I've been covering Black Friday deals for over a decade. And this November will mark my 14th year helping shoppers pick the best deals of the holiday season. While every Black Friday shares the same DNA, each year has been different. I've seen the retail holiday morph from a 24-hour event to an all-encompassing monster that stretches from late October to December.
In addition to Black Friday, I also track deals for a living. Want to know the cheapest OLED we've seen in 2021? (It was a $999 Vizio 55-inch 4K OLED TV at Best Buy). What's the lowest price we've ever seen for the MacBook Air M1? (It hit $749 this past summer at Best Buy). I could spit out random deal stats all day, but instead I'm going to talk about the Black Friday promos I'm most excited to see this holiday season. The deals that might even tempt me to hit that buy button.
These are my own predictions and I'm basing them on previous Black Fridays as well as this year's best deals. So pay attention: these are the deals I think you should take advantage of this holiday season.
Black Friday Apple predictions
Black Friday is the best time of year for Apple discounts. Amazon and Best Buy tend to offer the best Apple deals. (Best Buy sometimes edges out Amazon because they'll offer the same price and bundle it with a free Apple service, such as 6 months of free Apple Music). One thing to keep in mind: Avoid the Apple Store Black Friday sale. Retailers will offer better prices than Apple's faux holiday sale.
MacBook Air M1: The Editor's Choice MacBook Air dropped to an all-time price low of $749 this past summer. However, it was an exclusive students-only deal at Best Buy. (Non-students paid $849). Amazon didn't match Best Buy's epic price, but they did drop the base model to $849. Sadly, I don't think we'll see that $749 price point again. That said, I do think the base model will crash to $799 at both Best Buy and Amazon. This time, the deal likely will not require a valid edu e-mail.
iPhone 13: The iPhone 13 isn't even official yet, but I can tell you that carriers will offer the base iPhone 13 for free this holiday season. You'll have to jump through the usual hoops (trade-in your old phone and/or sign up for an unlimited plan), but you can expect to see freebie deals at all three major carriers: Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. These deals will be available for a limited time (i.e. a few days only). Meanwhile, iPhone 12 deals will plummet to the point where you'll be able to get it for free throughout most of the holiday season.
Apple Watch: I've been giving Apple Watch deals extra special attention because I wouldn't mind upgrading my Series 4 if the right deal comes along. So far in 2021, the Apple Watch 6 has dropped to an all-time low of $249 (normally $399), whereas the Apple Watch SE has hit $239 (normally $279). If Apple releases an Apple Watch 7, we'll likely see these same prices on the current-gen models. (I don't envision them dropping further). However, the good news is we'll likely see the new Apple Watch 7 on sale for $329 (assuming Apple keeps the price at $399 for the base 40/mm GPS model).
AirPods: $89 AirPods anyone? Last year the AirPods dropped to $99 on Cyber Monday. It's likely they could hit $89 this year (or less via an epic Woot deal). They already hit $99 this past Labor Day. Meanwhile, the AirPods Pro hit $169 last holiday season. They were on sale for $179 on Labor Day, so they could hit $159 or $149 this holiday season. Any new AirPods 3 that may come out this year will likely see modest discounts of $20 to $30 off.
iPads: The current-gen 10.2-inch iPad hit $259 last holiday season. However, it's been sold out for the past few weeks, which means a replacement could be on the horizon. Should we see a new iPad, it's likely that iPad will get a $30 to $50 price cut over the holiday season. (Amazon tends to have the best iPad deals). The new M1 iPad Pros will continue to see the $50 to $100 price cuts they've seen most of the summer. Meanwhile, the iPad Air — which has hit a low of $499 multiple times this year — could drop to $389.
Black Friday 4K TV predictions
TV deals are the meat and potatoes of every Black Friday sale. While you can find good TV sales any time of the year, the cheapest ones are reserved for November and December. Here's how I think TV deals will go down:
55-inch 4K TVs: Last year, Best Buy offered the best TV sales of the season. I think they the retailer will hold on to that title once again. (Although Walmart and Amazon won't be far behind).
At the start of the holiday season, Best Buy offered a TCL 55-inch 4K TV for just $199. It's a price I haven't seen so far this year, which leads me to think that 55-inch TVs won't get cheaper than that during the holiday season. Also noteworthy is that Walmart had an Onn 50-inch Roku 4K TV on sale for $128. Onn is an off-brand and Walmart's own line of TVs. (Similar to how Insignia is Best Buy's house brand).
I predict that this year Fire TVs will be the TVs that see the biggest price drops. Amazon just unveiled a new line of Omni and 4-Series Fire TVs, which could mean the current line of Fire TVs are ready to head to the price cutting chopping block.
OLED TVs: If you're looking for a premium TV, I think we'll see Vizio's 55-inch 4K OLED for $899 once again this year. LG's budget OLEDs may hit $999 as well, but I don't see prices dropping lower than $899 for a 55-inch OLED TV. That said, Best Buy offered the best OLED TV deals last year and I expect them to be the king of deals again this year.
Black Friday home and kitchen predictions
Mattresses: November is the absolute best month for mattress promos. Black Friday mattress deals offer prices that beat every holiday of the year by a landslide. Our favorite mattress sale from last year knocked $300 to $400 off the Editor's Choice Nectar Memory Foam mattress. After discount, the twin sold for $374, whereas the queen sold for $599. (An epic price for such a great mattress).
One big footnote on that deal — it wasn't really their Black Friday deal. Instead, it was a flash sale that knocked 25% off sitewide. It happened on November 1, which means keep your eyes peeled for similar flash sales this year. Other brands like Casper and Tuft & Needle offered discounts that took 15% off sitewide.
Kitchen appliances: From Ninja to KitchenAid, expect to see discounts on small and large kitchen appliances this holiday season. On the coffee front, Nespresso Black Friday deals dropped to $99 last year (50% off). Meanwhile, Keurig Black Friday deals hit a low of $79 for their budget K-Slim Coffee Maker. This past Prime Day, that same Keurig machine hit $49, which is the new low we think we'll see on Black Friday.
Other brands that usually see big price drops on Black Friday include KitchenAid (50% off) and Instant Pot. The latter will see devices as low as $59.
PS5 and Xbox Series X Black Friday predictions
PS5: Unfortunately, buying a PS5 is going to be near-impossible this holiday season. So my advice is to hunker down and try to score one during a PS5 restock event before the holiday rush. Sure, we'll see PS5 deals on games and accessories, but the consoles themselves will be hard to find. I wouldn't be surprised if at least one store makes shoppers line up in the morning for a chance to buy it. To avoid all that, make sure to bookmark our PS5 restock tracker for the latest updates on when to buy the PS5.
Xbox Series X: Buying an Xbox Series X is slightly easier than buying a PS5 these days. Xbox restocks are not as common, but when the console does come into stock, it tends to linger for a few hours. (Although, that's not always guaranteed). Nevertheless, we still recommend you get your Xbox now before the holiday rush. Make sure to follow our Xbox Series X restock guide for the latest updates.
Nintendo Switch OLED: It doesn't take a soothsayer to predict that the new Nintendo Switch OLED will be hard to find this holiday season. The $349 console is set to launch on October 8. Make sure to follow our where to buy Nintendo Switch OLED guide for updates on when the next preorder occurs. I don't foresee any console getting a price cut this holiday season, but you may see a few bundle deals wherein you'll get a free game, carrying pack or accessory.
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