Appledystopia: Independent Technology News

Price Tracking Shows Disappointing 2022 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Apple Deals

Cyber Monday Splash Screen from iPhone Amazon App

published by Chad Evans
November 28, 2022 at 1:50 p.m.
  • Stores and online retailers are offering weak Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales on Apple products.
  • Our Amazon and Costco price tracking reveal both vendors actually raised some prices for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  • Retailers like B&H Photo don’t have any good deals on Apple products this year.
  • Amazon and Costco list items with the same or higher prices as Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales items.
  • The best deals are on Beats and third-party Apple accessories.

2022 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals Disappoint Apple Fans

We’re supposedly in one of the best shopping seasons of the year, where products are priced as low as they go. But if you’re looking for Apple products on Black Friday or Cyber Monday 2022, you’re bound to be disappointed unless you’re unaware.

Online and brick-and-mortar retailers have been playing little tricks to make it appear like Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are unique bargains. In some cases, prices have actually gone up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

We Track Apple Product Prices at Costco and Amazon

We’ve been consumer advocates since Appledystopia’s founding in 2012. I started this site out of frustration with Apple products during a particularly turbulent time at the company. We’ve seen a lot of ups and downs, but the 2022 shopping season is unique.

Two of our most popular consumer articles track prices of Apple products at Costco and Amazon. We found that both retailers aren’t offering impressive discounts on Apple products this year.

Costco Sells Two-Year-Old iMac at Steep Discount
This iMac is over two years old. It should be even cheaper. Despite the “Cyber Monday Deal” graphic, this has been on sale for a few weeks.

The steepest markdowns are for older Macs with M1 processors. You can get one of these two-year-old machines at a $550 discount. They should be $550 off because, even though they’re brand new, they launched two years ago! If you wait a few more months, they’ll be even cheaper. Macs don’t typically sell out because most people don’t need a computer anymore.

$799.99 13.3" MacBook Air with M1 Processor at Costco

The ultimate loss leader is the 2020 13.3″ MacBook Air with Apple’s M1 processor. It’s $799 at many places, but it has been for some time. I chuckle whenever I see it listed as a Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal because that $799 price has been around for some time.

It may sound impressive, but it’s only a 20% discount on a two-year-old machine. It’s brand new, but Apple launched it two years ago. It will become obsolete sooner than a newer Mac, so it should be inexpensive.

B&H Photo is using its reputation for low prices to sell Apple products at higher prices this year. The $799 MacBook Air is $849 at B&H. It’s $50 cheaper than the Apple Store. They used to be one of my favorite retailers, but in 2022, they’re disappointing.

$499 2018 Intel-Based Mac Mini at B&H Photo
I bought this last year for $529. Now it’s a year older. It will be obsolete in 2-3 years when Apple stops supporting it with major macOS updates. Apple launched this little guy back in 2018! It’s a four-year-old computer, but also brand new.

The $499 Intel-based Mac Mini debuted in 2018. It’s the machine I’m working on right now, and I bought it last year at B&H for $529.

Remember, this Mac Mini model launched four years ago. They should be practically giving it away for free. It’s actually pretty good. I’m running macOS Ventura on it, and it can keep up with me!

Likewise, Costco has steep discounts on 5th generation 12.9″ iPad Pro models. Costco reduced the price on some of these by as much as $500. But these discounts arrived before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Nonetheless, Costco displays a Cyber Monday graphic even though the price has stayed the same for several days.

These older models should cost much less than newer iPad Pro models with the M2 processor, but they don’t. You can get a new M2-powered 12.9″ iPad Pro at Costco for $999. The previous generation model, with an M1 processor, costs $749, but it’s sold out. In fact, most of the 2021 iPads are sold out.

You may be astonished to find second-generation AirPods for “only” $89. More surprisingly, they were only $79 a few days ago. Retailers actually jacked up the price of AirPods and a few other products for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

We were hoping to see better deals on Apple products for Cyber Monday. Instead, we found a few price hikes and lots of out-of-stock items. Indeed, the lack of supply results in a shortage of bargains. Retailers can sell off their Apple products this year without much of a discount.

Does Anyone Have an iPhone 14 Pro or 14 Pro Max?

The worst thing about this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping season is the lack of Apple’s newest and most advanced iPhone. Due to China’s zero-COVID policy, Foxconn had to shut down the largest iPhone factory. Now that the Asian manufacturing powerhouse is embroiled in protest, making iPhones for the rest of the world isn’t a top priority.

iPhone 14 Pro Max on 4-5 Week Backorder at Apple Store
Good luck finding an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max before Christmas. It’s possible, but don’t expect any deals. Last year’s Pro models are also out of stock at most retailers.

If you’re looking for an iPhone 14 Pro or 14 Pro Max, your best move is to go to a Costco warehouse or a cellular carrier’s store. If you order an iPhone 14 Pro or 14 Pro Max from the Apple Store today, it will arrive by December 28, 2022. Consider something else if you’re planning to gift a top-of-the-line iPhone this year.

Depleted Stock of Apple Products

It’s not just the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max that are out of stock. Many older Apple devices are hard to find this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The shortages will only get worse as we approach Christmas.

Macs are a safe bet because fewer people use computers today. We only see very old iMacs and MacBooks selling out. That $799 MacBook Air is vanishing as I type!

After new Apple products debut, such as the Apple Watch or iPad, older models are often sold at a discount. These savings are usually even better on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year is different.

We saw the lowest prices months ago. For example, I bought a brand new 45mm Series 7 Apple Watch for only $300 in September from Walmart. There’s little difference between Series 7 and 8 models. If you can find one today, they’re more expensive. Consumers have bought up most of last year’s cheap Apple Watch models.

This year is different from other Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays. There are few good Apple deals, and rare bargains are selling out fast. Needless to say, if you’re hoping to gift Apple products this year, you better move quickly.

Don’t expect to buy an iPhone 14 Pro or 14 Pro Max this Christmas, either. In fact, most retailers no longer have the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max.

Sneaky Pricing Tricks

One thing we learned by tracking prices on Apple products at Amazon and Costco is that they fluctuate constantly. Amazon changes more than Costco, but they both change prices often.

One particularly sneaky strategy we witnessed was raising prices a few weeks before Black Friday. Costco did this more than Amazon. We saw prices on MacBooks and iPads rise by a few hundred dollars in the weeks before Black Friday. Then they returned to their regular sale price adorned with a Black Friday or Cyber Monday graphic.

It’s a sneaky strategy, but it’s practiced by retailers worldwide. We found that this year, the best deals on Apple products were back in September. There were plenty of Series 7 Apple Watches for around $300. Older iPad Pro and MacBooks were about the same as they are now, but with ample stock.

The $799 M1 MacBook Air is a relatively new discount, surfacing about two weeks ago, but it’s not unique to Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It’s a good deal, but retailers cut prices on this model a few weeks ago. We saw it around this price on Amazon a few times in the fall. We expect this to sell out soon, so if you want a MacBook Air for $799, hurry!

Best Deals on Third-Party Accessories and Beats Earbuds and Headphones

The real Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are on Beats audio products and third-party accessories. Many have been discounted for days or weeks, but some offer more savings today.

Beats Studio Buds for $89.95 at Amazon
This is a great deal. Beats Studio Buds are even better than 3rd generation AirPods but cost as much as 2nd generation AirPods. I prefer Beats to Apple. Apple owns Beats and incorporated a lot of its technology into AirPods.

Since most retailers raised the price of 2nd generation AirPods from $79 to $89, we found a better deal. Beats offers superior wireless earphones made by Apple for the same price. They sound amazing and provide excellent protection against sweat and moisture. First and 2nd generation AirPods are not sweat resistant, making them inappropriate for exercise.

I own a pair of Powerbeats Pro that I purchased at a remarkable discount a few years ago. They sound amazing! Beats are better than AirPods and cost the same this holiday shopping season.

There are good buys if you’re looking for charging stands, Apple Watch bands, cases, and other accessories. Of course, we see the same tricks. Most of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are older discounts.

Retailers put these products on sale days or weeks before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Third-party Apple products may get cheaper, but we don’t expect any of the Cupertino company’s official gear to sell for less this shopping season.

This is as good as it gets. Prices were better a few months ago. We’re truly disappointed with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales on Apple products. This year, you’re lucky if you can find the latest iPhone, regardless of price.

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