Several of the largest retailers in the U.S. will sell older-generation Apple and Microsoft tablets at cut-rate prices during their Black Friday sales drives.
According to leaked and published advertisements of the sales, which will begin on the evening of Thursday, Nov. 28, Best Buy, Target and Walmart will all sell brand-name tablets at steep discounts.
Electronics chain Best Buy, for example, will sell Apple's iPad 2, a tablet introduced in 2011, for $300, or $99 off Apple's list price. Even though Apple recently launched the 9.7-in. iPad Air, and started selling the upgraded 7.9-in. iPad Mini with a high-resolution display, it kept the iPad 2 in its portfolio, reportedly because schools continue to purchase the model and some businesses have standardized on the tablet for point-of-sales devices.
Best Buy will also discount the 16GB iPad Air by $50, selling it for $449, or 10% less than list.
Both Walmart and Target will sells 2012's iPad Mini -- the one that sports 1,024 x 768 screen resolution -- at Apple's $299 stock price, but will throw in a $100 or $75 gift card, respectively, effectively reducing the price to $199 or $224.
Including the gift cards, the Walmart iPad Mini deal represents a 33% discount, while Target's comes in at 25% below full retail.
Target will also sell the new 16GB iPad Air for $479, then include a $100 gift card, reducing the overall cost to $379, for a 24% savings.
Best Buy was the only one of the three retailers to also list Microsoft's Surface, formerly tagged the Surface RT, a 32GB tablet that runs Windows RT, the scaled-down version of the legacy application-supporting Windows 8.1. Best Buy's $200 sale price for the Surface will be 75% below list.
Although Microsoft continues to sell the Surface on its website and online store, the Redmond, Wash. company refreshed the line last month by introducing the Surface 2, which starts at $449.
Apple and Microsoft will probably run Black Friday sales of their own on Nov. 29; both companies did last year.
In 2012, for example, Apple dropped prices of its then-new fourth-generation iPad between 8% and 9% that day, but did not discount the weeks-old iPad Mini.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is email@example.com.