Apple's 'Black Friday' Deals Discount Macs, iPads Up to 8 Percent

Apple cut prices for selected models of the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac up to 8% in a repeat of last year's "Black Friday" sale, although some authorized resellers again beat Apple's discounts.

The company also reduced the price of its popular iPad tablet for the first time.

Apple's one-day sale dropped prices on several Mac notebooks and desktops by $101, a cut that represents a 6%-8% drop for the 13.3-in. MacBook Air, 4%-8% discounts on various versions of the MacBook Pro and a 5%-8% reduction in iMac prices.

Not included in the discounts: Apple's least-expensive laptops, the $999 MacBook and the 11-in. MacBook Air, which lists for $999 and $1,199.

Other Apple products were also discounted, although none as much as the Macs the company wanted to move.

The iPad was reduced by $41 across the board, a discount of between 5% and 8%, depending on the model. Apple also dropped the price of the iPod Touch between $21 and $41, with the larger cuts on the higher-priced configurations.

Some online sellers, however, either matched or beat Apple's sale prices.

Amazon.com , for example, was selling the least-expensive 13-in. MacBook Pro and the entry-level 21.5-in. iMac for the same $1,098 price that Apple posted.

MacConnection.com 's sale beat both Apple and Amazon by wide margins in many cases. On Friday, the online-only seller was selling the 13-in. MacBook Pro for $150 to $200 under list price, and the 15-in. notebook for $200-$240 below the regular price. MacConnection also dropped the price of the MacBook and the low-end 11-in. MacBook Air -- models Apple didn't discount -- by 15% and 5%, respectively.

MacConnection's prices are good through Nov. 29, while Apple's and Amazon's expire after today.

Among Apple's other Black Friday specials was Microsoft's Office for Mac Home & Student 2011, which was discounted 15% to $128. However, other outlets again beat Apple's sales price: On Friday, Amazon sold the same three-license suite for $109.

Last week, Microsoft said that Amazon would sell the single-license version of Office 2011 for $79, a 33% price reduction. On Friday, however, the giant e-tailer listed the one-license edition for $89, a 26% savings.

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

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