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Apple May Replace 3.5mm Headphone Jack on iPhone 7 With All-in-One Lightning Connector

Apple is planning to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack on the next-generation iPhone in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector, according to often-reliable Japanese website Mac Otakara. Apple may also release Lightning-equipped EarPods to support the new audio output on future iOS devices.

The report, citing a "reliable source," claims the new same-sized Lightning connector will support Lightning-equipped and Bluetooth headphones, and have a DAC, or digital-to-audio converter, for backwards compatibility with wired headphones using standard 3.5mm stereo jacks. A 3.5mm to Lightning adapter would be required.

The so-called "iPhone 7" will likely be more than 1mm thinner than the 7.1mm thick iPhone 6s as a result, according to the report. The sixth-generation iPod touch could be a comparable device, with a depth of 6.1mm, but the portable media player still has a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Apple will also reportedly release Lightning-equipped EarPods, which would likely be included in the box alongside the iPhone 7 and sold separately for use with other future iOS devices. Apple's current EarPods with a 3.5mm stereo jack will presumably remain available for purchase afterwards for the foreseeable future.

Apple introduced new MFi Program specifications in June 2014 that allow third-party manufacturers to create headphones that connect to iOS devices via a Lightning cable, but the rollout has been slow. Philips has unveiled Lightning-equipped Fidelio M2L and Fidelio NC1L headphones over the past 14 months.

Should this rumor prove to be true, Apple's decision to switch to an all-in-one Lightning connector for charging and audio output could face the same kind of controversy as when the company retired its proprietary 30-pin dock connector in favor of a smaller Lightning connector starting with the iPhone 5 in 2012.

The Best Black Friday Deals on Macs, iPads, iPhones, Apple Watch, and More

With the Thanksgiving holiday well underway in the United States, Black Friday deals at both online and brick and mortar stores are starting to go live. Many major retail stores like Target, Best Buy, and Walmart will be opening up in the early evening, and most online-only deals are already live.

We've rounded up a few of the absolute best deals that can be had on products like the iPad, iPhone, MacBook, iMac, and Apple Watch below, and even more deals can be found in our full Black Friday roundup, which has a long list of retailers that are offering discounts.

Apple Watch

Both Target and Best Buy are offering Apple Watch deals. At Best Buy, the Apple Watch is up to $100 off, with a $50 discount for Apple Watch Sport models and a $100 discount for stainless steel Apple Watch models.

Target is offering a $100 Target gift card with the full price purchase of any Apple Watch or Apple Watch Sport.


With the purchase of an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus on a device installment payment plan from Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T, Target is offering customers a $250 Target gift card.

With the purchase of an iPhone 5s, 6, 6 Plus, 6s, or 6s Plus using AT&T Next or a Verizon device payment plan, Walmart is offering $200 off in the form of a $100 bill credit and a $100 Walmart gift card.

iPad Air 2

There are a lot of deals available on the iPad Air 2, with discounts as high as $150 off.

Sam's Club is discounting its entire stock of iPad Air 2 models by $150, dropping the price of the entry-level Wi-Fi only iPad Air 2 to $349.

Staples is selling the 64GB Wi-Fi only iPad Air 2 at a $150 discount, dropping the price to $449. The 16GB Wi-Fi only model is available at a $125 discount, dropping the price to $374.

Best Buy is selling the 16 and 64GB Wi-Fi only iPad Air 2 at a $100 discount, dropping the price to $399 and $499, respectively. The 128GB Wi-Fi only model is available at a $125 discount, dropping the price to $574.

For those who would prefer a gift card to a straight cash deal, Target is offering a $150 Target gift card with the purchase of any iPad Air 2 model.

iPad mini 4

Best Buy is selling the 64 and 128GB Wi-Fi only iPad mini 4 at a discount of $100, dropping the price to $399 and $499, respectively.

Staples is selling the 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad mini 4 for $299, a $100 discount off the regular price of $399.

For those who would prefer a gift card to a straight cash deal, Target is offering a $100 Target gift card with the purchase of any iPad mini 4 model.

12-inch MacBook

While Adorama and MacMall are offering $100 discounts on the 12-inch Retina MacBook, Best Buy and B&H Photos deals are the best, dropping prices by as much as $200.

- 1.1GHz/8GB/256GB Gold - $1,179, $120 off
- 1.1GHz/8GB/256GB Silver - $1,149, $150 off
- 1.1GHz/8GB/256GB Space Gray - $1,179, $120 off
- 1.2GHz/8GB/512GB Gold - $1,429, $170 off
- 1.2GHz/8GB/512GB Silver - $1,429, $170 off
- 1.2GHz/8GB/512GB Space Gray - $1,399, $200 off

MacBook Air

Best Buy and B&H Photo have the best prices on stock MacBook Air models. For non-stock models, MacMall is offering $81 off to $100 off.

- 11-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB - $774, $125 off
- 11-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/256GB - $979, $120 off
- 13-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB - $879, $120 off
- 13-inch 1.6GHz/4GB256GB - $1,079, $120 off

MacBook Pro

B&H Photo, MacMall, and Best Buy all have deals on Macs, with the lowest prices on stock configurations listed below. MacMall has discounts on a wide range of non-stock models, with $150 to $250 off.

- 13-inch 2.7GHz/8GB/128GB - $1,179, $150 off
- 13-inch 2.7GHz/8GB/256GB (Best Buy) (B&H Photo) (MacMall) - $1,349.99, $150 off
- 13-inch 2.9GHz/8GB/512GB - $1,599, $200 off
- 15-inch 2.2GHz/16GB/256GB - $1,699, $300 off
- 15-inch 2.5GHz/16GB/512GB - $2,149, $350 off


On stock iMac models, Best Buy, B&H Photo, and MacMall have some of the best deals available. For non-stock configurations, MacMall is offering discounts between $101 and $201.

- 21.5-inch 1.6GHz/8GB/1TB - $899, $200 off
- 21.5-inch 2.8GHz/8GB/1TB (B&H Photo) (MacMall) - $1,179, $120 off
- 21.5-inch 4K 3.1GHz/8GB/1TB - $1,299, $200 off
- 27-inch 5K 3.2GHz/8GB/1TB - $1,599, $200 off
- 27-inch 5K 3.2GHz/8GB/1TB Fusion (B&H Photo) (MacMall) - $1,799, $200 off
- 27-inch 5K/3.3GHz/2TB Fusion - $2,029, $250 off

Apple TV

As a doorbuster deal, Target is offering 25 percent off all Apple TVs. Supplies for this deal are likely to be limited.



- iPods - $50 off
- Beats by Dre Powerbeats - $99.99, $100 off
- Pebble Time - $129.99, $70 off
- Fitbit Charge HR - $119 $30 off
- Beats Solo 2 headphones - $97, $103 off


- Fantastical for iPhone - $2.99, 40 percent off
- Fantastical for iPad - $4.99, 50 percent off
- VMware Fusion Pro - $119 to purchase/$71.99 to upgrade, 40 percent off
- VMware Fusion 8 - $55.99 to buy/$34.99 to upgrade, 30 percent off
- VMware upgrades from Parallels - 55 percent off
- VMware Fusion Pro and Workstation Pro bundle - $224.98, 50 percent off
- Adobe Premiere Elements 14 - $59.99, 39 percent off
- Adobe Photoshop Elements 14 - $59.99, 39 percent off
- Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac - $99, $34 off
- Pixelmator for Mac - $14.99, 50 percent off
- Pixelmator for iPhone - $1.99, 50 percent off
- Parallels - $79. Comes with 7 free apps, including 1Password and Evernote Premium

Make sure to check out the Black Friday roundup for specific times on when retail stores will open and more information on each of the deals listed above.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.

Related Roundup: Black Friday

Remarkable Deal: Colette Offering 50% Off Many Apple Watch Models

French boutique retailer Colette has launched an online sale offering many stainless steel Apple Watch and 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition models for around 50% off, by far the lowest prices available for those Apple Watch models this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Due to the significant savings, stock will likely be depleted very quickly.

A total of thirteen Apple Watch and six Apple Watch Edition models have been listed for half price, although some models appear to have already sold out. Colette is also selling individual stainless steel Link Bracelets and Milanese Loops for half price during the limited time promotion.

The list below compares Apple's regular price to Colette's sale price for each Apple Watch model. All prices are listed in U.S. dollars.

Apple Watch — SOLD OUT

- 38mm Stainless Steel Case with White Sport Band - $549 → $286.78
- 42mm Stainless Steel Case with White Sport Band - $599 → $308.87
- 38mm Stainless Steel Case with (PRODUCT)RED Sport Band - $549 → $286.78
- 42mm Stainless Steel Case with (PRODUCT)RED Sport Band - $599 → $308.87
- 42mm Stainless Steel Case with Black Sport Band - $599 → $308.87
- 38mm Space Black Stainless Steel Case with Black Sport Band - $549 → $286.78
- 38mm Stainless Steel Case with Black Classic Buckle - $649 → $330.96
- 42mm Stainless Steel Case with Black Classic Buckle - $699 → $353.06
- 38mm Stainless Steel Case with Milanese Loop - $649 → $330.96
- 38mm Stainless Steel Case with Link Bracelet - $949 → $485.62
- 42mm Stainless Steel Case with Link Bracelet - $999 → $507.71
- 38mm Space Black w/ Space Black Stainless Steel Link Bracelet - $1,049 → $529.80
- 42mm Space Black w/ Space Black Stainless Steel Link Bracelet - $1,099 → $551.91

Apple Watch Edition

- 38mm 18-Carat Rose Gold Case with White Sport Band - $10,000 → $4,860.62
- 38mm 18-Carat Yellow Gold Case w/ Bright Red Modern Buckle - $17,000 → $7,953.75
- 42mm 18-Carat Yellow Gold Case with Black Classic Buckle - $15,000 → $7,070
- 38mm 18-Carat Yellow Gold Case with Black Sport Band - $10,000 → $4,860.62
- 42mm 18-Carat Yellow Gold Case with Black Sport Band - $12,000 → $5,744.38
- 42mm 18-Carat Rose Gold Case with White Sport Band - $12,000 → $5,744.38

Colette offers online checkout for in-stock Apple Watch models and accessories, with American Express, MasterCard, Visa and PayPal listed as accepted payment methods. Each Apple Watch may only be purchased once.

Best Buy and Target are also offering Apple Watch deals for select models on Black Friday, including the Apple Watch Sport, which is not on sale through Colette. Deals may vary depending on time, location and product availability.

Update: As expected, Colette has sold out of stainless steel Apple Watch models, while Apple Watch Edition models remain available for purchase.

Black Friday Deals: Apple Accessories, Cases, Docks, Home Automation and More

In addition to Black Friday deals from Best Buy, MacMall and other major retailers, many smaller companies are offering discounts on Apple products, accessories and apps for U.S. Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

A number of those deals are highlighted below, with most beginning to go live, and more can be found in our Black Friday roundup. Please note that product availability may be limited, and prices are subject to change.

Intrepid Bag Co.

The Intrepid Bag Co., a site that makes high-quality leather bags, has an exclusive discount code for MacRumors readers. Between now and December 2nd, use the code WeLoveMacRumors10 to get a discount on any of the site's products.



Casetify, a site that specializes in customizable iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands, is offering 20% off site wide. MacRumors readers can get an extra 10% discount for a total of 30% off all products with the promo code MACRUMORS30. The deal will last from Friday, November 27 to Tuesday, December 1.


Sewell Direct

Sewell Direct is discounting several of its most popular products for Black Friday.

- MOS Magnetic Cord Organizer - $6.95, 65% off
- Monk Wallet cases for iPhone 4s/5s - $4.95 to $9.95, 50% off
- MOS Spring 6-ft Lightning Cable - $25.85, 30% off
- MOS Spring 1-ft Lightning Cable - $13.95, 30% off
- MOS Kick iPhone stand - $14.95, 40% off
- MOS Reach extension cord - $11.95, 40% off


The SensoGlove Digital Golf Glove is available for 20% off from Thursday, November 26 to Friday, December 4 with the coupon code BlackFriday2015.


OWC has a large selection of used Macs on sale for customers who are looking to get a deal on an older machine. OWC is also offering discounts on a range of Apple-related products from Wednesday November 25 to Friday, December 4.

- Apple Lightning Cables - $7, 63% off
- Apple Earpods - $8.75, down from $29
- SSDs - Several SSDs discounted, including 100GB for $29 and 240GB for $109.80
- MagSafe Cables - New from $57.50, used from $35
- Mac Memory Kits with 8GB RAM - Starting at $58
- Mac DIY Drive Upgrade Kits - From $47
- Griffin Loop Tablet Stand - $2.90, down from $29.99
- Ten One Design Mountie Clip - $15, down from $24.95
- Edimax AC 450 Wi-Fi Wireless Adapter - $15, down from $39
- Edimax SP-2101W Smart Plug Switch - $25, down from $49

Situ Scale

Situ Scale, which we reviewed in July, is an iPad-connected scale that aims to offer a more precise picture of the calorie and nutrient content in food. The scale has gotten a lot of recent updates and is available at a 25% discount for Black Friday using the code BLACKFRIDAY when checking out. With the discount, the scale is available for $89.99 instead of $119.99. The deal is available from now until November 28.


iPhone and iPad cases from Nodus are available at a 25% discount from Friday, November 27 to Monday, November 30.


On Black Friday through Cyber Monday, Speck will be offering 25% off all products site wide, with the exception of sale items. On MacBook items, Speck will be offering 40% off.


On Black Friday, Zagg will offer a buy one get one free deal on its lineup of InvisibleShield screen protectors for the iPhone, iPad, and other electronic devices.

Brydge Keyboards

Brydge is offering discounts on a selection of its iPad keyboards. The BrydgeMini for iPad mini is available for $30 off, dropping the price to $99.99, while the BrydgeAir is available for $20 off, dropping the price to $129.99. The Brydge+ for older iPads is also $20 off, dropping the price to $79.99.

More deals ahead…

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Related Roundup: Black Friday
Tag: Cyber Monday

MacMall's 60-Hour 2015 Black Friday Sale Kicks Off With Solid Deals on Macs

MacMall's annual 60-hour Black Friday sale [PDF] on a variety of Apple products starts today, November 25, at 12:01 p.m. Pacific Time and lasts through 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Friday, November 28.

As it does every year, MacMall is offering significant discounts on a huge selection of Apple Macs and iPads. The Retina MacBook Pro is available at up to $250 off, while the MacBook Air is available for up to $101 off. The 27-inch iMac is available at up to $201 off, and the Mac mini is available at $100 off.

MacMall sells a range of stock Apple Macs and custom build-to-order models. We've listed a selection of the more popular discounted models below, but the full range of discounts are available on the MacMall website.

2015 Retina MacBook

- 1.1GHz/8GB/256GB Gold, Silver, Space Gray - $1,197, $102 off
- 1.2GHz/8GB/512GB Gold, Silver, Space Gray - $1,497, $102 off
- 1.3GHz/8GB/256GB Gold, Silver, Space Gray - $1,447, $102 off
- 1.3GHz/8GB/512GB Gold, Silver, Space Gray - $1,647, $102 off

2015 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro

- 2.7GHz/8GB/128GB - $1,197, $102 off
- 2.7GHz/8GB/256GB - $1,397, $102 off
- 2.9GHz/8GB/512GB - $1,697, $102 off
- 2.7GHz/16GB/256GB - $1,597, $102 off
- 2.9GHz/16GB/256GB - $1,697, $102 off
- 2.9GHz/16GB/512GB - $1,897, $102 off
- 3.1GHz/16GB/256GB - $1,897, $102 off
- 3.1GHz/16GB/512GB - $2,097, $102 off
- 3.1GHz/16GB/1TB - $2,597, $102 off

2015 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro

15-inch 2015 Retina MacBook Pro models are available for up to $250 off. Models marked Iris AMD include a separate AMD graphics card while models marked Iris Pro do not.

- 2.2GHz/16GB/256GB/Iris Pro - $1,799, $200 off
- 2.2GHz/16GB/512GB/Iris Pro - $2,148, $151 off
- 2.5GHz/16GB/256GB/Iris Pro - $1,948, $151 off
- 2.5GHz/16GB/512GB/Iris Pro - $2,248, $151 off
- 2.5GHz/16GB/512GB/Iris AMD - $2,249, $250 off
- 2.5GHz/16GB/1TB/Iris AMD - $2,839, $160 off
- 2.8GHz/16GB/256GB/Iris Pro - $2,148, $151 off
- 2.8GHz/16GB/512GB/Iris Pro - $2,448, $151 off
- 2.8GHz/16GB/512GB/Iris AMD - $2,548, $151 off
- 2.8GHz/16GB/1TB/Iris AMD - $2,949, $250 off

2015 MacBook Air

MacMall's selection of MacBook Air models are available at an $80 to $101 discount.

- 11-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB - $799, $99 off
- 11-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/256GB - $1,018, $81 off
- 11-inch 1.6GHz/8GB/256GB - $1,118, $81 off
- 11-inch 2.2GHz/8GB/256GB - $1,268, $81 off
- 11-inch 2.2GHz/8GB/512GB - $1,568, $81 off
- 13-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB - $899, $99 off
- 13-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/256GB - $1,098, $100 off
- 13-inch 1.6GHz/8GB/256GB - $1,218, $81 off
- 13-inch 1.6GHz/8GB/512GB - $1,518, $81 off
- 13-inch 2.2GHz/8GB/256GB - $1,368, $81 off
- 13-inch 2.2GHz/8GB/512GB - $1,668, $81 off

2015 21.5-inch iMac

- 1.4GHz/8GB/1TB - $998, $101 off
- 2.8GHz/8GB/1TB - $1,198, $101 off
- 2.8GHz/8GB/1TB Fusion - $1,318, $81 off
- 2.8GHz/16GB/1TB Fusion - $1,518, $81 off
- 4K 3.1GHz/8GB/1TB - $1,389, $110 off
- 4K 3.1GHz/16GB/1TB - $1,589, $101 off
- 4K 3.3GHz/8GB/1TB Fusion - $1,698, $101 off

2015 27-inch iMac

- 5K 3.2GHz/8GB/1TB/M380 - $1,669, $130 off
- 5K 3.2GHz/8GB/1TB Fusion/M390 - $1,848, $151 off
- 5K 3.2GHz/8GB/2TB Fusion/M380 - $1,998, $101 off
- 5K 3.2GHz/16GB/1TB Fusion/M390 - $2,098, $101 off
- 5K 3.3GHz/8GB/2TB Fusion/M395 - $2,148, $151 off
- 5K 3.3GHz/16GB/2TB Fusion/M395 - $2,398, $101 off
- 5K 4.0GHz/8GB/2TB Fusion/M395 - $2,448, $101 off
- 5K 4.0GHz/16GB/2TB Fusion/M395 - $2,648, $101 off
- 5K 4.0GHz/16GB/3TB Fusion/M395 - $2,748, $101 off
- 5K 4.0/32GB/2TB Fusion/M395X - $3,248, $151 off
- 5K 4.0/32GB/3TB Fusion/M395X - $3,348, $151 off
- 5K 4.0/32GB/1TB Flash/M395X - $3898, $201 off

2013 Mac Pro

- 4-Core 3.7GHz/12GB/256GB - $2,699, $300 off
- 6-Core 3.5GHz/16GB/256GB - $3,649, $350 off
- 8-Core 3.0GHz/12GB/1TB - $6,349, $450 off
- 12-Core 2.7GHz/64GB/1TB - $8,799, $800 off

2014 Mac mini

- 1.4GHz/4GB/500GB - $464.99, $34 off
- 2.6GHz/8GB/1TB Sata - $658, $41 off
- 2.8GHz/8GB/1TB Fusion - $938, $61 off

MacMall is offering iPad Air 2 models at $40 to $50 off 16, 64, and 128GB Wi-Fi only models and up to $75 off the more expensive high-capacity cellular models. The original iPad Air is also available for up to $40 off, and the iPad mini 4 is available for up to $30 off.

The site is also selling a wide range of Apple-related accessories, cases, and other products at small discounts, including the BlueLounge Design Sanctuary 4 Charging Station, which is available for $65 (down from $135) and the Otterbox Defender for iPhone 6s, available for $45 (down from $72).

As one of the only sites that sells Apple's build-to-order Mac models at a discount, MacMall is a popular choice for customers looking for a non-standard Mac at a lower price. Because MacMall operates in a limited number of states, most orders can will not require sale tax to be paid.

For more upcoming Black Friday deals, make sure to check out our dedicated Black Friday roundup. There are some excellent discounts this year on a range of products from iPads and Macs to iPhones and Apple Watches, not to mention hundreds of Apple-related accessories.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with MacMall.

Related Roundup: Black Friday
Tag: MacMall

iPhones Expected to Have OLED Displays Starting in 2018

Apple plans to switch to OLED displays for iPhones starting in 2018, according to Japanese website Nikkei. The report claims Apple has notified its suppliers about its future plans, with LG Display already planning capacity upgrades for high-volume OLED display production.

LG Display and Samsung Electronics will likely share a large portion of the OLED panel production for future iPhones, according to the report. Apple's shift to OLED displays could have "major implications" for Apple's current LCD display suppliers Sharp and Japan Display, the latter of which relies on Apple for 30% of its business.
Samsung Electronics is currently the only company that can reliably mass-produce OLED smartphone screens. LG Display has a track record for producing OLEDs for television screens. Given this, the two companies will likely supply a large portion of Apple's displays. […]

Apple's shift to OLED displays will have major implications for two Japanese suppliers -- Sharp, which is scrambling to rebuild its faltering operations, and Japan Display, which relies on the computing giant for 30% of its business.
Due to the high volume of iPhones that Apple ships, and the technical challenges of producing OLED displays, the report claims the company will likely continue to sell iPhones with LCD screens alongside models with new OLED displays.

Samsung's popular Galaxy-branded smartphones are equipped with AMOLED displays, as is the Apple Watch, but iPhones have always had LCD displays since the original model launched over eight years ago.

OLED displays can provide sharper images and brighter colors compared to LCD displays, but generally have a shorter lifespan and higher manufacturing costs. Apple has reportedly been "consulting with display makers" about OLED technology to eliminate potential drawbacks.
OLEDs are known for offering sharper images and colors than the conventional liquid crystal displays used in cellphones since the 1990s, as well as for their power-saving capacity. The screens can also be bent and rounded to a certain degree, giving companies greater flexibility when designing devices.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently noted that Apple is unlikely to adopt AMOLED displays for iPhones for at least three years, claiming that its main supplier Foxconn is preparing to invest in advanced TFT-LCD production lines in China for mass production in 2018.

Related Roundup: iPhone 6s
Tags: Samsung, OLED, LG Display
Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Buy Now)

Target's Black Friday Early Access Sale Now Live With Discounts on Apple Watch, iPad

Target is hosting a one-day Early Access sale ahead of the Black Friday shopping holiday, making some of its most appealing Black Friday deals available early. Deals are available in Target retail stores and online on Wednesday, November 25.

Like Best Buy, Target is one of the retailers offering deals on the Apple Watch. As of today, when purchasing one of the 20 Apple Watch or Apple Watch Sport models Target offers, customers can get a free $100 Target gift card. Pricing on the Apple Watch at Target starts at $349 for the 38mm Apple Watch Sport.

With the purchase of an original iPad Air, Target is offering customers a $100 Target gift card. Target carries several original iPad Air models, with prices that start at $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only version.

The iPad mini 2, priced starting at $269 for a 16GB Wi-Fi only version, is also available with a free $80 Target gift card with purchase. On Thursday and Friday, Target will have similar deals on the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 4, Apple's more recent tablets.

Beats Solo2 headphones (wired version) are available for $96.99, which is a discount of $103 and one of the best deals that will be available this holiday season.

Starting later this afternoon and tomorrow, dozens of other retailers will be offering Black Friday deals with discounts on a wide range of Apple products. Make sure to check out our dedicated Black Friday roundup to find the best deals that will be available this week.

Related Roundup: Black Friday
Tag: Target

Black Friday App Deals Include Pixelmator, Linky, Lost Within and More

Just ahead of Thanksgiving and the busy Black Friday shopping holiday in the U.S., some app developers have discounted their iOS and Mac apps for a limited time.

Black Friday App Store
We have been tracking App Store price drops on our sister website AppShopper and found early deals on popular apps Pixelmator, Linky, Lost Within and more.

Pixelmator-iconPixelmator for iOS [Direct Link] has been discounted from $4.99 to $1.99, which is 60% off and the image editing app's lowest price since it went on sale for 99 cents in July 2015.
Pixelmator is a powerful, full-featured, layer-based image editor that lets you touch up and enhance images, sketch and paint, as well as create advanced image compositions on iPad and iPhone alike.
Pixelmator for Mac [Direct Link] is also on sale for $14.99, which is 50% off its regular price of $29.99. The OS X image editing app last went on sale for $14.99 in April 2015.
Pixelmator takes full advantage of the latest Mac technologies, giving you speedy, powerful tools that let you touch up and enhance images, draw or paint, apply dazzling effects, or create advanced compositions amazingly simple. Once your images are ready, access them anywhere with iCloud, send them to iPhoto or Aperture, email, print, share, or save them to popular image formats–all right from Pixelmator.
LinkyLinky for iOS [Direct Link] is on sale for 50% off during Black Friday week, lowering the app's price to $1.99 from $3.99. The popular link, text and sharing app was last discounted to $1.99 in November 2014.
Linky lets you easily share webpage links, images and text extracts to Twitter, Facebook and from your iPhone and iPad.

Write your post, choose which preferred social networks and Linky will do the rest! You can connect Linky to Twitter, Facebook (Profiles and Pages) and
Lost-Within-iconAmazon Game Studios has discounted Lost Within for iOS [Direct Link] to $1.99, which is over 70% off its regular $6.99 price and the app's lowest price ever.

The high-rated iPhone and iPad survival game, an Editors' Choice on the App Store, last went on sale for $2.99 in October 2015. Read our Lost Within review on TouchArcade.
From the developer of Prey -- Survive a haunted asylum and its monstrous Inhabitants. Confront a legendary killer who prowls the abandoned wards. Scavenge and create makeshift weapons or conserve your resources and employ stealth tactics to sneak past the lurking horrors. When all else fails, run for your life or find a place to hide. To escape, you must uncover the asylum's dark mystery: the shattering secret that led to its condemnation. There are many doors, but there is only one way out.

Todo-iconTodo for iOS [Direct Link] is on sale for 99 cents, down from $4.99. The popular to-do list and task management app was last discounted to $1.99 in October 2015, but 99 cents is the app's lowest price ever.
Todo - The ORIGINAL To-Do and Task List is the world's first, and one of the most popular, powerful, and award-winning to-do list and task manager iOS apps ever—now on Apple Watch! Todo is used by millions of individuals, families and teams for GETTING THINGS DONE.
Also on Sale

- Door Kickers: $4.99 → $1.99
- AG Drive: $3.99 → $1.99
- The Cursed Ship, Collector’s Edition (iPhone): $4.99 → Free
- The Cursed Ship, Collector’s Edition (iPad): $6.99 → Free

Though not an App Store deal, four developers have teamed up to offer a a software package containing movie-related apps, which is available at a discount for Black Friday. The Blockbuster Kit includes Boom 2, Beamer 3, Waltr, and Elmedia Player Pro for $29.90 through Cyber Monday, at which point the price will go up to $50. A description of the included apps is below.

- Boom 2 - World’s most advanced app for sound boosting.
- Beamer 3 - The first and the easiest way to stream any movie to Apple TV.
- WALTR - World’s fastest way to get any movie into your iPhone & iPad.
- Elmedia Player PRO - One of the best ways to watch movies on your Mac.

Follow our Black Friday roundup to keep track of the best deals on Apple products and accessories.

Apple Shares 'Someday At Christmas' Ad With Stevie Wonder and Andra Day

A day before Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States, Apple this morning shared a new Christmas-themed ad for 2015, starring artists Stevie Wonder and Andra Day. The 90-second ad centers on Wonder performing his 1967 holiday classic "Someday At Christmas" with family members.

The iconic artist uses a handful of Apple products and apps -- like a MacBook and GarageBand -- to perform his heartfelt song "Someday at Christmas" alongside Day and presumably some younger members of his family. Day can be seen wearing an Apple Watch about one minute into the advertisement.

Tag: Apple ads

T-Mobile Offers Sprint Customers $200 Credit Per Line to Switch

sprinttmobileT-Mobile has announced a second "Un-carrier Unwrapped" promotion that offers Sprint customers a $200 bill credit for each line switched to a T-Mobile Simple Choice postpaid plan starting Thursday, November 26.

The offer is valid for Sprint, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile postpaid and prepaid customers, with no device trade-in required for the bill credit.

Sprint customers can still take advantage of T-Mobile's Carrier Freedom offer, which provides up to $650 towards a balance owing or to pay off early termination fees (ETFs) with an eligible device trade-in.
Just switch any Sprint number – including postpaid, prepaid, Boost and Virgin Mobile – over to a T-Mobile Simple Choice postpaid plan starting this Thursday, November 26 and you’ll automatically get a $200 credit on your bill. That’s $200 multiplied by as many lines as you switch. For a family of four, that could mean $800 extra, and for a business with 10 employees, we’re talking about a $2,000 credit!
This limited time offer is part of T-Mobile's monthlong "Un-carrier Unwrapped" holiday promotion that began with three months of free unlimited LTE data for all Simple Choice postpaid customers earlier this week.

T-Mobile plans to unveil additional "gifts" over the next month, with a new gift coming at least once per week. T-Mobile CEO John Legere confirmed on Twitter that gifts are coming soon for AT&T and Verizon customers.

Confirmed: Apple Acquired Real-Time Motion Capture Firm Faceshift

Earlier this year, MacRumors uncovered some evidence suggesting Zurich-based real-time motion capture firm Faceshift was acquired by Apple, and as of today, that acquisition has been confirmed by Apple in a statement given to TechCrunch.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Prior to being acquired by Apple, Faceshift worked with game and animation studios on technology designed to quickly and accurately capture facial expressions using 3D sensors, including Faceshift Studio software with plugins for Maya and Unity. The company was also working toward consumer-facing software like a Skype plugin that would support real-time avatars for video chat.

Based on Swiss company registry filings discovered by MacRumors, Faceshift was acquired by Apple in mid-August. Several Faceshift employees have now joined Apple and are working out of the company's European offices. Apple is also hiring additional employees to work on related technology in Switzerland, including a senior software engineer that would focus on "cutting-edge imaging algorithms for both mobile and desktop photographic applications."

Faceshift launched in 2011 out of the Computer Graphics and Geometry Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, and in mid-2013, the company expanded and brought on industry veteran Doug Griffin, formerly of Industrial Light & Magic and Electronic Arts, to head up a San Francisco office. Faceshift has demonstrated its motion capture technology multiple times in the past few years, most recently demoing it at GDC 2015.

It is not clear what Apple will use Faceshift's Technology for, but there are a wide range of possible use cases. Faceshift's real-time motion capture work in the gaming and chat arena could be used for things like real-time avatars for FaceTime video chats, but there are also more serious applications such as biometrics for unlocking devices or authorizing payments through facial recognition techniques.

Tag: Faceshift

Best Buy Offering Up to $100 Off Apple Watch Today Only in Pre-Black Friday Sale

Best Buy is hosting an early access online-only sale today that includes significant discounts on the Apple Watch and the iPad Air 2 ahead of the traditional Black Friday shopping holiday.

Customers can get $50 off the Apple Watch Sport and $100 off the stainless steel Apple Watch, dropping entry-level prices to $299 and $449, respectively. The discount applies to all Apple Watch models that Best Buy sells and is available online only.

To get the discount, enter the code AWSPORTDEAL when checking out with an Apple Watch Sport or AWDEAL when checking out with the stainless steel Apple Watch.

Best Buy is also offering up to $125 off iPad Air 2 models. The 16 and 64GB iPad Air 2 models can be purchased at a $100 discount when using the promo code IPADAIR2DEAL at checkout, while 128GB models can be purchased at a $125 discount with the promocode IPADSAVE125DEAL.

Best Buy's Early Access sale will end on 11/24/15 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time. That translates to 9:59 p.m. Pacific Time and 12:59 a.m. Eastern Time.

When Black Friday rolls around, Best Buy will be offering additional discounts on the Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, and a selection of MacBooks. Several other retailers are also offering similar deals, all of which can be found in our dedicated Black Friday roundup.

Related Roundup: Black Friday
Tag: Best Buy