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Apple's Black Friday special: Gift cards

Apple's retail store, one of its largest, in New York's Grand Central Station.
Apple's retail store, one of its largest, in New York's Grand Central Station.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Apple is giving away gift cards with Black Friday purchases
  • This is different from past years, when Apple offered modest discounts on some items
  • Some electronics competitors are sticking with cutting prices

(CNN) -- It's a recent Thanksgiving custom as traditional as turkey, stuffing or collapsing on the couch while watching NFL football: the Apple Store's annual announcement of Black Friday discounts.

Except that this year, there aren't any, exactly.

Instead of marking down prices on Macs or iPads, Apple is giving out Apple Store gift cards to purchasers of various products. The cards are worth an estimated 10-15% of the price for certain Apple devices, and more for accessories.

Online and in its North American retail stores, Apple was offering gift cards of up to $150 for the purchase of a Mac, up to $75 for an iPad and up to $50 for an iPod. No gift cards were being offered for iPhones or the new iPad Mini, which went on sale earlier this month.

In its European stores, Apple was offering modest discounts on products instead of gift cards.

Online sales in the United States began after midnight Pacific time on Friday. Many brick-and-mortar Apple Stores opened at 6 a.m.

Some of Apple's competitors are sticking with more traditional Black Friday discounts. A number of items at the Microsoft Store are on sale, and the Sony Store also has a number of Black Friday deals.

Last year the Apple Store offered discounts of about 10% for expensive items and up to 40% for cheaper products.

CNN's Brandon Griggs contributed to this story.

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