Looking for discounted prices on phones, tablets, and other mobile gear and plans on Black Friday? Here's a quick primer.
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The biggest shopping weekend of the year is here, and sales abound. Retailers are not reserving their lowest prices for Black Friday alone. This year, sellers near and far are offering a range of deals between Wednesday and Monday, both at brick-and-mortar locations and online.
Your best bet to scoring a deal is to do your research online first, maybe while digesting that heavy Thanksgiving dinner Thursday evening. Many retailers have published their Black Friday deals ahead of time to help you plan ahead. Here is a sampling of the deals you will find.
If you're looking for a deal on Apple products, you need to shop outside of Apple Stores. The iPhone-maker has not yet advertised any Black Friday deals, and it was rather stingy last year. Rather than offer modest discounts on its products, Apple gave free iTunes Gift Cards of varying amounts to customers who bought iPhone, iPads, and Macs during the 2014 holiday season. Apple may pursue a different strategy this year, but so far it hasn't revealed its hand.
Best Buy is opening its doors at 5 p.m. Thursday and will keep them open until 1 a.m. The company will re-open doors at 8 a.m. Friday morning. Some of the doorbusters include discounted HDTV sets, movies, and laptops. Best Buy is offering up to $125 off the iPad Air 2, which is a steep discount for Apple's tablet. Smartphone shoppers willing to sign up with AT&T or Verizon Wireless can snag a $250 gift card with the purchase of a Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, or Note 5.
T-Mobile is giving all its existing Simple Choice customers unlimited LTE data from Dec. 1, 2015 to March 1, 2016. Further, T-Mobile has a sweet offer for Sprint customers. The "Un-carrier" hopes to woo Sprint subscribers with a $200 credit. Beginning Nov. 26, any Sprint customer who transfers their number to a T-Mobile Simple Choice plan will receive $200 toward future bills or purchases. The offer doesn't require a trade-in. Moreover, T-Mobile is angling for Sprint's unlimited plan subscribers with an impressive offer for families. Sprint families (or small businesses) who jump ship can score unlimited T-Mobile LTE data for $45 per line for a family of four.
As if to counter T-Mobile, Sprint is offering to halve the monthly service fees of AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon customers who switch to Sprint. That means if you're paying $50 per month at T-Mobile, Sprint will cut it to $25. (This doesn't include device payment/lease fees.) On Black Friday, Sprint will sell the Samsung Galaxy S6 for 50% off with a free year of Amazon Prime included.
Verizon has some interesting "ThanksGetting" promotions. To start, it is offering all customers 1GB of additional LTE data for the next two billing periods. In order to score this deal, customers need to visit Verizon's web site and click on a few links. Further, Verizon is allowing people to gift one another data. You can send 1GB of data to a loved one for just $10, billable directly to your account. Verizon also has several other deals for Black Friday shoppers, such as free Pandora streaming, discounted iTunes Gift Cards, and free services from Lyft, Boingo, and gogo.
The only deal being offered by AT&T at the moment rewards smartphone shoppers with a free tablet. Customers who buy a new phone on an AT&T Next payment plan will receive the LG G Pad 8.0 Android tablet for free.
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Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
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