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The Apple Store Black Friday deals have been unveiled, but here's where to find better prices on Apple gear – CNET

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The Apple Store’s Black Friday deals are here, and they aren’t much. 


Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

Apple has revealed its Black Friday weekend deals, which run from Friday, Nov. 27, through Cyber Monday, Nov. 30. As in years past, though, there’s a catch: The new sale offers little in the way of discounts on iPhones, iPads, Macs or accessories like Apple TVs, AirPods and HomePods. Instead, depending on the product you can get up to a $150 Apple Store gift card. 

The exact value of the gift card will vary but in order to get the full $150 gift card you’d need to buy either an Intel-equipped MacBook Pro 16-inch or 21.5-inch iMac. Other Macs, including the new 13-inch MacBook Pro that features Apple’s M1 chip, are not eligible. Neither are the new MacBook Air, Mac Mini, larger 27-inch iMac or iMac Pro

If you can still find a 13-inch Intel-equipped MacBook Air or Intel-equipped 13-inch MacBook Pro with two Thunderbolt ports you could get a $50 Apple Store gift card. As Apple discontinued both models, you’d have to find one of these in a physical Apple Store. 

Beyond the Macs, most new Apple gear is not eligible for the gift card promotion. You could get a $50 gift card with the iPhone 11, XR or SE (so, not the new iPhone 12 line). Gift cards for iPads are limited to $50 for the iPad Mini or $100 for either size of the iPad Pro with no offers available for the new iPad or iPad Air. 

Apple is also not offering double Apple Card cash back, which it did last year. This year the cashback rate appears to be staying at its regular 3%. 

The promotions are yet another reminder that the best Apple deals are almost always found outside Apple’s own physical or virtual store. At the Apple Store, for instance, a new set of AirPods ($159) or AirPods Pro ($249) can get you a $25 Apple Store gift card but no discount off the regular price. Woot, by contrast, has already cut the $250 price of AirPods Pro down to $190 right now, and Walmart will offer them for $169 starting on Wednesday, Nov. 25. Standard AirPods are currently $119 at Amazon, and have dipped as low as $99 at online retailers in recent weeks. That’s a savings of $59 to $80 on the Pro model and up to $40 on the standard AirPods — both much more than a $25 gift card that can only be redeemed later.

All the major US carriers have promotions running for the latest iPhones while Amazon has been running deals on Apple Watches (including the latest Series 6), iPads (regular, new Air and Pros) and the Intel MacBook Air (currently $100 off at Amazon, but that’s up from $150 off earlier this week). 

Apple also doesn’t make the full list of which products get which discount easily accessible on its promo page, but if you’re interested in the full list you can find it here

The best deals appear to be on the full-size HomePod, which gets you a $100 gift card, and the Apple TV 4K, which gets youa $50 gift card. Neither product has seen the same level of discounting at other stores this season, though the HomePod has previously dipped to $200 at Best Buy.

All told, unless you want one of those two devices or to buy something directly from Apple, you’re likely better off shopping elsewhere for deals on Apple products. 

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Apple Faces Lawsuit in Italy Over iPhone Battery Life – The Deep Dive

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It appears that Apple is in hot water once again, this time about making misleading claims regarding the battery life of older iPhones.

Altroconsumo, an Italian consumer organization, on Monday announced it has filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple, alleging the iPhone manufacturer of planned obsolescence. The association is seeking $73 million in damages, after Italian consumers were allegedly mislead regarding the battery life of older iPhone models, specifically the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, 6S, and 6S Plus. Sales of the iPhone models in Italy totalled over 1 million between 2014 and 2020.

In an emailed response to the lawsuit, Apple maintains that it has not done anything intentional to reduce the lifespan of its products, or diminish the user experience in order to increase consumer upgrades. However, this is not the first class-action suit of its kind: similar lawsuits were previously filed in the US, claiming that the iPhone manufacturer purposefully created software updates that reduced the performance of older devices.

In November 2020, Apple agreed to pay US$113 million to settle the case with several US regulators. In the meantime, US consumers are still awaiting the results from a US court regarding a class-action settlement worth up to US$500 million.


Information for this briefing was found via Bloomberg and Reuters. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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You Can Take Shawn Mendes or Dolly Parton on Your Walk With New Apple Fitness+ Feature – Billboard

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“I’ve loved walking ever since I was a little girl in the Smoky Mountains,” Parton said in the official Apple press release. “I think it’s so important to be able to get out and walk if we can during this time. I do my best thinking when I walk. And while many of us feel confined during this time, I’m hopeful that people will take a walk down memory lane with me and we can all feel a little more freedom taking the time to walk together.”

“Taking a walk is a great way to clear your mind,” Mendes said in the release. “It’s the most simple thing you can do to calm the body and soul, reflect, and slow down. I hope people get to feel the same sense of calm I do while walking and can bring that to their own experiences.”

Fitness+ subscribers can enjoy Time to Walk episodes on their Apple Watch with AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones. New episodes will automatically appear on the Workout app on Apple Watch and on the Fitness+ tab in the Fitness app on the iPhone. Apple Watch users who use a wheelchair will have access to Time to Push, which automatically starts an Outdoor Wheelchair Walk Pace workout.

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Apple shifts hardware execs as mysterious new project looms – MobileSyrup

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Dan Riccio, who has worked as Apple’s senior vice-president of engineering since 2012, is stepping back from leading Apple’s hardware division.

In a recent press release, Apple confirmed that Riccio is working on a mysterious “new project” and will continue to report directly to Tim Cook, its CEO. Riccio has worked on several notable projects, including Apple’s ARM-based M1 processor, the AirPods Max, the iPhone 12 and even the original iMac.

“Working at Apple has been the opportunity of a lifetime, spent making the world’s best products with the most talented people you could imagine,” said Riccio in a recent press release.

“After 23 years of leading our Product Design or Hardware Engineering teams — culminating with our biggest and most ambitious product year ever — it’s the right time for a change. Next up, I’m looking forward to doing what I love most — focusing all my time and energy at Apple on creating something new and wonderful that I couldn’t be more excited about.”

It’s unclear what this new initiative is, but there’s a possibility it could relate to recent rumours surrounding Apple’s long-rumoured AR/VR glasses or possibly its electric car project.

John Ternus will take on Riccio’s former role of senior vice-president of engineering. Ternus has served as Apple’s VP of hardware engineering since 2013 and played a significant role in the release of the first iPad and, more recently, the first-generation AirPods.

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