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Apple deals gift cards to lure Black Friday shoppers

After a one-year absence, Apple today returned to Black Friday by offering gift cards worth up to $150 with the purchase of select company hardware.

In some cases, only a line's older products were eligible for the accompanying cards.

For example, a $50 Apple Store gift card was offered with the purchase of an iPhone 6S Plus or iPhone 6S, but the newer iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were not included in the deal.

Apple took the same approach with its newest MacBook Pro laptops. The models equipped with the Touch Bar -- launched Oct. 27 -- were not eligible. Instead, the older $1,299 13-in. and $1,999 15-in. MacBook Pros came with a $150 gift card. Those cards represented 8% to 12% of the system's list price.

Other Macs, including the MacBook Air, MacBook, iMac and Mac Pro, also came with $150 cards.

Apple added $100 cards with iPad Pro orders, $50 cards with iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini purchases, and $25 cards with iPhone 5SE, Apple Watch Series 1 and Apple TV orders.

This year's Black Friday deal was like what Apple ran in 2013, when it last used Apple Store cards and capped their value at $150. In 2014, Apple switched to iTunes gift cards, which were valid only for digital purchases, and lowered the maximum to $100.

The gift card deals were good through Apple's online store and at its brick-and-mortar outlets. Customers could also place an order online and then pick up the item at a local Apple store.

As has become the norm, rival retailers beat Apple's deals. Target, for instance, sold a 32GB 9.7-in. iPad Pro for $150 off list, while B&H Photo discounted last year's 15-in. MacBook Pro by $300, reducing that laptop to $1,699.

The Black Friday sale terms and conditionsare available on Apple's website.

IDG Insider

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