The best Apple deals we can find for Amazon Prime Day 2020
Tuesday marks the start of Amazon Prime Day, Amazon’s annual Black-Friday-style sales event for members of its Prime subscription service. Though it arrives a few months later than usual after pandemic-related complications, Prime Day remains at once a manufactured celebration of an increasingly problematic giant and a nice perk for 150 million people looking to save a few bucks on nice things.
However you slice it, Prime Day is also one of the rare occasions where we see several good deals on Apple devices. We can safely rule out instant discounts on the just-announced iPhone 12 lineup, and in general, it’s entirely possible that Black Friday will bring better offers. That said, we are seeing a few good prices on AirPods, iPads, MacBooks, and various third-party accessories for Apple devices.
So because significant sales on these devices are uncommon, and because we know many would-be shoppers are specifically looking for Apple hardware this holiday season, we’ve rounded up those top Prime Day Apple deals below. We’ll be sure to keep this post updated as more discounts become available. As a reminder, most offers are only open to users of Amazon’s Prime membership service, and Prime Day itself will last until 12am PT on October 14. For a complete rundown of deals, we’re maintaining a more general roundup as well.
Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.
Prime Day brings the best we’ve seen to date on Apple’s hit true wireless earbuds, as the AirPods are currently $45 off Apple’s MSRP and about $20 off the street price we’ve usually seen online in recent months. You likely know the score with the base model AirPods by now: they’re neither the best-sounding nor the longest-lasting headphones at their price point, and they don’t fit everyone well, but they’re exceptionally lightweight and easy to use with other Apple devices. There have been reports that Apple will introduce new AirPods sometime next year, but for now, this is a good value if you’re sold on the AirPods pitch.
If you’re willing to pony up a bit more, though, the AirPods Pro represent a near-total upgrade over the base model. Currently priced at $199, they bring a more universal fit, a tighter in-ear seal, a more dynamic sound profile, a nifty “transparency” mode that lets you hear outside noises without muting your music, and active noise-cancellation that ranks among the best for true wireless headphones. This deal matches the best price we’ve seen from a reputable retailer, and it’s not limited to Prime members, so anyone can take advantage.
- Apple AirPods true wireless earbuds for $114.99 (normally $135).
- Apple AirPods Pro true wireless noise-cancelling headphones for $199 (normally $230).
Beats headphones deals
If you aren’t a fan of the AirPods aesthetic, recent headphones from Apple subsidiary Beats can get you much of the same convenience and Apple-friendly functionality, since they utilize the same Apple wireless chips. The Powerbeats Pro have been a favorite of ours, for instance, for bringing the easy pairing and rock-solid connectivity as the AirPods in a stabler, more exercise-friendly design. They dwarf both AirPods models when it comes to battery life, too, lasting roughly 11 hours a charge. The main downside is the enormous size of their carrying case, but if you can deal with that, today’s Prime Day deal marks another all-time low price.
The Solo Pro, meanwhile, are a solid pair of noise-cancelling on-ear headphones. They’re aren’t quite best-in-class, but they’re equipped with Apple’s H1 wireless chip, which helps them pair painlessly with other Apple devices. The noise cancellation here isn’t on par with something like Sony’s WH-1000XM4 (which is also on sale for Prime Day), but it’s good, and it’s complemented by a “transparency” mode much like that of the AirPods Pro. They sound nice, too, with a healthy but not overdone bass bump. The caveat here is that the on-ear design isn’t for everyone and may be tight for those with larger heads (like yours truly). Regardless, Prime Day drops the headphones to their lowest price to date.
iPad, MacBook, and Apple Watch deals
Prime Day has dropped the entry-level version of the latest MacBook Air down to $850, which is again the best price we’ve seen to date. We wish the discounts flowed up to the laptop’s higher-end SKUs, as this model’s 1.1GHz dual-core Core i3 processor isn’t great for a notebook in this price range. Still, as the MacBook Air is Apple’s most “mainstream” laptop, it’s still likely to be strong enough for a big swath of its target audience. Beyond that, the Air is still impeccably well-build, and its redesigned keyboard remains much more agreeable than the old butterfly mechanism. For students and more casual users wanting to stay in the Mac ecosystem for cheap—and aren’t waiting for Apple’s first ARM-based notebooks—it might be worth a look. Note that this deal is not limited to Prime users, either.
That’s about it as far as genuine Mac deals go—a 13-inch MacBook Pro SKU with a 10th-gen Core i5 chip and 1TB SSD is down to $1,800, which is a nice price, but one we’ve seen frequently on Amazon over the past few months. Over on the iPad side of Apple’s “what’s-a-computer” fence, though, the 7.9-inch iPad Mini is on sale for $336, which is only $5 off the best price we’ve seen. The big-bezeled design here is a little long in the tooth, but the Mini still packs a great display, speedy performance, and the expected convenience of iPadOS. If you specifically want a small tablet, it’s the best you can get.
Elsewhere, the latest 10.2-inch iPad is available for $299, which is a $30 discount for a device that launched just last month. Along those same lines, the new Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE are $15 and $10 off, respectively. These are modest discounts that have been live on Amazon for a few weeks now, and we’ve covered them before. Suffice it to say each device is worth considering if you want a new fitness-focused smartwatch or media consumption tablet, though.
The budget-end Apple Watch Series 3, meanwhile, is available for $169. That’s $30 off Apple’s MSRP, but it’s a price we’ve seen on Amazon since the summer, so we can’t call it a deal.
- Apple MacBook Air (2020) laptop – Intel Core i3-1000NG4, 13.3-inch 2560×1600, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD for $849.99 (discount seen at checkout – normally $950).
- Apple iPad Mini 7.9-inch tablet for $335.98 (normally $370).
- Apple iPad (8th gen) 10.2-inch tablet for $299 (normally $329).
- Apple Watch Series 6 (40mm) smartwatch for $384.99 (normally $399).
- Apple Watch SE (40mm) smartwatch for $269.99 (normally $279).
Apple device accessory deals
Finally, we’re seeing a few deals on accessories specifically made for Apple devices. Keyboard maker Brydge has discounted most of its wireless iPad keyboard lineup, as well as its vertical MacBook Pro dock, which we recently recommended in our remote work buying guide. A couple other Mac-specific keyboards we recommended in that guide, the wireless Satechi Compact Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard and the mechanical Das Keyboard 4 Professional for Mac, are also on sale for new lows.
- Satechi Compact Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard wireless keyboard for $59.99 (normally $80).
- Das Keyboard 4 Professional for Mac mechanical keyboard – Cherry MX Brown/Blue switches for $144.49 (clip 5% coupon – normally $170).
- Aukey CB-CL02 (3.9ft, MFi certified) braided nylon USB-C to Lightning cable for $9.59 (normally $12).
- Brydge 7.9 Bluetooth keyboard for Apple iPad Mini for $79.99 (normally $100).
- Brydge 10.2 Bluetooth keyboard for Apple iPad for $79.99 (normally $130).
- Brydge 10.5 Bluetooth keyboard for Apple iPad Air (2019) for $59.99 (normally $90).
- Brydge 11.0 Pro Bluetooth keyboard for 11-inch Apple iPad Pro and iPad Air (2020) for $99.99 (normally $130).
- Brydge 11.0 Pro+ Bluetooth keyboard with trackpad for 11-inch Apple iPad Pro and iPad Air (2020) for $139.99 (normally $200).
- Brydge 12.9 Pro Bluetooth keyboard for 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro for $99.99 (normally $170).
- Brydge 12.9 Pro+ Bluetooth keyboard with trackpad for 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro for $159.99 (normally $230).
- Brydge Vertical Dock for 13-inch or 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro for $129.99 (normally $170).