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When (and where) to buy the iPad Air 2

iPad Air 2 deals will be plentiful if you can wait until Black Friday, but a few retailers may have discounts on hand even sooner. Read on for the best times and places to snag an iPad Air 2

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    The iPad Air 2 is displayed for journalists at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.
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It's been less than a week since Apple's iPad announcement, yet we already know of one likely way to save $80 on the new iPad Air 2 — wait for Black Friday. Last year, the now-defunct iPad Air saw incredible deals during Black Friday week with retailers slashing its price to $429, while others bundled it with generous $75 and $100 gift cards. And the good news is, even early adopters can save money because the first wave of iPad Air deals will surface before Halloween.

Price Matching Will Play a Major Role

Based on last year's trends, the iPad Air 2 could see its first deal within the next 10 days courtesy of Walmart. The Arkansas-based retailer was the first store to discount the iPad Air last October, slashing its price to $479. Just hours after Walmart's announcement, Staples and Best Buy followed suit, price-matching the mega-retailer at $479. Even more shocking, some in-store shoppers reported that the Apple Store was also price-matching Walmart, though consumers had to ask for the price match in person. Overall, early adopters can save 4% ($20) on the new iPad if they wait roughly 10 days.

If you're a little more patient (i.e. you can wait more than 10 days), holding out for Black Friday week brings about the most savings. Last year, the iPad Air got a 14% price cut just two days before Thanksgiving, dropping its price to $429. Although the deal was short-lived (it lasted less than 24 hours from retailer Quill), more attainable deals from retailers like Best Buy and Staples cost just $20 more.

However, super-low prices aren't the only benefit of waiting until Black Friday week. Another plus is that you can pick the type of iPad deal you prefer. For instance, if you prefer deals with bundled gift cards, keep an eye on sales from Target and Walmart, which sold the iPad Air for $479 with a $100 and $75 gift card respectively. These deals were not as short-lived as the Quill deal and surfaced a few times during Black Friday week. Though keep in mind, last year November deals fared slightly better than December deals for the iPad Air. So if you spot a deal you like, buy it.

Options Everywhere

If your heart is set on that A8 processor, your next best bet is to wait for Apple refurbs, which come with a rock-solid 1-year warranty. These deals tend to appear five months into the product's lifecycleand offer a consistent $80 off the full retail price of the tablet. Alternatively, you can check out the iPad Air (2013 model), which Apple just reduced to $399. Refurb versions of the iPad Air (2013 model) could sell for $379 ($20 cheaper than Apple's just-announced price) via the Apple Store, as we saw last November.

We're entering a buyer's market for tablet deals. Studies show that declining sales and the rise of the cheap smartphone have slowed down tablet growth. Competition is also fierce, with Amazon's legion of new Fire tablets and Google's just-announced Nexus 9 for $399. But that's good news for shoppers, because it means we should see some exciting tablet deals in the coming weeks.

What do you think? Will you spring on the first iPad Air 2 deals, or wait even longer?

Louis Ramirez is a features writer for Dealnews.com, where this article first appeared: http://dealnews.com/features/When-to-Buy-Apples-New-iPad-Air-2-Tablet/1169837.html

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best personal finance bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

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