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Thursday, Nov 22, 2012 8:58pm
Apple's BF deals go live in Australia, hint at US discounts
Apple's Black Friday shopping event is underway is Australia, and may give US buyers a strong indicator of the kind of discounts the company will offer North American buyers tomorrow. Apple has discounted the entire MacBook line -- including MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros in all configurations -- at $105 off the normal retail price. The current fourth-generation iPad is being sold for $41 off in all varieties, with the iPad 2 seeing a $31 discount. The latest iPod Touch has been reduced by $31 as well, with the previous-generation Touch going for $25 less and the latest iPod nano selling for $11 less than usual.

Notably, iPhones are completely excluded from the sale, at least in Australia and New Zealand -- regions that are always the first to see events like this due to their time zone. Apple has also put their Airport router lineup on sale, knocking $21 off the price of the Extreme base station or Time Capsule base station, and taking $11 off the price of the latest Airport Express. Buyers can also save $11 on new Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad and Apple Wireless (Bluetooth) Keyboards as well.

Apple is also discounting accessories for its mobile devices, including the iPad Smart Case (which covers both the front and back of an iPad) now $15 off; the iPad Smart Cover (polyurethane version) reduced by $11; and the iPad Smart Cover (leather version) a good buy at $21 off its normal price. Apple's $30 Earpods see a $7 discount, while the company's $79 In-Ear Headphones with remote and mic are reduced by $11.

Conspicuously absent from the sale (and generally) are the new, thinner 21.5-inch iMacs that were promised for November (to be followed by new 27-inch iMacs in December). While there is still time for Apple to ship new units to retailers this month, CEO Tim Cook's warning that models would be "severely constrained" at first looks more likely to mean that very few -- if any -- iMac fans will find one of the new models waiting for them as a present this year.

As the discounts, like the prices on merchandise online, are presently in Australian dollars, there is no assurance that the US will see exactly the same discounts. However, the Australian sale gives buyers a likely indicator of what products, at least, are likely to be discounted in the US version, and it's quite possible Apple will apply the same discounts worldwide.