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Best Prime Day Apple deals: $850 MacBook Air, $199 AirPods Pro and more – CNET

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This story is part of Amazon Prime Day, CNET’s guide on everything you need to know and how to make sure you get the best deal.

Tuesday was Apple Day, with the tech giant debuting the iPhone 12 lineup, including the first ever iPhone Mini, as well as a new HomePod Mini. But Tuesday also kicked off Prime Day, which means discounts for some of Apple’s best currently-available devices. So far, the best of them have been on the MacBook Air, the iPad Mini and an array of headphones selling at all-time low prices. 

Read more: iPhone 12, 12 Pro and Pro Max with 5G, HomePod Mini and more: Apple’s October announcements

Here’s a quick recap of the best Apple deals currently live at Amazon:

  • Since Monday morning, the entry-level 2020 MacBook Air has been selling for $850; that’s a $150 discount and the lowest price we’ve ever seen for this model.
  • The iPad Mini, with the same processor and twice as much storage as the $299 10.2-inch iPad, is selling for $336 (save $63).
  • The AirPods Pro are selling for $199 (save $50).
  • The Powerbeats Pro are on sale for $175 (save $75).
  • The standard AirPods with the wired charging case are selling for $115 (save $45).
  • The Beats Solo Pro are now on sale for $180 (save $120).

Looking ahead, we still hold out hope for a better deal for the brand-new 10.2-inch iPad, which could dip to $250 (with last year’s model possibly on sale for even less), new all-time low prices for the Apple Watch Series 3 and the now-discontinued Series 5 — and perhaps the first significant discounts on the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE, too. This is all speculation, however. Amazon hasn’t officially announced any specific Apple-related Prime Day deals. 

In the space below, we’re keeping track of current prices and how they square up with discounts we’ve seen in the past. For each product, we’ve also included a “strike price” for the entry-level model in that category, which represents our best guess for the price at which you should buy. Savings are shown versus the Apple Store, which effectively always charges list price. Note that there will often be a good deal on one particular model, size or color — and not another. 

We’ll also point out that Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Newegg are all having competing sales, and they sometimes out-discount Amazon when it comes to Apple products. So long as it’s an authorized Apple retailer — and each of those stores is — we’ll be sure to feature them here, too. For us, the best price always wins.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

In 2020, Apple upgraded the MacBook Air with an improved keyboard and twice the storage, and restored it to the sacred $1,000 price point. Amazon is currently selling it for $150 off — the all-time low price for this model, and probably the lowest price we’ll see during the Prime Day period. (You’ll see the full sale price at checkout.) Note that we expect new Macs with iPad-style “Apple silicon” chips, possibly before the end of the year. Read our MacBook Air review.

Strike price: $899

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Beats got a lot right with the Solo Pro, its first on-ear headphones to feature active noise cancellation and the first full-size Beats headphones to charge via Lightning. It’s one of the best on-ear wireless headphones we’ve tested. Now on sale for $180 — a $120 discount on the Apple Store price and the all-time low for this product. Read our Beats Solo Pro review.

Strike price: $180

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Introduced in 2019, the Mini has an A12 processor and Pencil support — just like the 2020 10.2-inch iPad, which is currently on sale for $299 — but twice as much storage.

Strike price: $336

David Carnoy/CNET

The Powerbeats Pro are superior to the AirPods on sound and battery life — and also feature fast pairing, rock-solid wireless connectivity and always-on Siri voice-recognition for iOS users. This is a very good price.

Strike price: $175

Sarah Tew/CNET

After briefly hitting $190 at Woot on Monday, Amazon once again has the lowest price, $199, on the AirPods Pro, which is $50 off Apple’s list price. 

Strike price: $199

And all of Apple’s other “pods” are also on sale:

Sarah Tew/CNET

Though it was announced just a month ago, Amazon and other retailers have already discounted the space gray entry-level 10.2-inch iPad — and we had hoped to see it go on sale today for $250. (For a fleeting moment during last year’s holiday season, the now discontinued 2019 version was available for $229, but the Prime Day low was $250.)

Amazon’s supply of $299 10.2-inch iPads appears to have dried up for now. That’s OK, because Walmart has stepped in with a deal of its own. Still, we’d hold out for an even lower price. Read our Apple iPad 2020 review.

Strike price: $250 for 32GB

Amazon

Currently discounted to match its 2019 Black Friday low price of $169, the GPS-only Series 3, which came out in 2017, remains the least expensive model in Apple’s watch portfolio — and, in light of its age and humble feature set, also the most dubious value. With the Apple Watch Series SE currently selling for $279, it’d be hard to recommend buying the Series 3, even at its current sale price. If Amazon drops the price significantly lower — maybe. Read our Apple Watch Series 3 review.

Strike price: $129 for 38mm, $169 for 42mm

César Salza/CNET

The priciest, fastest and most feature-packed of the bunch, the Series 6 can measure your blood oxygen level and runs on the new S6 processor. Both the red and white 40mm models are currently on sale for $15 off — which is Amazon’s “standard” though intermittent discount on the newest Apple Watch models. Given that the Series 6 is the current top-tier model, and that it came out only last month, it’s quite possible that a $15 discount is the best deal we’ll see in the near term. That noted, the Black Friday period could bring even lower prices. Read our Apple Watch Series 6 review.

Strike price: Any discount of $30 or more

Vanessa Hand Orellana/CNET

The most affordable Apple Watch ever released, the Watch SE boasts a more powerful processor, a Retina display that’s 30% larger than the Series 3 and support for Apple’s new Family Setup plan. Amazon is offering a modest $9 discount on select models including the 44mm GPS model and the 40mm cellular version (note different colors may vary in price). Also note that the Apple Watch Series 3 is currently selling for $169. Read our Apple Watch SE review.

Strike price: Any discount of $30 or more

Josh Miller/CNET

The Apple Watch Series 5, now officially discontinued, has the potential to be one of the stars of Prime Day. As recently as September, Amazon had discounted the 44mm GPS model to $299 — that’s $130 cheaper than the 44mm GPS Series 6. Given the scant differences between them — they both have the always-on display and heart monitor, after all — any Series 5 model that’s $100 less than its Series 6 equivalent is a no-brainer. Read our Apple Watch Series 5 review.

Strike price: $299 for 40mm, $329 for 44mm

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Sony boosts PlayStation profits despite looming PS5 launch – The Verge

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Sony’s gaming division is continuing to drive major profits for the company even as the PlayStation 4 era winds down. The company announced PlayStation-related revenue of 507 billion yen (~$4.9 billion) and an operating profit of 105 billion yen (~$1 billion) for its July-September quarter, respective improvements of 52 and 40 percent on the same period a year ago.

With the PlayStation 5 set to launch in a couple of weeks, normally you’d expect a significant negative impact on Sony’s books for the previous quarter as the company ramps up manufacturing before it starts to bring in more revenue. Sony does say that its profits were hit by an increase in costs, while revenue was reduced by a predictable decrease in PS4 sales. Higher game software sales and PlayStation Plus subscriptions, however, more than made up the shortfall.

Sony’s big PS4 release for the quarter was the open-world samurai adventure Ghost of Tsushima, which came out in July and sold 2.4 million copies in its first three days. Sony says it’s the fastest-selling new IP on the platform.

Sony has now revised its full-year gaming forecast upward slightly, expecting to make 2.6 trillion yen in revenue and 300 billion yen in profit by the end of March 31st. That’d be a 26 percent increase in both revenue and profit, which would be impressive for the first year of a console cycle.

Sony’s revenue is likely to be limited in the short term by the number of PS5 consoles it’s able to manufacture. In an interview with Reuters today, SIE chief Jim Ryan said there was “very considerable demand” for the device, which he says was preordered in the US more times in its first 12 hours than the PS4 was in its first 12 weeks. “It may well be that not everybody who wants to buy a PS5 on launch day will be able to find one.”

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League of Legends: Wild Rift cinematic trailer revealed – Dot Esports

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To coincide with League of Legends: Wild Rift’s move into regional open beta the team at Riot Games has released an impressive cinematic trailer for the mobile game.

[embedded content]

The trailer showcases many of the champions available in Wild Rift as they face off against each other to the tune of a remixed version of The Kinks hit song “You Really Got Me”.

Players who reside in Regions currently serviced in the closed beta testing will now have unrestricted access to the beta, allowing new players to download and participate without being approved.

Both IOS and Android app stores will have the game available for their users to download in the included regions with more regions to come later in 2020 and into 2021.

Wid Rift offers mobile players a similar experience to that available on the League of Legends computer game with slight alterations to help the game function better on a mobile device. These include changes to champions kits that work better with the controls scheme as well as changes to gameplay that will see game times drastically lower than players’ experience on the PC counterpart.

With COVID causing setbacks in Wild Rift’s development and release, players in America will have to wait into 2021 before they are able to finally get their hands on the game.

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iPhone 12 boasts latent reverse wireless charging feature, FCC filing suggests – AppleInsider

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A Federal Communications Commission filing hints at a latent iPhone 12 feature that could one day allow the handset to wirelessly charge other accessories.

Apple’s iPhone 12 series could be hiding a major feature that was rumored to debut with last year’s iPhone 11 devices. Known as reverse wireless charging or “bilateral” wireless charging, the functionality enables smartphones to use their inductive charging coil to juice up smaller accessories or even other phones.

Evidence that Apple’s new iPhone range might support the feature showed up in a recent regulatory filing detailing the company’s 2020 handsets. Discovered by VentureBeat’s Jeremy Horwitz, the document seemingly references the new MagSafe protocol that debuted alongside iPhone 12 this month.

“In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhone models also support WPT charging function at 360 kHz to charge accessories [including] an external potential apple accessory in future,” the filing reads, according to Horwitz.

While mere speculation, the feature as described could enable charging of attached MagSafe accessories, including unannounced devices like a next-generation AirPods product. Just yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Apple will deliver new AirPods models, including a second-generation AirPods Pro, in early 2021.

Apple was previously rumored to bring reverse charging to iPhone in early 2019. At the time, TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that year’s iPhone — what would become iPhone 11 — to feature “bilateral” wireless charging. The report was later seconded by supply chain sources, though Apple ultimately nixed those plans.

Today’s discovery suggests Apple continued work on the charging feature and integrated functionality into its MagSafe protocol. In theory, reverse wireless charging could be activated via a software update, but it remains unclear if and when Apple intends to do so.

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