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. Gone are the days of iPads refusing to budge on their high MSRPs. We've already seen the 9th generation iPad hit a $269 sale price in 2022 that would have been unthinkable for its predecessor, and the latest generation iPad Air has taken some serious discounts in its first few months as well. 

That means it's far easier to find discounts on these luxurious tablets, which is why it was so disappointing to see such a poor Black Friday show last year. We barely saw any price cuts grace the shelves during the most recent round of holiday sales, which means this year's discounts are going to have to work particularly hard. Whether you should buy an iPad before Black Friday in 2022, then, is a tricky question. 

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 could see prices returning to that $269 record low before and on Black Friday itself. However, it also means we likely won't see too much extra cash off this release on the big day itself - retailers won't need to shift stock too desperately. 

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

(Image credit: Future)
  • Yes if: the price drops back to $269 / under £298

As mentioned above, the 9th generation iPad has already hit some excellent prices in 2022, and as recently as the last few weeks. $269 for a 64GB model is an excellent offer, and one that we never saw on the previous generation model. We don't expect the new base model iPad to drop further in November's sales, though, due to the fact that Apple will continue stocking the device with the new 10th generation on the shelves. 

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

In the UK, we've seen a £298 sales price cropping up over the last couple of months, and holding onto its position on the shelves. We would recommend holding out for a better discount on this one, though. 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

(Image credit: Future)
  • No unless: rare discounts hit $429 / £479

The 10th generation iPad only jut hit the shelves, so discounts are going to be hard to come by. If we do see savings, they likely won't exceed $5 or $10 / £5 or £10 in the first few months, and we wouldn't expect to see anything before Black Friday. That said, this is a new price point for Apple. The 10th generation iPad will sit alongside the previous model for the first time, but at a $449 / £499 cost. That means there's still plenty of room for debate - we just don't know how Apple will handle this middle child. 

At best, this latest release might kick down to $429 / £479 over Black Friday. If you spot a saving like that in the run up it might be worth diving in ahead of time. That's the maximum saving we're expecting to see in this first round of holiday sales and competition is going to be fierce on the day if such a price does appear. However, if that MSRP holds, we'd recommend waiting for the big day to give it every opportunity to drop before you purchase. 

Should you buy an iPad Pro before Black Friday?

iPad Pro 2021

(Image credit: Future)
  • Yes if: you're buying the M1 (2021) model 
  • No if: you're buying the M2 (2022) model

The previous generation iPad Pro is likely to see some serious discounts over the next few weeks. That's because 2022's instalment is here, packing an M2 processor for the same MSRP as its predecessor. This kind of replacement often sparks particularly fast, particularly heavy discounts on the older model, as retailers rush to rid themselves of stock while still keeping the price worth it for those missing out on the new CPU. If you don't need that M2 brain, it's well worth diving into iPad Pro deals before Black Friday. We've already seen record low prices exceeding $699 / $899 on the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models respectively, but things are moving fast. The UK, for example, is already seeing a shortage of these devices on the shelves, and the US is due to follow suit shortly. The crux here is, we won't see these models available for very long - and once they're gone, you can bet you'll be paying a lot more for the new release. 

If you do need that M2 processor, though, we'd recommend waiting until Black Friday to buy your iPad. We haven't seen any discounts on these brand new tablets yet, and likely won't until the big day itself. However, we are optimistic for some savings on larger models, so it's well worth giving this tablet some time. 

Should you buy an iPad Air before Black Friday?

iPad Air 2022

(Image credit: Future)
  • Yes if: prices fall below $519 / £569

The 2022 iPad Air has seen a fair few discounts since its launch earlier this year, but it still hasn't dipped to the sub-$500 / £500 positions of its predecessor. Considering record lows still sit at $519 / £569, we're not expecting to see such an offer in this year's holiday sales. Instead, we may well return to those previous records (especially considering anything cheaper would be encroaching on the new 10th generation iPad's territory). 

We've predicted Black Friday prices of $519 - $549 / £569 for this model, following recent discounts that introduced such record lows. That means we would only recommend buying an iPad Air before Black Friday if the current record low is beaten. 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 6 before Black Friday?

iPad Mini 6

(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 last year, 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. 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. 

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. Or, for more Apple devices, check out our predictions for 2022's Black Friday AirPods deals.

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 and mice that come with them), and tracking everything that suggests VR is about to take over our lives.