Apple discounts iPads, Mac laptops 8%-10% for 'Black Friday'

Leaves out iPad Mini from one-day sale

Apple today cut Mac laptop prices up to 10% and iPad prices as much as 9% during its typically tightfisted one-day "Black Friday" deals.

But some resellers again offered more aggressive discounts.

Apple's sale reduced Mac laptop prices by $101, a 10% cut on the entry-level 11-in. MacBook Air, which sold for $898 on Friday. The across-the-board $101 discount represented cuts of 7%-8% for 13-in. MacBook Airs and 5%-8% for MacBook Pros.

MacBook Pro laptops with high-resolution Retina displays, including the newer 13-in. model that debuted Oct. 23, were priced between 4% and 6% below list.

iMacs were not included in the deals because although Apple introduced new models a month ago, it has yet to offer the redesigned desktops for sale. The 21.5-in. iMacs are due to reach retail this month, and the 27-in. all-in-ones in December.

Analysts have called the iMac stumble -- Apple essentially stopped selling the popular desktops a month ago today -- "weird" and completely out of character for the detail-oriented company.

Nor did Apple discount its new 7.9-in. iPad Mini tablet today.

For the third year running, however, Apple cut prices of the 9.7-in. iPad, both the brand-new fourth-generation tablet and 2011's iPad 2.

Prices on the fourth-generation iPad were reduced between $41 and $61 depending on storage capacity, for discounts of between 8% and 9% on the Wi-Fi models. The iPad 2, which is available only in a 16GB configuration, got an even more meager $31 price cut to $368.

Apple's prices were good at both its online and brick-and-mortar stores throughout the day. Many of the latter opened at 6 a.m. local time in the U.S., several hours earlier than usual.

Rival online sellers, however, beat Apple's deals. Amazon.com, for example, cut the price of the 13-in. MacBook Air 15%, to $1,024.99, or $73 less than Apple, and the 13-in. MacBook Pro with Retina by $105, for a discount that's $4 more than Apple's.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

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