While the Apple Stores might be great bastions of incredible architecture, cantilevered mezzanines, and soaring glass panels, they’re not the place to be if you really want to save money on everything you buy.
Apple’s notoriously stingy, but arguably fair, retail prices Almost they never change throughout the year and, if they do, very rarely decrease. Apple doesn’t hold any discounts or sales, with the exception of the Black Friday weekend, and even then it’s only offering gift cards to complement full-price purchases. I should know, because I worked there. The reason for this is that as a customer you would be justifiably annoyed to find that the Mac/iPad/Apple Watch you bought three weeks ago is now 15% cheaper at the same store, the downside is that you will never see one discount in an Apple Store.
Only students enjoy discounts on Apple products through Apple, but even this is far less generous than before, and there are often still better deals to be found elsewhere. Amazon Prime Day is fast approaching and Black Friday will take place later this year, but even aside from these sales events, there are a number of products year-round that you should never buy from Apple Store if you want to save money. Here’s the inside scoop.
Let’s start with Apple tablets, a favorite of creative professionals, students, teachers, kids, and even your grandma. The iPad range is large because there is a tablet for every need and every budget, starting from the cheapest iPad 9, up to the iPad Pro.
Apple iPads have the following prices:
- 9th generation iPad $329
- 10th generation iPad $449
- iPadmini $499
- iPad Air $599
- iPad Pro 11-inch $799
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch $1,099
Even a quick look at the best Prime Day iPad deals will show you that you could save hundreds of dollars by shopping around. For example, the iPad mini is just $399 on Amazon, the 9th generation iPad is just $279, and the iPad Air is $559, though we’ve seen it for less as well. Adding more iPad storage or choosing a cellular model will increase the cost, but it can also lead to even greater savings. Discounts for iPad Pros tend to be less generous, but when you’re spending $1100 on a tablet, even 5% off makes a big difference.
Just like the iPad, the Mac will never see a discount at the Apple Store, but shopping around could save you an incredible amount of money. Here are all the MacBooks currently sold by Apple and their respective prices:
- MacBook Air M1 $999
- MacBook Air M2 13-inch $1,099
- MacBook Air M2 15-inch $1,299
- MacBook Pro 13-inch $1,299
- MacBook Pro 14-inch $1,999
- MacBook Pro 16-inch $2,499
Soon I’ll start sounding like a broken record, but when it comes to MacBooks, minimal shopping effort will save you hundreds, and maybe even thousands of dollars. The $999 MacBook Air M1 is the best value MacBook you can buy, and it’s already $799 before Prime Day, so don’t buy it for anything more. You can also get $100 off the M2 version by heading to B&H Photo if you want the newer model, and even the brand new 15-inch MacBook Air is $50 off if you choose to buy on Amazon instead of Apple, even though it’s been out. for less than a month. Likewise, the older 13-inch Pro is $200 cheaper on Amazon, and don’t even get me started on the 14- and 16-inch models.
Adding more storage and RAM to Apple’s most rugged MacBook Pro would see a 64GB M1 Max 16-inch MacBook Pro come with 4TB of storage cost $4,899but B&H Photo delivers it with $1,600 off, now only $3,299.
That’s the price of a whole iPhone 14 Pro, another MacBook, a Studio Display, an iPad Pro, or 533 McChicken from McDonald’s dollar menu. There’s also $1,400 off a 14-inch model with similar specs. Buying it from Apple would cost $4,099, but B&H sells it for $2,699.
Even Mac desktops enjoy some savings, the M2 Mac mini can be had for $529 instead of Apple’s price of $599, again at the all-mighty B&H Photo. If you want a little more horsepower, the Mac Studio can also be found at discounts of up to $900 depending on the specs.
The only Mac you can safely buy from Apple right now is the iMac M1, which doesn’t really tend to see discounts and is often hard to find outside of fruity physical stores.
We’re expecting new Apple Watch models in September, but that means the current crop is heavily discounted on the web. Apple is selling the 8 Series for $399 despite only 3 months left before it’s replaced. But if you go to Amazon, you can get one for $329 instead. The same goes for the Apple Watch SE, which costs $219 instead of $249, and the Apple Watch Ultra is also discounted from $50 to $749. Adding Cellular to your Watch will save you even more, with Amazon offering a Series 8 + Cellular for $429 instead of the $499 Apple sells it for, making it the best Prime Day Apple Watch deal currently on offer.
You should never buy AirPods from Apple and you definitely should never buy them second hand, because ears. Oh. Apple sells its AirPods as follows:
- AirPods 2 $129
- AirPods 3 $169
- AirPods Pro 2 $249
- AirPods Max $549
Every single model is available for less in the Amazon Prime Day AirPods deals. The most notable savings are a large chunk of the AirPods Max, now just $477. AirPods 2 are available for under a hundred dollars, and Apple’s relatively new AirPods Pro 2 are 20% off, down to just $199.
There are some great accessories for your Apple devices that you can even save a pretty penny on by staying home and just shopping. Both Apple Pencil models, the first and second generation, are discounted by $20 and $40, going to $79 and $89, respectively. Apple’s Magic Keyboard for iPad is also $249 on Amazon instead of $299 on Amazon. Apple. Then there’s the Studio Display, which is $100 cheaper at Amazon than Apple’s price of $1,599. Even AirTags, Apple’s HomePod, and even chargers will always be cheaper beyond Apple’s walls.
Apple’s range of iPhones are the only set of products you can safely purchase at the Apple Store without being stiffed by a discount elsewhere, with one important caveat. Buying an iPhone at the Apple Store makes sense if you want a phone outright or if you want access to Apple’s iPhone upgrade program. However, many carriers offer great deals when you include a cellular plan that you won’t find at Apple, often including the phone for next to nothing or even free! There are quite a few unlocked iPhones available on Amazon, but it’s very difficult to sift through the locked and refurbished ones to get a good deal. The iPhone is the only product I would recommend buying from the Apple Store.
Why should you shop at Apple?
I admit this is a pretty scathing review of Apple’s pricing structures, but there’s a cost-of-living crisis going on and I think most ordinary people just don’t have time to be sentimental about this sort of thing anymore.
There are merits to visiting the Apple Store, it’s a great place to touch any device you’re thinking of buying. It’s also your best bet if you want a product on day one. Sure, other online and high street retailers are selling Apple products on release days, but there probably won’t be any discounts to speak of. However, if price is your only concern, even waiting a week or two can sometimes result in a discount—for example, the new 15-inch MacBook Air was discounted within the first month of its release, and we’ve seen similar all discounts start on M2 iPad Pro and Mac first.
Finally, Apple offers a great setup service for people who need that extra edge with a new device. This last point is especially pertinent if you’re not tech-savvy or if the prospect is a vulnerable person, has certain accessibility needs, or just finds new gadgets that are intimidating. In my experience, Apple will almonst never offer this service to people who bought their products elsewhere, so don’t walk in with a macbook bought from amazon expecting to have your hand held during installation, they’ll probably tell you to bang it. But hey, at least you’ll be several hundred dollars better off.
#work #Apple #Store #buy
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