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April 07, 2014

Looking for an Apple Device? Prices Starting to Drop

Buying anything with that Apple brand on it—be it an iPad, iPhone, or iPod with any combination of words or numbers after the base term—has never really been an inexpensive process. Devices released years ago still command staggering prices, even on the used models. But for those on a budget who still want a taste of the Apple, there's a note of hope from the Apple resellers, who have been putting some new deals into play that may prove to be a big help. A recent study conducted by DealNews suggests that not only have prices been on the decline at the reseller level, but that this particular concept is a trend that may well continue for some time.

The DealNews study showed that, where deals on the iPhone—any breed of iPhone—were largely unheard of, recent models find a discount with increasing rapidity. The iPhone 4S, for example, took fully 11 months—almost a year—for the price to drop to a rounded-off $100. The iPhone 5, meanwhile, took a bit over half that long at seven months. But the iPhone 5S? Just six days. By way of comparison, the first iPhone—an exclusive at AT&T—launched in January 2007 and never saw a deal before the release of the iPhone 3G. The iPhone 3G likewise saw no deals until the iPhone 3GS emerged. But the iPhone 3GS got a deal at Walmart when the iPhone 4 was announced about two and a half years later, reportedly, and that kicked off the process.

The iPad, meanwhile, followed a similar track. The original iPad saw few deals, if any, until eBay did some price cutting 11 months after the device was released. But based on DealNews' figures, the iPad Air will soon be the best deal in a new iPad around, a slot currently held by the iPad 4. Indeed, at the current point in its release cycle, the iPad Air is the cheapest iPad Apple's ever had on shelves at the time, and it's been so since the first month after its release.

Even the MacBook Air has been seen getting in on the discount stakes. While there were fewer deals overall, the size of the discounts was much more pronounced. The 2010 and 2011 releases reportedly found discounts early on in the release cycle, and MacBook Air deals are already on a nicely downward—in terms of pricing—trend, approaching the $800 mark for a brand new model.

So what's behind all this? Some may say that the resellers are using the promise of reduced-price Apple tech as a loss-leader of sorts, trying to get users in the door, and then pointing out the array of other material offered therein. One sales pitch might note that, since the user already saved big on a MacBook Air, that user could easily pick up peripherals or software for essentially no extra charge thanks to savings on the MacBook Air. Some may suggest it's all a function of a still-fragile economy, and stores eager to supply more and better bargains to pull hesitant shoppers in.

Regardless of the overall thrust, it's starting to look like a good day for those interested in Apple products. A sale—any sale!--may not be far away at any given time, and that means plenty of reason to buy Apple devices, when the sales emerge. 

Edited by Alisen Downey

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