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.
Prime Day, which kicks off on Tuesday, may bring some of the best deals of the year on a range of Apple products. At the same time, Apple will also be holding a virtual event at which it’s expected to unveil the iPhone 12 (and possibly other new products). We’ll be covering both events in detail here at CNET, of course.
Read more: iPhone 12 launch: How to watch Apple’s Oct. 13 event live
As to Prime Day: If last year’s event provides any guidance for what to expect in 2020, we could see the brand-new 10.2-inch iPad dip to $250 (and last year’s model sell for even less), the MacBook Air on sale for less than $900, 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; Amazon hasn’t officially announced any specific Apple-related Prime Day deals yet.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on every Apple product during the run up to Prime Day — the AirPods Pro are already $50 off, now selling for $199 — as well as throughout the event (and after the dust settles). You’ll have other options beyond Amazon, too. Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Newegg are all having competing sales, and they often out-discount Amazon when it comes to Apple products. So long as it’s an authorized Apple retailer (as those stores are), we’ll be sure to feature them here, too. For us, the best price always wins.
To that end, in the space below, we’ll be 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 and no longer hold out for a better deal. Note that there will often a good deal on one particular model, size or color and not another. For example, at any given moment, a 44mm GPS Apple Watch may be a better deal than the 40mm model. We’ll be sure to note the specifics below.
Savings are shown versus the Apple Store, which effectively always charges the list price for Apple gear. But, to be clear, some of the more modest discounts shown are effectively the “everyday low prices” at other retailers. We’d recommend holding out until sales start next week to see if better price drops are on the way.
Though it was announced less than a month ago, Amazon and other retailers have already discounted the space gray entry-level 10.2-inch iPad, with the sale price swinging between $299 and $319. 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. That’s a great price on the best iPad for most people, and the price we’ll be looking for this year, too. Read our Apple iPad 2020 review.
Strike price: $250 for 32GB, $330 for 128GB
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 already selling it for $50 off, but it could go as low as $900 during the Prime Day period. Note, however, that we expect new Macs with iPad-style “Apple silicon” chips, possibly before the end of the year.
Strike price: $900
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 $270, 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
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 the Apple Watch Series 5 review.
Strike price: $299 for 40mm, $329 for 44mm