AppleInsider proudly offers readers some of the best deals on Apple products year round from top retailers like Amazon, Adorama,
B&H Photo, Best Buy, and others.
Quiller Media maintains affiliate partnerships with several of these retailers. Although these partnerships
do not influence our editorial content, Quiller Media may earn commissions for products
purchased via affiliate links.
Best early Apple Black Friday deals
From AirPods Pro to ultraportable MacBook Air laptops, there are a variety of Apple products that will be hot ticket items this holiday shopping season. We’ve rounded up the best early Apple Black Friday deals, savings you hundreds without having to watch the clock or wait in line during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Find cash discounts on nearly every Apple product, with special coupon deals on CTO models available in our Apple Price Guide.
As always, stay tuned to AppleInsider for the best deals and lowest prices on your favorite Macs, iPads, AirPods, Apple Watches, and accessories leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019.
Early iPad Black Friday deals
Shoppers can take advantage of price cuts on current iPad and iPad Pro models this November, with some of the lowest prices seen this year. From $30 off the new 10.2-inch iPad to $250 off a spacious 11-inch iPad Pro, Apple’s line of tablets are on sale now leading up to Black Friday.
2018 9.7-inch iPad clearance deals
11-inch iPad Pro savings
11″ iPad Pro (64GB, Wi-Fi): $649.99 @ Amazon ($150 off)– Sold out
- 11″ iPad Pro (64GB, Wi-Fi + Cellular): $799.99 @ Amazon ($150 off)
11″ iPad Pro (256GB, Wi-Fi): $799.99 @ Amazon ($150 off)– Sold out
- 11″ iPad Pro (256GB, Wi-Fi + Cellular): $949.99 @ Amazon ($150 off)
- 11″ iPad Pro (512GB, Wi-Fi): $999.99 @ Amazon ($150 off)
- 11″ iPad Pro (512GB, Wi-Fi + Cellular): $1,149.99 @ Amazon ($150 off)
- 11″ iPad Pro (1TB, Wi-Fi): $1,099.99 @ Amazon ($250 off)
11″ iPad Pro (1TB, Wi-Fi + Cellular): $1,349.99 @ Amazon ($250 off)
Deals on even more models…
12.9-inch iPad Pro deals
- 2018 12.9″ iPad Pro (64GB, Wi-Fi): $849.99 @ Amazon ($150 off)
- 2018 12.9″ iPad Pro (64GB, Wi-Fi): $949.99 @ Amazon ($200 off)
- 2018 12.9″ iPad Pro (256GB, Wi-Fi): $949.99 @ Amazon ($200 off)
- 2018 12.9″ iPad Pro (256GB, Wi-Fi + Cellular): $1,099.99 @ Amazon ($200 off)
- 2018 12.9″ iPad Pro (512GB, Wi-Fi): $1,149.99 @ Amazon ($200 off)
- 2018 12.9″ iPad Pro (512GB, Wi-Fi + Cellular): $1,299.99 @ Amazon ($200 off)
2018 12.9″ iPad Pro (1TB, Wi-Fi): $1,349.99 @ Best Buy ($200 off)
Plus many more 12.9-inch iPad Pro deals…
Apple Pencil savings
Early Apple AirPods Black Friday deals
AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro earphones are likely to be a hot item heading into Black Friday —but instead of risking lengthy backordered ship dates, shoppers can purchase the popular earphones with these early Apple AirPods Black Friday discounts.
2019 AirPods on sale
Early Apple Watch Black Friday deals
With the release of the Apple Watch 5 in September, the newest iteration of Apple’s popular fitness tracker + timepiece is going to be a popular gift during the 2019 holiday season. Featuring an Always-On Retina display and built-in compass, the Apple Watch Series 5 is equipped with a variety of features to keep people active and alert. Retailers are already issuing markdowns on the new gadget ahead of Black Friday, with current discounts of up to $50 off.
Meanwhile, those willing to opt for the previous-generation model can save even more on Apple Watch Series 4 devices, with cash markdowns of up to $150 off. And for the lowest price period, shoppers can grab an Apple Watch Series 3 for just $189 on Amazon right now.
Check out even more savings in our Apple Watch Price Guide.
Apple Watch Series 5 deals (GPS Only)
Apple Watch Series 5 deals (GPS + Cellular)
Apple Watch Series 3 $189
Apple Watch Series 4 markdowns
Early Apple TV Black Friday deals
Now that Apple TV Plus is here, there’s a variety of new content to enjoy on the Apple TV. Both Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K models are on sale right now, with new hardware qualifying for a free 1-year trial of the streaming service on top of instant discounts. This puts an Apple TV in your hands before Black Friday, so family and friends can enjoy Thanksgiving football games or binge watch Apple’s new shows over the holiday weekend.
Apple TV deals
Early iMac, MacBook Black Friday deals
Closeout bargains on iMac and MacBook Pro hardware are also in effect as the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend approaches. Holiday shoppers can save up to $700 on desktop Mac hardware, with MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops also drastically reduced. Remaining 12-inch MacBooks are $400 off as well.
12-inch MacBook deals
MacBook Air deals
13-inch MacBook Pro deals
- 2019 13″ MacBook Pro (1.4GHz, 8GB, 128GB): $1,099.99 @ Amazon ($200 off)
- 2019 13″ MacBook Pro (1.4GHz, 8GB, 256GB): $1,299.99 @ Amazon ($200 off)
- 2019 13″ MacBook Pro (1.4GHz, 16GB, 256GB) Gray: $1,599.99 ($100 off)
- 2019 13″ MacBook Pro (2.4GHz, 8GB, 256GB): $1,499.99 @ Amazon ($300 off)
- 2019 13″ MacBook Pro (2.4GHz, 8GB, 512GB): $1,699.99 ($300 off)
2019 13″ MacBook Pro (2.8GHz, 16GB, 512GB) Silver: $2,299.99 ($200 off)
Plus dozens more coupon deals in our Price Guide…
15-inch MacBook Pros
- 2019 15″ MacBook Pro (2.6GHz, 16GB, 256GB, Radeon Pro 555X): $2,199.99 ($200 off)
- 2019 15″ MacBook Pro (2.6GHz, 16GB, 2TB, Radeon Pro 555X) Gray: $2,899 ($300 off)
- 2019 15″ MacBook Pro (2.6GHz, 32GB, 512GB, Radeon Pro 555X) Gray: $2,699 ($300 off)
- 2019 15″ MacBook Pro (2.3GHz, 16GB, 512GB, Radeon Pro 560X): $2,569 ($230 off)
- 2019 15″ MacBook Pro (2.3GHz, 32GB, 512GB, Vega 20) Gray: $3,249 ($300 off)
- 2019 13″ MacBook Pro (2.3GHz, 32GB, 1TB, Vega 20) Gray: $3,399 ($350 off)
- 2019 15″ MacBook Pro (2.4GHz, 16GB, 1TB, Vega 20): $3,149 ($400 off)
2019 15″ MacBook Pro (2.4GHz, 32GB, 1TB, Vega 20) Silver: $3,599 ($350 off)
Find 100+ more coupon deals in our Price Guide…
- 2017 21.5″ iMac 4K (3.4GHz, 8GB, 1TB FUS, Radeon 560): $1,049 ($450 off)
- 2017 27″ iMac 5K (3.5GHz, 8GB, 1TB FUS, Radeon 575): $1,349 ($650 off)
2017 27″ iMac 5K (3.8GHz, 8GB, 2TB FUS, Radeon 580): $1,599 ($700 off)
Find hundreds more iMac deals in our Price Guide…
Apple iPhones are also discounted as Black Friday nears, with markdowns on current and closeout models.
Refurbished iPhone deals
iPhone 11 deals
- eBay: iPhone 11 devices starting at $669.
- AT&T Wireless: Get up to $700 in bill credits with trade-in on a qualifying smartphone. Port-in and new line required. $500 in bill credits when you add a line without a port-in. Unlimited plan required.
- Verizon Wireless: Switch to Verizon Wireless and get up to $700 with trade on Unlimited plan, plus free Echo Dot and Amazon Smart Plug.
- Sprint: Lease the new iPhone 11 for just $11 per month. Or Lease an iPhone 11, 11 Pro or 11 Pro Max and get a second iPhone 11 on Sprint via bill credits. See site for T&C.
- T-Mobile: Get $580 off Apple’s iPhone 11 when you switch and trade in an eligible iPhone.
- Walmart: Save up to $100 on the iPhone 11. Offer valid only on purchase with installment plan.
- Visible: Get up to a $200 Prepaid Mastercard Virtual Account when you buy an iPhone 11 and bring your phone number to Visible. Plus get 0% financing, no money down, no upgrade fees, and free overnight shipping for well-qualified customers.
Additional Apple Deals
AppleInsider and Apple authorized resellers are also running additional exclusive savings this month on Apple hardware that will not only deliver the lowest prices on many of the items, but also throw in discounts on AppleCare, software and more. These deals are as follows:
How the Dumb Design of a WWII Plane Led to the Macintosh
The B-17 Flying Fortress rolled off the drawing board and onto the runway in a mere 12 months, just in time to become the fearsome workhorse of the US Air Force during World War II. Its astounding toughness made pilots adore it: The B-17 could roar through angry squalls of shrapnel and bullets, emerging pockmarked…
The B-17 Flying Fortress rolled off the drawing board and onto the runway in a mere 12 months, just in time to become the fearsome workhorse of the US Air Force during World War II. Its astounding toughness made pilots adore it: The B-17 could roar through angry squalls of shrapnel and bullets, emerging pockmarked but still airworthy. It was a symbol of American ingenuity, held aloft by four engines, bristling with a dozen machine guns.
Imagine being a pilot of that mighty plane. You know your primary enemy—the Germans and Japanese in your gunsights. But you have another enemy that you can’t see, and it strikes at the most baffling times. Say you’re easing in for another routine landing. You reach down to deploy your landing gear. Suddenly, you hear the scream of metal tearing into the tarmac. You’re rag-dolling around the cockpit while your plane skitters across the runway. A thought flickers across your mind about the gunners below and the other crew: “Whatever has happened to them now, it’s my fault.” When your plane finally lurches to a halt, you wonder to yourself: “How on earth did my plane just crash when everything was going fine? What have I done?”
For all the triumph of America’s new planes and tanks during World War II, a silent reaper stalked the battlefield: accidental deaths and mysterious crashes that no amount of training ever seemed to fix. And it wasn’t until the end of the war that the Air Force finally resolved to figure out what had happened.
To do that, the Air Force called upon a young psychologist at the Aero Medical Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. Paul Fitts was a handsome man with a soft Tennessee drawl, analytically minded but with a shiny wave of Brylcreemed hair, Elvis-like, which projected a certain suave nonconformity. Decades later, he’d become known as one of the Air Force’s great minds, the person tasked with hardest, weirdest problems—such as figuring out why people saw UFOs.
For now though, he was still trying to make his name with a newly minted PhD in experimental psychology. Having an advanced degree in psychology was still a novelty; with that novelty came a certain authority. Fitts was supposed to know how people think. But his true talent is to realize that he doesn’t.
When the thousands of reports about plane crashes landed on Fitts’s desk, he could have easily looked at them and concluded that they were all the pilot’s fault—that these fools should have never been flying at all. That conclusion would have been in keeping with the times. The original incident reports themselves would typically say “pilot error,” and for decades no more explanation was needed. This was, in fact, the cutting edge of psychology at the time. Because so many new draftees were flooding into the armed forces, psychologists had begun to devise aptitude tests that would find the perfect job for every soldier. If a plane crashed, the prevailing assumption was: That person should not have been flying the plane. Or perhaps they should have simply been better trained. It was their fault.
But as Fitts pored over the Air Force’s crash data, he realized that if “accident prone” pilots really were the cause, there would be randomness in what went wrong in the cockpit. These kinds of people would get hung on anything they operated. It was in their nature to take risks, to let their minds wander while landing a plane. But Fitts didn’t see noise; he saw a pattern. And when he went to talk to the people involved about what actually happened, they told of how confused and terrified they’d been, how little they understood in the seconds when death seemed certain.
The examples slid back and forth on a scale of tragedy to tragicomic: pilots who slammed their planes into the ground after misreading a dial; pilots who fell from the sky never knowing which direction was up; the pilots of B-17s who came in for smooth landings and yet somehow never deployed their landing gear. And others still, who got trapped in a maze of absurdity, like the one who, having jumped into a brand-new plane during a bombing raid by the Japanese, found the instruments completely rearranged. Sweaty with stress, unable to think of anything else to do, he simply ran the plane up and down the runway until the attack ended.
Fitts’ data showed that during one 22-month period of the war, the Air Force reported an astounding 457 crashes just like the one in which our imaginary pilot hit the runway thinking everything was fine. But the culprit was maddeningly obvious for anyone with the patience to look. Fitts’ colleague Alfonse Chapanis did the looking. When he started investigating the airplanes themselves, talking to people about them, sitting in the cockpits, he also didn’t see evidence of poor training. He saw, instead, the impossibility of flying these planes at all. Instead of “pilot error,” he saw what he called, for the first time, “designer error.”
The reason why all those pilots were crashing when their B-17s were easing into a landing was that the flaps and landing gear controls looked exactly the same. The pilots were simply reaching for the landing gear, thinking they were ready to land. And instead, they were pulling the wing flaps, slowing their descent, and driving their planes into the ground with the landing gear still tucked in. Chapanis came up with an ingenious solution: He created a system of distinctively shaped knobs and levers that made it easy to distinguish all the controls of the plane merely by feel, so that there’s no chance of confusion even if you’re flying in the dark.
By law, that ingenious bit of design—known as shape coding—still governs landing gear and wing flaps in every airplane today. And the underlying idea is all around you: It’s why the buttons on your videogame controller are differently shaped, with subtle texture differences so you can tell which is which. It’s why the dials and knobs in your car are all slightly different, depending on what they do. And it’s the reason your virtual buttons on your smartphone adhere to a pattern language.
But Chapanis and Fitts were proposing something deeper than a solution for airplane crashes. Faced with the prospect of soldiers losing their lives to poorly designed machinery, they invented a new paradigm for viewing human behavior. That paradigm lies behind the user-friendly world that we live in every day. They realized that it was absurd to train people to operate a machine and assume they would act perfectly under perfect conditions.
Instead, designing better machines meant figuring how people acted without thinking, in the fog of everyday life, which might never be perfect. You couldn’t assume humans to be perfectly rational sponges for training. You had to take them as they were: distracted, confused, irrational under duress. Only by imagining them at their most limited could you design machines that wouldn’t fail them.
This new paradigm took root slowly at first. But by 1984—four decades after Chapanis and Fitts conducted their first studies—Apple was touting a computer for the rest of us in one of its first print ads for the Macintosh: “On a particularly bright day in Cupertino, California, some particularly bright engineers had a particularly bright idea: Since computers are so smart, wouldn’t it make sense to teach computers about people, instead of teaching people about computers? So it was that those very engineers worked long days and nights and a few legal holidays, teaching silicon chips all about people. How they make mistakes and change their minds. How they refer to file folders and save old phone numbers. How they labor for their livelihoods, and doodle in their spare time.” (Emphasis mine.) And that easy-to-digest language molded the smartphones and seamless technology we live with today.
Along the long and winding path to a user-friendly world, Fitts and Chapanis laid the most important brick. They realized that as much as humans might learn, they would always be prone to err—and they inevitably brought presuppositions about how things should work to everything they used. This wasn’t something you could teach of existence. In some sense, our limitations and preconceptions are what it means to be human—and only by understanding those presumptions could you design a better world.
Today, this paradigm shift has produced trillions in economic value. We now presume that apps that reorder the entire economy should require no instruction manual at all; some of the most advanced computers ever made now come with only cursory instructions that say little more than “turn it on.” This is one of the great achievements of the last century of technological progress, with a place right alongside GPS, Arpanet, and the personal computer itself.
It’s also an achievement that remains unappreciated because we assume this is the way things should be. But with the assumption that even new technologies need absolutely no explaining comes a dark side: When new gadgets make assumptions about how we behave, they force unseen choices upon us. They don’t merely defer to our desires. They shape them.
User friendliness is simply the fit between the objects around us and the ways we behave. So while we might think that the user-friendly world is one of making user-friendly things, the bigger truth is that design doesn’t rely on artifacts; it relies on our patterns. The truest material for making new things isn’t aluminum or carbon fiber. It’s behavior. And today, our behavior is being shaped and molded in ways both magical and mystifying, precisely because it happens so seamlessly.
I got a taste of this seductive, user-friendly magic recently, when I went to Miami to tour a full-scale replica of Carnival Cruise’s so-called Ocean Medallion experience. I began my tour in a fake living room, with two of the best-looking project staffers pretending to be husband and wife, showing me how the whole thing was supposed to go.
Using the app, you could reserve all your activities way before you boarded the ship. And once on board, all you needed was to carry was a disk the size of a quarter; using that, any one of the 4,000 touchscreens on the ship could beam you personalized information, such which way you needed to go for your next reservation. The experience recalled not just scenes from Her and Minority Report, but computer-science manifestos from the late 1980s that imagined a suite of gadgets that would adapt to who you are, morphing to your needs in the moment.
Behind the curtains, in the makeshift workspace, a giant whiteboard wall was covered with a sprawling map of all the inputs that flow into some 100 different algorithms that crunch every bit of a passenger’s preference behavior to create something called the “Personal Genome.” If Jessica from Dayton wanted sunscreen and a mai tai, she could order them on her phone, and a steward would deliver them in person, anywhere across the sprawling ship.
The server would greet Jessica by name, and maybe ask if she was excited about her kitesurfing lesson. Over dinner, if Jessica wanted to plan an excursion with friends, she could pull up her phone and get recommendations based on the overlapping tastes of the people she was sitting with. If only some people like fitness and others love history, then maybe they’ll all like a walking tour of the market at the next port.
Jessica’s Personal Genome would be recalculated three times a second by 100 different algorithms using millions of data points that encompassed nearly anything she did on the ship: How long she lingered on a recommendation for a sightseeing tour; the options that she didn’t linger on at all; how long she’d actually spent in various parts of the ship; and what’s nearby at that very moment or happening soon. If, while in her room, she had watched one of Carnival’s slickly produced travel shows and seen something about a market tour at one her ports of call, she’d later get a recommendation for that exact same tour when the time was right. “Social engagement is one of the things being calculated, and so is the nuance of the context,” one of the executives giving me the tour said.
Subscribe to WIRED and stay smart with more of your favorite writers.
It was like having a right-click for the real world. Standing on the mocked-up sundeck, knowing that whatever I wanted would find me, and that whatever I might want would find its way either onto the app or the screens that lit up around the cruise ship as I walked around, it wasn’t hard to see how many other businesses might try to do the same thing. In the era following World War II, the idea that designers could make the world easier to understand was a breakthrough.
But today, “I understand what I should do” has become “I don’t need to think at all.” For businesses, intuitiveness has now become mandatory, because there are fortunes to be made by making things just a tad more frictionless. “One way to view this is creating this kind of frictionless experience is an option. Another way to look at it is that there’s no choice,” said John Padgett, the Carnival executive who had shepherded the Ocean Medallion to life. “For millennials, value is important. But hassle is more important, because the era they’ve grow up in. It’s table stakes. You have to be hassle-free to get them to participate.”
By that logic, the real world was getting to be disappointing when compared with the frictionless ease of this increasingly virtual world. Taken as a whole, Carnival’s vision for seamless customer service that can anticipate your every whim was like an Uber for everything, powered by Netflix recommendations for meatspace. And these are in fact the experiences that many more designers will soon be striving for: invisible, everywhere, perfectly tailored, with no edges between one place and the next. Padgett described this as a “market of one,” in which everything you saw would be only the thing you want.
The Market of One suggests to me a break point in the very idea of user friendliness. When Chapanis and Fitts were laying the seeds of the user-friendly world, they had to find the principles that underlie how we expect the world to behave. They had to preach the idea that products built on our assumptions about how things should work would eventually make even the most complex things easy to understand.
Steve Jobs’ dream of a “bicycle for the mind”—a universal tool that might expand the reach of anyone—has arrived. High technology has made our lives easier; made us better at our jobs, and created jobs that never existed before; it has made the people we care about closer to us. But friction also has value: It’s friction that makes us question whether we do in fact need the thing we want. Friction is the path to introspection. Infinite ease quickly becomes the path of least resistance; it saps our free will, making us submit to someone else’s guess about who we are. We can’t let that pass. We have to become cannier, more critical consumers of the user-friendly world. Otherwise, we risk blundering into more crashes that we’ll only understand after the worst has already happened.
Excerpted from USER FRIENDLY: How the Hidden Rules of Design Are Changing the Way We Live, Work, and Play by Cliff Kuang with Robert Fabricant. Published by MCD, an imprint of Farrar, Straus and Giroux November 19th 2019. Copyright © 2019 by Cliff Kuang and Robert Fabricant. All rights reserved.
When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Read more about how this works.
More Great WIRED Stories
- The super-optimized dirt that helps keep racehorses safe
- The 12 best foreign horror movies you can stream right now
- VSCO girls are just banal Victorian archetypes
- Google’s .new shortcuts are here to simplify your life
- The delicate ethics of using facial recognition in schools
- 👁 Prepare for the deepfake era of video; plus, check out the latest news on AI
- 💻 Upgrade your work game with our Gear team’s favorite laptops, keyboards, typing alternatives, and noise-canceling headphones
A Tesla Cybertruck Mishap, a Massive Data Leak, and More News
Hackers are stealing and Elon is squealing, but first: a cartoon about subscription dreams.Here’s the news you need to know, in two minutes or less.Want to receive this two-minute roundup as an email every weekday? Sign up here!Today’s NewsMeet the Tesla Cybertruck, Elon Musk’s Ford-fighting pickup truckTesla CEO Elon Musk last night unveiled his newest…
Hackers are stealing and Elon is squealing, but first: a cartoon about subscription dreams.
Here’s the news you need to know, in two minutes or less.
Want to receive this two-minute roundup as an email every weekday? Sign up here!
Meet the Tesla Cybertruck, Elon Musk’s Ford-fighting pickup truck
Tesla CEO Elon Musk last night unveiled his newest baby, an all-electric pickup called the Tesla Cybertruck. He demonstrated that it can take a sledgehammer to the door with nary a scratch, and he also accidentally demonstrated that it can’t take a ball to the window. But behind the showmanship and Elon’s audible disbelief at the onstage mishap is a truck with a 500-mile range and the torque that comes from an electric motor. It represents an important new market expansion for Tesla. Now it just has to actually put the darn thing into production.
1.2 billion records found exposed online in a single server
Hackers have long used stolen personal data to break into accounts and wreak havoc. And a dark web researcher found one data trove sitting exposed on an unsecured server. The 1.2 billion records don’t include passwords, credit card numbers, or Social Security numbers, but they do contain cell phone numbers, social media profiles, and email addresses—a great start for someone trying to steal your identity.
Fast Fact: 2025
That’s the year NASA expects to launch the first dedicated mission to Europa, where water vapor was recently discovered. The mission to Jupiter’s moon will involve peering beneath Europa’s icy shell for evidence of life.
WIRED Recommends: The Gadget Lab Newsletter
First of all, you should sign up for WIRED’s Gadget Lab newsletter, because every Thursday you’ll get the best stories about the coolest gadgets right in your inbox. Second of all, it will give you access to early Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals so you can get your shopping done early.
News You Can Use:
Here’s how to hide nasty replies to your tweets on Twitter.
This daily roundup is available as a newsletter. You can sign up right here to make sure you get the news delivered fresh to your inbox every weekday!