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Thursday, November 28, 2013, 07:41 am PT (10:41 am ET)

Apple's Black Friday sale to bring gift cards, not discounts

Customers awaiting word of what Apple would do for Black Friday need wait no longer, as the company's Australian online store has been updated with news that shoppers can collect gift cards, rather than discounts, with their new Mac, iPad, or iPod purchases this year.
Apple Store Black Friday promotion

In Australia — the first of Apple's Black Friday promotions to launch — the company is offering Apple Store gift cards worth up to AU$150 ($135) with Mac desktops and laptops, AU$75 ($68) with iPads, and AU$50 ($46) with iPods. Many accessories also carry the gift card kicker, with most — like the Apple TV — bringing customers an extra AU$25 ($23).

The iPhone is not subject to the gift card program, according to the Australian store, though there is no indication whether or not that policy will carry over to other countries.

The switch in Apple's game-plan is likely designed to help preserve the company's high-profit margins in an increasingly competitive market, but also make existing and upcoming Black Friday deals from its authorized resellers look even sweeter this year.

For instance, MacMall has cut $101 to $200 off some current MacBooks Airs and MacBook Pro Retinas, and up to $550 off some closeout models. Meanwhile, both B&H ($550 off 2012 model) and Amazon ($150 off current model) are running specials on 15-inch MacBook Pro Retinas, each of which can be seen in AppleInsider's Price Guides, a portion of which is below.

B&H, which only charges tax on orders shipped to NY also just knocked $150 off the new 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina 2.4GHz/4GB/128GB ($1,149.00) and 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina 2.0GHz/8GB/256GB ($1,848.99).

For its part, Best Buy just dropped the price of Apple's new entry level 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display by $200 from $1299.00 to $1,099 (Sold out), and knocked $150 off the rest of Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pros with Retina display.

Apple's Black Friday promotion will be available both through their online shop and in brick-and-mortar retail stores. AppleInsider will keep you up to date with the best of this year's holiday sales as they happen.

MacBook Pro
11-inch MacBook Airs
Amazon MacMall B&H Photo & Video OnSale.com Adorama
Discount
11" Air (1.30GHz/4GB/128GB) $948.99 $920.52* $948.99+ $948.99 $78.48
11" Air (1.30GHz/8GB/128GB) n/a on order on order n/a $50.00
11" Air (1.30GHz/4GB/256GB) $1,099.00 $1,166.03* $1,099.00+ $1,099.99 $36.01
11" Air (1.30GHz/8GB/256GB) n/a $1,255.18* on order n/a $43.82
11" Air (1.30GHz/8GB/512GB) n/a on order n/a yet n/a $50.00
11" Air (1.70GHz/4GB/128GB) --- on order on order n/a $50.00
11" Air (1.70GHz/8GB/128GB) n/a on order $1,149.00+ n/a $100.00
11" Air (1.70GHz/8GB/256GB) n/a $1,400.68* $1,449.00+ n/a $48.32
11" Air (1.70GHz/8GB/512GB) n/a on order $1,649.00+ n/a $100.00
MacBook Pro
13-inch MacBook Airs
Amazon MacMall B&H Photo & Video OnSale.com Adorama
Discount
13" Air (1.30GHz/4GB/128GB) $1,048.99 on order $1,048.99+ $1,048.99 $50.01
13" Air (1.30GHz/8GB/128GB) n/a $1,134.89* on order n/a $64.11
13" Air (1.30GHz/4GB/256GB) $1,234.99 $1,197.94* $1,234.99+ $1,234.99 $101.06
13" Air (1.30GHz/8GB/256GB) n/a $1,328.89* $1,349.00+ n/a $70.11
13" Air (1.30GHz/8GB/512GB) n/a on order $1,599.00+ n/a $100.00
13" Air (1.70GHz/4GB/128GB) n/a on order $1,149.00+ n/a $100.00
13" Air (1.70GHz/4GB/256GB) n/a on order on order n/a $50.00
13" Air (1.70GHz/8GB/128GB) n/a on order $1,249.00+ n/a $100.00
13" Air (1.70GHz/8GB/256GB) n/a $1,474.39* $1,549.00+ n/a $74.61
13" Air (1.70GHz/8GB/512GB) n/a $1,765.39* $1,749.00+ n/a $100.00
Show 2012 MacBook Air clearance models            
MacBook Pro
13" and 15" MacBook ...
Amazon MacMall B&H Photo & Video OnSale.com Adorama
Discount
2.5GHz 13" (4GB/500GB HDD) $1,184.99 $1,096.09* $1,129.99+ $1,184.99 $1,118.04! $102.91
2.9GHz 13" (8GB/750GB HDD) $1,299.99 $1,191.59* sold out sold out sold out $307.41
2.3GHz 15" (4GB/500GB HDD) $1,659.99 $1,403.49* sold out sold out sold out $395.51

MacBook Pro
13" MacBook Pros w/ ...
Amazon MacMall B&H Photo & Video OnSale.com Adorama
Discount
2.4GHz 13" (8GB, 128GB) n/a $1,333.74* n/a yet n/a $65.26
2.4GHz 13" (8GB, 256GB) $1,459.99 $1,416.19* $1,459.99+ $82.81
2.4GHz 13" (16GB, 128GB) n/a $1,546.18* n/a yet n/a $52.82
2.4GHz 13" (16GB, 256GB) n/a $1,600.49* $1,699.00+ n/a $98.51
2.6GHz 13" (8GB, 256GB) n/a $1,484.09* $1,599.00+ n/a $114.91
2.6GHz 13" (8GB, 512GB) $1,699.99 on order $1,699.99+ $100.00
2.6GHz 13" (8GB, 1TB) n/a on order n/a yet n/a $50.00
2.6GHz 13" (16GB, 256GB) n/a $1,740.17* n/a yet n/a $58.83
2.6GHz 13" (16GB, 512GB) n/a $1,891.49* $1,999.00+ n/a $107.51
2.6GHz 13" (16GB, 1TB) n/a on order n/a yet n/a $50.00
2.8GHz 13" (8GB, 256GB) n/a on order $1,799.00+ n/a $50.00
2.8GHz 13" (8GB, 512GB) n/a $1,891.49* $1,999.00+ n/a $108.41
2.8GHz 13" (8GB, 1TB) n/a on order $2,499.00+ n/a $50.00
2.8GHz 13" (16GB, 256GB) n/a $1,934.18* $1,999.00+ n/a $64.82
2.8GHz 13" (16GB, 512GB) n/a $2,104.89* $2,179.00+ n/a $94.11
2.8GHz 13" (16GB, 1TB) n/a $2,618.99* $2,699.00+ n/a $80.01
2.6GHz 13" (8GB, 256GB) $1,656.00 sold out sold out sold out n/a $42.01
2.6GHz 13" (8GB, 512GB) sold out sold out sold out n/a n/a $444.01
3.0GHz 13" (8GB, 512GB) n/a $1,551.99* sold out n/a n/a $647.01
15" MacBook Pro with...
Amazon MacMall B&H Photo & Video OnSale.com Adorama
Discount
2.0GHz 15" (8GB, 256GB) $1,884.99 $1,837.17* $1,884.99+ $1,884.99 $161.83
2.0GHz 15" (8GB, 512GB) n/a $2,201.89* n/a n/a $97.11
2.0GHz 15" (8GB, 1TB) n/a on order n/a n/a $50.00
2.0GHz 15" (16GB, 256GB) n/a $2,085.49* $2,199.00+ n/a $113.51
2.0GHz 15" (16GB, 512GB) n/a on order n/a n/a $50.00
2.0GHz 15" (16GB, 1TB) n/a on order n/a n/a $50.00
2.3GHz 15" (8GB, 256GB) n/a on order $2,099.00+ n/a $50.00
2.3GHz 15" (8GB, 512GB) n/a on order n/a n/a $50.00
2.3GHz 15" (8GB, 1TB) n/a on order n/a n/a $50.00
2.3GHz 15" (16GB, 256GB) n/a on order $2,299.00+ n/a $50.00
2.3GHz 15" (16GB, 512GB) $2,489.99 $2,424.03* $2,489.99+ $2,489.99 $174.97
2.3GHz 15" (16GB, 1TB) n/a on order $3,099.00+ n/a $100.00
2.6GHz 15" (8GB, 256GB) n/a on order n/a n/a $50.00
2.6GHz 15" (8GB, 512GB) n/a on order $2,599.00+ n/a $0.00
2.6GHz 15" (16GB, 256GB) n/a $2,395.89* n/a n/a $103.11
2.6GHz 15" (16GB, 512GB) n/a $2,686.89* $2,799.00+ n/a $112.11
2.6GHz 15" (16GB, 1TB) n/a $3,171.89* $3,299.00+ n/a $127.11
2.7GHz 15" (16GB, 512GB) sold out $2,230.99* sold out sold out n/a $568.01
2.8GHz 15" (16GB, 768GB) n/a $2,279.49* sold out sold out $769.51

iMac
iMac
Amazon MacMall B&H Photo & Video OnSale.com Adorama
Discount
21.5" iMac (2.9GHz/8GB/1TB) $1,379.99 on order $1,379.99+ $1,379.99 $119.01
27.0" iMac (2.9GHz/8GB/1TB) $1,679.99 $1,696.83 $1,679.99+ $1,659.99 $139.01
27.0" iMac (3.4GHz/8GB/1TB) $1,869.00 $1,899.99 $1,839.00+ $1,839.99 $1,877.83! $160.00
27.0" (3.1GHz/16GB/1TB Fusion) n/a on order $2,099.00+ n/a n/a $150.00
27.0" (3.5GHz/8GB/1TB/780M) n/a on order on order n/a $50.00
27.0" (3.5GHz/8GB/1TB Fusion/780M) n/a on order $2,349.00+ n/a $50.00
27.0" (3.5GHz/8GB/3TB Fusion) n/a $2,649.00 $2,699.00+ n/a $50.00
27.0" (3.5GHz/16GB/3TB Fusion/775) n/a on order $2,749.00+ n/a n/a $49.01
27.0" (3.5GHz/16GB/3TB Fusion/780) n/a on order on order n/a $150.00
27.0" (3.5GHz/32GB/3TB Fusion/780) n/a on order sold out n/a n/a $150.00
21.5" iMac (2.7GHz/8GB/1TB) $1,099.99 $1,039.99 sold out sold out n/a $259.01
21.5" iMac (2.9GHz/8GB/1TB) $1,249.00 $1,069.99 $1,299.00+ sold out n/a $429.01
27.0" iMac (2.9GHz/8GB/1TB) $1,499.00 $1,299.99 $1,499.00+ n/a n/a $499.01
27.0" iMac (3.2GHz/8GB/1TB) $1,599.95 $1,384.99 sold out n/a n/a $614.01
27.0" iMac (3.4GHz/8GB/1TB) n/a sold out $2,079.00+ n/a n/a $320.00

This is not the first time Apple has chosen to bundle a gift card with purchases during promotions. Recent iterations of the company's yearly back-to-school sale have swapped out the Mac-bundled iPods of old with iTunes gift cards.

Follow all the latest news on Apple-related Black Friday deals here.