Should you buy an iPad before Black Friday?

(Image credit: Future)

It can be difficult to hold back when early Black Friday iPad deals are coming out the woodwork, but knowing if you should buy an iPad before Black Friday, or if you should wait it out can help you get the best price possible, can be even trickier. Gone are the days of iPads refusing to budge on their high MSRPs. We've already seen the 9th generation iPad hit a $249 sale price in 2023 that would have been unthinkable for its predecessor, and the latest generation iPad Air has taken some serious discounts in the last few months as well.

With October's Prime Day sale dropping another round of price drops, though largely ones we've already seen before this year, the pressure to jump in early is higher than ever. 

The answer lies with the model you're on the hunt for. For example, Apple is keeping the 9th generation base version on the shelves alongside the more expensive 10th generation this year. That means we're likely to see prices returning to that $249 record low before and on Black Friday itself. Meanwhile, the iPad Pro - for the first time in a few years - doesn't have a new model chasing it off the shelves this year. That means the 2022 devices could well drop to new, headline-grabbing, record low prices on the day itself if Black Friday swings in the right direction.

Each iPad has a different context to it, which can tell you whether you're better off diving in or holding out for something juicier later on in November. We're running you through all this information on every device, so that you can time your purchase right this Fall. If you're really stretching things out, you can take a look at everything we expect to see in this year's Cyber Monday iPad deals as well. 

Should you buy a 9th generation iPad before Black Friday?

iPad 9th generation on an orange background

(Image credit: Future)
  • Yes if: the price drops back to $249 / under £289

As mentioned above, the 9th generation iPad has already hit some excellent prices in 2023, and as recently as the last few weeks. $249 for a 64GB model is an excellent offer, and one that we never saw on the previous generation model. We don't expect the base model iPad to drop further in November's sales, though, due to the fact that Apple will continue stocking the device with the newer 10th generation on the shelves. 

If you spot more stock at this price, it's well worth jumping in ahead of official Black Friday discounts. Later sales will be far more competitive, and seeing as stock was already running out with this discount attached over Prime, the chances of actually landing a tablet in November are slimmer. 

In the UK, we've seen a £289 sales price cropping up over the summer a couple of times, though it doesn't hold its position on the shelves. We would recommend holding out for a return to this record low. That cost has been heading back north for a couple of weeks, and things may well dip to £289 for a brief flash in November. If you're concerned about waiting for Black Friday, though, at least hold off until things dip back below £300. 

Should you buy a 10th generation iPad before Black Friday?

10th generation iPad on an orange background

(Image credit: Future)
  • No unless: rare discounts hit $349 / £449

The 10th generation iPad has so far been stubborn towards savings. It's in a precarious position after all, sitting above the 9th generation and below the Air. That means its sale prices can't infringe on the cheaper model, but its $449 / £499 MSRP has to stay competitive against the Air, which is highly likely to drop to $499 in the US. So far, the best we've seen is $50 / £30 off - and that's a new occurrence since October's Prime event. We could well see those prices shift down to $349 / £449 if Black Friday is particularly kind, but any further discounts are likely too optimistic at this point. 

We would hold off on this. At the moment, you'll actually be likely to find a $399 sale price on this model in the US - excellent news by last year's Black Friday iPad deals standards. However, the fact that this discount appeared just after October's Prime event suggests it could fall further in the coming weeks. That rate has been holding on for a while now, and further surprises could come. 

Should you buy an iPad Air before Black Friday?

iPad Air on an orange background

(Image credit: Future)
  • Yes if: prices fall below $499 / £569
  • Yes if: you don't want a battle in November

The 2022 iPad Air has seen a fair few discounts since its launch last year, and 2023 marked the first time it dipped below the $500 threshold in the US. We've seen that $499 position holding well stateside so far, which means we'd recommend holding off for now if you're after the absolute lowest price possible. When these kinds of discounts hold the line they're either going to stay that way over Black Friday or dip by a further $20 or $30 in a flash sale. Optimistically speaking, we could see $469 - $479 sales prices in November but competition is also going to be higher. 

A safe bet is $499 / £569 for this model. That means we would only recommend buying an iPad Air before Black Friday if the current record low is beaten, or you're more fussed about picking up an iPad sooner rather than later and can spare the $30 you may be able to save in November. If you do spot such an offer, it's worth considering an early leap - the competition over the sales event itself can prove too much for even the most eagle-eyed of deal hunters. 

Should you buy an iPad Mini before Black Friday?

iPad Mini on an orange background

(Image credit: Future)
  • Yes if: prices fall below $399 / £459 OR stock runs low

The iPad Mini 6, despite being the smallest on the market, still carries a significant price tag. Released in September 2021, this is a powerful device packed into a tiny shell which makes it a particularly costly affair. The last few months have been particularly kind to this previously stubborn tablet - the $499 / £569 base price has kicked down to $399 / £459 so far, and held its position there to this day in the US. We're fairly confident this price will hold out until at least Black Friday itself, so it's worth holding out to see if there's anything better up for grabs during the main sale. 

You'll want to keep an eye out, though. Moving too late could leave very little stock on the table by the time those holiday sales run. That means we'd recommend watching out for any signs of reduced availability (certain colorways returning to full price and extended delivery times). If you notice things are starting to move, it's worth buying an iPad Mini before Black Friday. Any further savings will likely only leave you with an extra $10 / £10 in your pocket, but the risk of missing out all together is high here as well. 

Should you buy an iPad Pro before Black Friday?

iPad Pro

(Image credit: Future)
  • Yes if: iPad Pro 11-inch stock appears at $729 / £836
  • Yes if: iPad Pro 12.9-inch prices hit $999 / £999

The 2022 M2 iPad Pro is spending another year on the shelves for Black Friday - a feat we haven't seen for a couple of years now. That means it's all to play for here. These are older devices than the typical Black Friday iPad deals we've been following in the past, but Apple tablets still hold their value particularly well. Your only problem is going to be stock here. 

The 11-inch has been off the shelves for some time in the US, having dipped from $799 to $729 only over the 2022 holiday season. With no units available over October's Prime event (and therefore no discounts) this is going to be a tricky one to nail down. If you do see stock appear and it's at $729 / £836 or lower (we're expecting a good Black Friday to offer up a flash $699 price on this device in the US) it's time to jump. There's no telling if these devices will even be available over Black Friday and those kinds of discounts disappear fast if they do show up. 

The 12.9-inch model is much easier to find. The $1,099 / £1,249 iPad has been spotted as low as $999 / £1,124 this year so far, and stock is looking healthy at the time of writing. In the US, we don't see that $999 price tag drifting too much further over Black Friday itself - this is normally where we see the 12.9-inch device over holiday sales. However, in the UK we are hoping for a more significant saving, hopefully matching the US with a £999 position. If either of these prices jump onto the shelves before Black Friday iPad deals officially kick off they're well worth grabbing. 

iPads are some of the best gaming tablets out there, but if you're looking for a more traditional computing experience, we're also rounding up all our expectations for this year's Black Friday laptop deals and Black Friday gaming laptop deals as well. 

Tabitha Baker
Managing Editor - Hardware

Managing Editor of Hardware at GamesRadar+, I originally landed in hardware at our sister site TechRadar before moving over to GamesRadar. In between, I've written for Tom’s Guide, Wireframe, The Indie Game Website and That Video Game Blog, covering everything from the PS5 launch to the Apple Pencil. Now, i'm focused on Nintendo Switch, gaming laptops (and the keyboards, headsets and mice that come with them), PS5, and trying to find the perfect projector.