Black Friday 2016 is still about 2 months away, but the first ad leaks touting bargains on everything from the latest iPhones to tablets, TVs and PCs could surface by the end of next month. Look for Amazon to once again push the definition of Black Friday, with sales starting at the beginning of November (hey, they've already had Prime Day).
FROM THE ARCHIVES: 40+ jaw dropping Black Friday 2015 tech deals
With tablet sales tanking this year, you can expect some really great Black Friday deals on iPads and Amazon Fire devices in particular, according to Black Friday ad watcher BestBlackFriday.com, which has issued a slew of predictions based on its study of more than 150 ads from 2015. Discounts of $100 or $150 on iPads won't be uncommon (the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which debuted last November, has been discounted down from its $800 retail price throughout the year and could go for as low as $650) and the 7-inch Amazon Fire will be available for as little as $33, which is $17 off the regular price. You might even find some cheapo tablets priced as low as $5 or $10, but if you can get a Fire for $33...
As usual, don't look for much in the way of direct discounts from Apple on iPads, Macs, Watches or its new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus phones, but do expect retailers to offer sales, often including gift cards as a way to get around marking down the official price.
"While 2-year contracts are being phased out, many people will still be eligible if they have Verizon or Sprint," according to BestBlackFriday's Phillip Dengler. "People that aren't will have to pay unsubsidized prices, which have been rare during Black Friday previously, but are expected to be much more common this year."
So look for iPhone 7s to sell for $99 with a 2-year-contract or zero down plus a $250 gift card with an installment plan. Plenty of Android phones will be gettable for a penny with a 2-year contract.
Laptop computers will be less expensive than ever. Laptops, such as some Chromebooks, will start as low as $90, with the average doorbuster laptop price at $150. Dell, HP and Asus machines will be among the best values. MacBook Airs will start as low as $650, according to BestBlackFriday.
Overall, BestBlackFriday expects combined offline Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day sales to hit $10.78B, with Black Friday sales down 9.89% from 2015 and Thanksgiving Day sales off 10.23%. Online sales, however, are expected to reach $5.15B, with Black Friday sales up more than 13% and Thanksgiving sales up nearly 20% from a year ago.
Oh, and toy shoppers: BestBlackFriday recommends waiting until the second week of December for the best prices.
This story, "Black Friday 2016 tech ads will be leaking before you know it" was originally published by Network World.