Which tech products will actually get Black Friday discounts this year?

·9 min read

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Back in the days of yore, we shopped for the best Black Friday discounts on the day after Thanksgiving. As 4K TV discounts deepened and AirPods coupons multiplied over the years, the holiday shopping season breached its Black Friday containment, seeping into Thanksgiving. With help from the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy, Black Friday has finally overtaken the entire season. So you’d better grab your wallet.

While Black Friday 2021 technically falls on November 26th, more and more retailers have foregone the blowout sales weekend format in favor of a longer holiday savings event that starts earlier. This trend (along with online-only deals instead of in-store doorbusters) isn’t new, but its implementation became necessary when it was no longer safe to host a concentrated mass of shoppers indoors. Taking pandemic-induced global supply chain disruption and shipping delays into consideration, Long Black Friday ensures that orders can be placed and fulfilled in time for the holidays.

What Does This Mean for My Favorite Black Friday Tech Deals?

As anyone who has tried to buy a PlayStation 5 could tell you, the global semiconductor shortage has majorly affected consumer tech availability. Before you start planning your Black Friday shopping list, it’s worth learning about how these global issues have impacted the production of hot-ticket Black Friday tech goods like smartphones, video game consoles and TVs.

Expect the Usual TV Deals, But Nothing Groundbreaking

Hisense and Samsung TVs
Credit: Hisense, Samsung

TV production has been impacted by component shortages and shipping delays in the months leading up to Black Friday 2021, but the constraint isn’t nearly as dire as that of video game consoles and GPUs. Analysts predict that TV prices will probably hold steady compared to previous years, so you shouldn’t worry too much about price hikes. As long as you aren’t expecting the lowest prices ever, you should be able to find what you’re looking for.

As for what you can expect to find, historic trends suggest that premium OLED/QLED 4K TVs from brands like Samsung and LG, large (70″+) midrange TVs from Hisense and VIZIO and budget-tier 4K smart TVs from Insignia, Toshiba and TCL will be featured prominently in many retailers’ Black Friday discounts. If you’re willing to pay a little extra for a higher-end TV, it might be worth your while in the long run — OLED TVs are getting cheaper with every passing year.

Take these predictions and brand selections with a grain of salt, but these early Black Friday discounts might be a taste of what’s to come. Don’t settle for whatever’s around if you already know what you want — set a Deal Alert instead!

Smartphone Deals May Be Scaled Back

 Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G and apple iphone 12 grouping
Credit: Samsung, Apple

Given the recent debut of the iPhone 13 and Samsung’s host of flexible new Galaxy phones, there’s no better time to save big on last year’s model than Black Friday. If retailers plan on following trends from past years, you’ll likely find the steepest discounts on trade-in deals from carriers like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile as well as unlocked phone deals at major retailers like Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy.

Here are a few models worth keeping an eye on as Black Friday deals begin to roll out — you can even save on a few phones right now. If you are on the hunt for something specific, don’t forget to set a Deal Alert!

When the semiconductor shortage first began, Apple secured extra components by leveraging its powerful status as the number-one smartphone manufacturer — and forged full-steam ahead on moving chip production in-house. However, it looks like iPhone 13 production may be cut by up to 10 million units, so don’t expect to find many savings on the latest iPhone.

Unfortunately, Android manufacturers like Samsung and Google haven’t been quite as lucky. The chip shortage is likely why the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has been delayed and the staggered rollout of the Pixel 5a and 6. If you were looking for a reason to try out a capable but less popular Android smartphone, this might be the year to do it.

Don’t Hold Your Breath for Video Game Console Deals

Playstation 5 and xbox series x
Credit: Sony, Microsoft

Remember when you could go to the store, leisurely browse the aisles and pick up the video game console of your choice? You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. To put it bluntly — unless you’re one of the scalpers hawking consoles on marketplace sites, you will not save much (if any) money on a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X/S this Black Friday.

As we have covered extensively throughout the past year, the global semiconductor chip shortage has had a catastrophic impact on the production and availability of these next-gen consoles. For now, hopeful console buyers should stick to chasing restocks and hoping for a big stock update closer to the holiday shopping season.

If you already locked down your own elusive console, keep an eye out for discounted controllers and peripherals. To give you an idea of what to expect during Black Friday, here are a few current PS5 and Xbox accessory deals:

However, Nintendo fans have a bit more to look forward to this Black Friday. While classic Switch consoles will not drop in price in the United States despite previous rumors, we’re hoping that the original Switch and Switch Lite will see modest retailer discounts following the recent release of the Nintendo Switch OLED Model.

If you want to be among the first to know if/when that happens, here are a few convenient Deal Alert-setting keywords:

It’s Great Year to Save on Smart Home Tech

Googl Nest Audio, Ring doorbell, Wyze lightbulbs
Credit: Google, Ring, Wyze

If you’re shopping for the latest addition to your smart home setup this Black Friday, it’s worth looking through the deals featured during Amazon’s most recent Prime Day blowout event. There are plenty of smart home brands and products beyond Alexa’s dominion, but Amazon’s massive presence in the smart home market gives it the power to set trends in terms of prices and featured items during Black Friday. On top of that, you don’t even have to go back that far — there are plenty of Black Friday smart home tech deals, Amazon-branded and otherwise, available at Amazon right now. Still waiting for a specific smart hub or camera to drop in price? Don’t sweat it – set a Deal Alert and forget it, we’ll let you know when the next deal is posted.

Global supply chain shortages have certainly impacted Amazon’s turnaround time and restocking schedule. Fortunately, the e-commerce giant has been able to maintain its smart home tech output throughout the pandemic. If Amazon’s (and its competition’s) Black Friday 2021 sales follow the same patterns as Black Friday 2020 and 2019, these particular smart home tech products are likely to drop some fantastic Black Friday discounts:

Headphones and True Wireless Earbuds Deals are Already Here

Apple AirPods Max, AirPods, Sony Sony WH-1000XM4
Credit: Apple, Sony

It’s important to buy headphones and true wireless earbuds early, especially when shortages abound. Don’t let the headphones deal of your dreams pass you by — a Deal Alert will notify you when the next great deal is posted. Luckily, personal audio devices are pretty low-tech compared to other categories on this list and don’t rely heavily on scarce components. That means you won’t need to worry about a Bose QuietComfort shortage.

With a rumored AirPods 3 announcement on the horizon, this Black Friday is shaping up to be a promising time to save on previous AirPods models. Even if the newest model isn’t quite ready for primetime, the rest of the AirPods family is prominently featured in Amazon’s ongoing Epic Daily Deals pre-Black Friday discounts.

The same principle applies to over-ear headphones. Now that Bose has released its long-awaited QuietComfort 45 headphones, we’ll start seeing better deals on their popular predecessor, Bose QuietComfort 35 II. In the same vein, Sony’s WH-1000MX4 will probably go on sale now that it’s been over a year since their debut — and you can save even more if you go for the trusty, serviceable WH-1000MX3 instead.

More to consider:

Our editors strive to ensure that the information in this article is accurate as of the date published, but please keep in mind that offers can change. We encourage you to verify all terms and conditions of any product before you apply.