Best Prime Day Apple deals: Early iPad, MacBook, and AirPods discounts – Digital Trends

Amazon’s annual Prime Day sales event – one of the biggest online retail days of the year, rivaled only by Black Friday – is less than 4 days away now. Although it’s only been a thing for a few years, other retailers have taken notice of Prime Day’s success, and have even started launching their own sales to compete with Amazon. That’s great news for deal-hungry shoppers, as it provides even more opportunities to snag big-ticket items like Apple products on the cheap. You’ll also be able to find discounts on smartphones, price cuts on Echo devices, and much more.

Although Prime Day 2019 doesn’t kick off until Monday, July 15, there are still plenty of Apple deals to be had ahead of the big event. We’ve already smoked out a few and have rounded them up below, along with a quick and handy guide detailing what you can expect to see come Prime Day and what you should (and shouldn’t) look for. These deals include everything from the Apple Watch to the latest iPads and iPad Pros. We’ll be updating it regularly as Prime Day looms, so be sure to check back frequently before the big sale begins.

Best Apple deals today

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
  • Apple Watch Series 3: The last-generation Apple Watch has been hovering around $200 in recent months following the release of the newer Series 4, and this is a fantastic deal on a superb smartwatch. The Apple Watch Series 3 is on sale from both Walmart and Amazon ahead of Prime Day: The 38mm version rings in at $199 and the 42mm at $229, saving you $80.
  • iPad: The iPad Pro is great, but the standard 2018 iPad is still the best pick for most people, even if you’re not normally an iOS person. We’ve seen this one on sale almost all year for the low price of $249 from Amazon and Walmart ($80 off its normal $330 price tag), which is an incredible value for such a good piece of Apple tech.
  • MacBook: Aside from the less common iMacs, MacBooks are typically the most expensive products in the Apple family. The MacBook Pro can run well north of $2,000 depending on configuration, but the 12-inch MacBook is a solid and considerably more affordable computer for those in the market for a new laptop. Apple just discontinued this model and stock is already disappearing, so this might be your last chance to grab one: A $300 discount brings it down to $1,000 from Best Buy.
  • iPhone 8 (Recertified): Deals on iPhones might be the most elusive of the bunch, and when buying an unlocked model, your best bet is usually to go the refurbished route (hopefully we’ll get some Prime Day deals on new iPhones, but time will tell). These professionally recertified iPhone 8 ($373) and iPhone 8 Plus ($454) smartphones come factory unlocked from Amazon for roughly half the price you’d pay for new ones.
  • iMac: The iMac might not be as popular as the MacBook, but desktops still have their place, and so Apple will crank out these sleek all-in-one computers as long as people are buying them. Even last-gen models are pricey, but B&H and Amazon have the 2017 iMac with a 4K Retina display on sale for $949, giving you a juicy $350 savings.
  • Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: There are a bunch of truly wireless earbuds available now, but the AirPods are still the go-to pick for Apple fans. These second-gen AirPods, now on sale for $180 ($19 off), take wireless convenience even further with their charging case that can be juiced up with either a Qi-enabled charging pad or a Lightning cable. If you don’t care about the wireless charging case, you can save some more money by grabbing the AirPods with wired case for $145.
  • Mac Mini: The Mac Mini is easily the most underrated member of the MacOS family, and it’s a great alternative to buying a new iMac if you already have desktop peripherals (monitor, keyboard, etc.) ready to go. This small machine is a solid value and punches well above its weight when it comes to hardware performance, and both 2018 models are on sale right now: The 128GB version with a quad-core i3 CPU is $750, or you can snag the beefier 256GB model with six-core i5 CPU for $1,025.
  • MacBook Air: Apple surprised some of us when it released a new MacBook Air this year, refreshing its super-slim laptop series. The 2019 Air is a fine middle-of-the-road option between the MacBook and MacBook Pro; in fact, we actually like it even more than the Pro. Amazon and B&H both have the new MacBook Air on sale right now for $200 off, letting you score one of Apple’s latest laptops for $999.

What Apple deals can we expect from Prime Day 2019

Given that Prime Day is up there with Black Friday and Cyber Monday as one of the biggest retail events of the year and that there’s always an ocean of stuff getting marked down, it’s impossible to predict exactly what’s going to go on sale. In the past, Amazon has discounted everything from electronics and video games to clothing and home goods, and we are definitely expecting some good deals on Apple goodies like AirPods and MacBooks.

Amazon typically plays its Prime Day cards close to the vest until the event itself is about to kick off, so there’s no way to be 100% certain what Apple tech is going to receive those juicy discounts. Amazon has been discounting its products all year, so we can expect to see even bigger price cuts on gadgets like the Apple Watch Series 3 and the 2018 iPad.

It’s also likely that Prime Day will feature some tidy savings on the newer stuff, like the Apple Watch Series 4 and 2019 iPad releases (namely the new Air and Mini), that we haven’t yet seen go on sale at deep discounts. Deals on new iPhones are also quite scarce on Amazon, so keep an eye out for a few of those to pop up on Prime Day as well.

What Apple deals should you avoid

It’s easy to get carried away during events like Prime Day and Black Friday, considering that the deals are time-sensitive and often go out of stock even before the sales are officially over. It’s important to be mindful of a few pitfalls, however, so you can avoid wasting money on something that’s not really a great deal. First, you should always be sure to check customer reviews to see if there are any common problems with a particular item (reading our reviews is a great idea too).

Secondly, bear in mind that since other retailers are competing with Prime Day now, you’ll want to scope them out to see if they have the same or even better deals than what Amazon is offering. Finally: Buying refurbished electronics isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but recertified products are available at good discounts year-round and won’t be the highlights of a big sale such as Prime Day. Instead, we recommend you keep your focus on the new stuff if you want a good deal, with one eye on those newer items that don’t go on sale often.

Looking for more great stuff? Find tech deals, Prime Day deals, and much more on our curated deals page.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

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