When Is the Best Time to Buy Apple Products?

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When it comes to buying Apple products, timing is everything. Read on to learn the best time to buy Apple products.

When it comes to knowing the best time to buy a TV, a smartphone or a MacBook, there are definitely ways to save on big-ticket electronics, even Apple products. It’s true that, unlike other brands, there aren’t always large discounts available on Apple items. Still, timing is everything, and there are a few times a year that are the best time to buy Apple products, depending on the product you’re looking for. We spoke with one of the top shopping excerpts to learn the best time to buy Apple products as well as other ways to get discounts. Whether you’re looking to buy an iPhone, an iMac or even an iPad, read on for the secrets to saving on Apple products.

When is the best time to buy an iPhone?

The best time to buy an iPhone is after a new model is announced, according to Kristin McGrath, shopping expert with RetailMeNot. “One of the best times of year to buy an iPhone is in September or October, when new models are typically announced and older iPhone generations tend to go on sale.”

She also suggests waiting for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. “While iPhone Black Friday deals do vary from year to year, we typically see some form of savings on these iconic smartphones, often in the form of a gift card with purchase.”

Best time to buy an iPhone September, October, Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Best time to buy an iPad Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Best time to buy a MacBook August and Labor Day
Best time to buy an iMac Memorial Day, Labor Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and between Christmas and New Year’s Day
Best time to buy AirPods Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Best time to buy Apple TV Black Friday and Cyber Monday

When is the best time to buy an iPad?

ipads on display at an apple storeEducation Images/Getty Images

McGrath tells Reader’s Digest the best time to buy an iPad is Amazon Prime Day. “Shoppers who shop on Amazon Prime Day will typically find deeply discounted tablets at this time.”

Another good time to buy an iPad is when a new model is announced. “Similar to iPhones, shoppers can find a discounted older iPad model once a new version is announced,” she says.

Looking to get a deal before the holidays? Try buying an iPad on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. “This is when retailers will offer doorbusters and extra discounts on tech gear and tablets.”

But if you aren’t totally sold on an iPad, you may want to consider an Android Tablet instead, because it can be less expensive.

When is the best time to buy a MacBook?

The best time to buy laptops, like a MacBook, is with Apple’s back-to-school discounts, explains McGrath. Though the discounts change every year, McGrath says in previous years, students who qualified received 20% off an Apple Care plan as well as free Apple gift cards of up to $150.

If you don’t qualify for a back-to-school discount, McGrath recommends shopping Labor Day sales. “Labor Day weekend intersects with some back-to-school electronics sales, so it’s a good time to shop for a laptop, tablet or desktop.”

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When is the best time to buy an iMac?

Like buying a MacBook, the best time to buy an iMac is when Apple offers back-to-school discounts. However, if you aren’t a student, waiting for a holiday is the best plan. You can always score a discount on Memorial Day, Labor Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

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When is the best time to buy AirPods?

The best time to buy AirPods is Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day. “This year, we saw a good amount of AirPod deals on Amazon—including 32% off Apple AirPods Pro Wireless Earbuds,” McGrath says.

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When is the best time to buy AirTags?

Unfortunately, according to McGrath, there isn’t a best time to buy AirTags. “We saw a couple of dollars off during Prime Day for a four-pack, but we haven’t seen any meaningful discounts on these yet,” she says.

When is the best time to buy Apple TV?

The best time to buy Apple TV is Black Friday. “Apple typically holds a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale, where you can find deals on all types of Apple products—including Apple TV,” McGrath says.

When is the worst time to buy Apple products?

In general, if temperatures are high, the cost will also likely be. “The summer months of July, August and early September are known to not be a great time to buy an iPhone. This is because Apple typically reveals new iPhone models in September. Once a new model launches, older models tend to go on sale,” explains McGrath. That goes for iPads and MacBooks as well.

How much do Apple products typically cost?

Product Cost
iPhone 11 $499
iPhone 13 Pro Max $999
iPad Pro $799
MacBook Air with M1 chip $999
MacBook Pro $1,999
iMac 24″ $1,299
AirPod Pros $249
AirTags $29
AppleTV 4K 64 GB $199

Three ways to save when buying Apple products

In general, the best time to buy Apple products is when they go on sale, but if there isn’t a sale, there are still ways to save money.

  • Shop around. “You might be tempted to start at the Apple Store, but it rarely offers discounts on its products,” notes McGrath. Even at other stores, their Black Friday deals are typically an Apple gift card with your purchase. These are most often available at authorized retailers, including Best Buy, Costco, Target and Walmart.
  • Look for certified refurbished products. “Apple offers a variety of refurbished products for shoppers to purchase. Not only do these products typically work as well as a newer item, but shoppers can also save a good amount of money on their purchase by choosing a refurbished version over a new one,” explains McGrath.
  • Check with your cellphone provider. Many offer deals on iPhones and iPads, especially when you trade in an older model.

Tips for buying new Apple products

Sometimes your phone breaks or your laptop crashes and you need a replacement immediately. At that point, you can’t wait for the best time to buy Apple products. So, it’s best to go to a brick-and-mortar store and talk with an Apple sales associate about the features you’re looking for. There’s a good chance a slightly older model might fit your needs as well as your budget.

If you’re not in a rush to buy, McGrath recommends knowing when to buy the specific product you’re looking for and finding out when the sale will happen.

Tips for buying refurbished Apple products

If it isn’t currently the best time to buy Apple products, you can always save cash by purchasing a refurbished model. Apple, Amazon and Best Buy sell refurbished products. However, it’s important to check the warranty, tech support and other policies before clicking “add to cart.”

If you are tempted to buy a used Apple product from Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp, have it inspected by a certified Apple Technician before sealing the deal, especially for more expensive products like MacBooks and iPhones.

If you’re unsure about buying a refurbished product, you may want to consider buying an “open box” item instead. These have generally been returned by previous customers who likely changed their minds or simply purchased the wrong item. Retailers inspect these open box products to make sure they are in working order. Then they are offered at a discount.

Where can you buy genuine Apple products?

Whether it’s the best time to buy Apple products or not, it’s crucial to make your purchase at an authorized Apple Dealer. Some places to consider are Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Staples and Target.

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Conclusion

While Apple products aren’t normally discounted, there are ways to get discounts if you know the best time to buy Apple products. However, if you need to buy a larger-ticket item immediately, like a new MacBook or iPhone, there are still ways to get discounts or find a model within your budget. Because we spoke with a shopping expert and did our own independent research, you know you can trust Reader’s Digest for the best and most current information.

Next, read on to learn the best time to buy appliances, small appliances and just about everything else.

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Amanda Lauren
Amanda Lauren is a design and lifestyle expert who covers all things home for RD and among other publications. When she's not in front of a computer, recording her podcast Bougie Adjacent, or re-arranging furniture, she enjoys Los Angeles with her husband and wrangling their two dogs, Milo and Lulu.