There are plenty of good reasons to go to the Apple Store to buy your next Mac, iPhone, or iPad--just don't do it during your Black Friday shopping spree.
Apple on Monday released its "Shopping Event" offer for Black Friday 2019. The offer is available at its retail and online stores through Cyber Monday. But don't be surprised if you scoff when you see it.
On a special shopping page, Apple said that between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, customers will be able to "get an Apple Store Gift Card of up to $200 on select products."
That's right. You read that correctly. When you buy certain, still unidentified products, at Apple stores between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you'll get a gift card of some amount that, in certain, specific circumstances, could amount to $200.
Oddly, Apple isn't sharing yet the key details on its offer. So, we still don't know which products will qualify for $200 gift cards and which won't. We also don't know if there are any major quirks to the deal that we should be aware of.
But if nothing else, it's a poor showing from Apple this holiday season. The company sells some of the most highly sought after products on the market, and people are undoubtedly looking to get their hands on at least some of them this weekend.
That said, consumers shouldn't even consider going to the Apple Store this holiday season.
Unfortunately, Apple's shopping deal isn't much of a deal compared to what shoppers can get elsewhere. From deals on iPhones to Macs to iPads, there are plenty of better choices for finding real sales on Apple's products.
Best Buy, for instance, is offering a slew of deals on Apple products. Want an iPhone 11 Pro? You can save up to $500 at Best Buy. The retailer is also offering $300 savings on Apple Watch and hundreds more on Macs.
If it's Amazon or Walmart you prefer, you can find similarly big discounts on Apple products. With hundreds of dollars in savings at both places, you should be able to save a few bucks this holiday shopping period.
But you won't necessarily save much of anything at Apple's stores. And that, of course, raises the question of why.
Truth be told, Apple probably doesn't need to deliver big sales. The company's stores are jam-packed with consumers at all times of the year, each ready and willing to pay full price for Apple gear. And as a company that makes more per square foot than the vast majority of other retailers, dropping the price on its products does little to help it, even during a busy holiday shopping season.
Like it or not, Apple doesn't need any help attracting shoppers. In its own way, it's entered the rare place in retail, where it can do what it wants, when it wants, and still attract shoppers.
So, if you're planning to go to the Apple Store this holiday weekend, don't expect deals. But ironically, you should expect crowds.