatches, including on Apple devices. It will also be including a range of refurbished devices in its Black Friday offers for the first time ever.
There’s a £288 saving on O2’s iPhone 11 64GB unlimited data package. With a £60 upfront cost, you’ll get a six month’s subscription to Deliveroo Plus and 20 per cent off AirPods pro with this deal, for just £39.98 a month.
Landing a spot in our review of the best phones of 2020, our technology critic, David Phelan, said: “The iPhone 11 is almost as good as the Pro models. It has spectacular battery life and two of the Pro’s three cameras (it lacks the telephoto). It’s also every bit as powerful as it has the same processor at its heart, so it can do all the standout things from the Pro, such as the fast, effective face recognition.”
iPhone 11: Save £180, Virgin Media
Virgin Media has kicked off its Black Friday sale early, with plenty of offers on broadband and TV packages, as well as on phone contracts. In what the brand claims to be its lowest price ever, you can save £180 on the iPhone 11 when opting for a 36 month contract. For £25 a month and no upfront cost, you can enjoy unlimited texts and minutes and 1GB of data with this 64GB model. For more data, the 8GB package costs just £29 a month, again with no upfront cost. It’s available in three colours.
Apple iPhone SE 2020: Save £200, O2
O2 is offering a £200 saving on the iPhone SE as part of its unlimited data bundle.
With a £50 upfront cost and a monthly bill of £39.84, you’ll get plenty of added extras, including six months of Deliveroo Plus, 12 months of Disney Plus or six months of Audible, and a one-year subscription to Apple TV+.
There are other plans available too, including 1gb and 5gb packages, where you can still save money.
The handset is available in black, blue and red.
The Apple Black Friday deals to expect
The tech giant is known for its lack of participation in sales, unlike its competitors, but it does have a select few offers across the Black Friday weekend.
Last year, it didn’t have any discounts when shopping directly with Apple, however it did give customers gift cards of up to £160 with qualifying purchases, based on how much you spent.
For example, if you bought an iPad Air or mini, HomePod smart speaker, Power Pro wireless earphones, you would be eligible for a complimentary £40 Apple Store gift card, while purchasing either Beats Studio3 wireless headphones, an iPad Pro, you would get an £80 Apple Store gift card.
It’s expected that the tech retailer will offer the same type of deals this year too, however if you’re hoping to get a new laptop, smartphone or home devices, other retailers that stock Apple products will have bigger discounts.
Elsewhere at Currys, the iPhone 11 Pro was originally £1,049 but came down to £999.
Amazon also offered deals on the Apple Watch Series 4, reducing it from £429 to £299.
John Lewis & Partners Black Friday sale offered savings on this Apple 2019 MacBook Pro 13.3", space grey, which was £1,395 but came down to £1,345 and included Apple TV+ free for a year, along with home speaker system Apple HomePod, White, which was reduced from £279 to £229. The now-discontinued iPhone XS also dropped from £1,099 to £849.
How to get the best Apple Black Friday deals
Here at IndyBest, our team will be bringing you all the details you need to know on the offers available, so you can shop smart and tick off your shopping list.
Make sure to check back here for regular updates before the sales kick off and throughout the weekend.
As the best of Apple’s Black Friday offers are often from other tech retailers, so keep checking our other Black Friday guides, as reliable retailers such as John Lewis & Partners, Argos, Amazon and Currys PC World will hav some of the best deals available.
As coronavirus rumbles on and a second lockdown looms, the sales will all move online this year, so get ahead by making your wish lists now to avoid disappointment.
How long will the discounts last?
The sale runs from Black Friday (27 November) through to Cyber Monday (30 November), but as Amazon has set the earliest precedent ever with deals a whole month ahead of the big day, we’re expecting other retailers to follow suit very soon.
Read more on Black Friday 2020
How to get the best Black Friday deals this year – When the sale starts, how to get the best savings, and how to prepare
Best Amazon Black Friday deals – There will be millions of deals, so check in here for our pick of the best
Best Currys PC World Black Friday deals – For everything from TVs to laptops, and kettles to coffee machines
Best John Lewis & Partners Black Friday deals – With great deals on fashion, beauty, tech, kids and homewares it will be a go-to for many
Best Argos Black Friday deals – Covering everything from kids to homewares and fitness to DIY
Best Black Friday tech deals – Whether it’s a new phone contract or noise-cancelling headphones, you’ll find the best deal here
Best Black Friday TV deals – Update your at-home cinema experience without paying full price with our featured deals
Best Black Friday laptop deals – There’s hundreds of pounds to be saved on laptops from big-name brands such as Apple, Microsoft and HP
Best Black Friday gaming deals – Struggling to choose which console to buy, or after a new controller or game? Here's our expert guide
Best Black Friday home appliances deals – Now’s the time to upgrade your vacuum cleaner or coffee machine
Best Black Friday fashion deals – Whether its a pair of boots or a coat, treat yourself to new season essentials
Best Black Friday beauty deals – Stock up on your favourites across make-up, skincare, haircare and fragrance
Best Black Friday kids’ toys deals – Get your Christmas shopping done and dusted, with deals from Disney, Lego, Playmobil and more
Best Black Friday mattress deals – Rest easy with big discounts for brands such as Emma, Eve Sleep and Simba
Best Black Friday furniture deals – There's no need to wait until the January sale to get a bargain sofa, wardrobe or armchair
The stores taking part in Black Friday – Our predictions based on last year, which we’ll be updating as the deals begin