Apple to Offer Bargains on Black Friday, Strikes Back at Android

Apple to Offer Bargains on Black Friday, Strikes Back at Android

Apple is planning a Black Friday promotion, as the company looks to strong holiday sales to gain back ground from competing Android-based phones and tablets.

Teaser banners posted on the Apple Store site announce the one-day shopping event for fans of the Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s devices, including “amazing iPad, iPod and Mac gifts for everyone on your list.”

Even though Black Friday traditionally follows the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving, Apple is making sure consumers in other countries can take advantage of lower prices as well, by making the sale a worldwide event.

Apple may be depending on big holiday sales to help gain back its edge against Android devices. Android smartphones from both HTC and Samsung surpassed Apple in third-quarter U.S. shipments this year.

Android-powered tablets are gaining a spot on Santa’s list as well, with Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble’s Nook tablets hitting the market this month at around half the price of an iPad, generating consumer interest.

The iPhone 4S is selling strongly, but the smartphone has been plagued with one bug after another since its October release, including outgoing call volume problems, a yellow screen tinge, poor battery life and outages of the voice-activated assistant, Siri. Issues like these in one of Apple’s flagship devices may lead some consumers to explore Android offerings when shopping, either for gifts or as a new device for themselves.

Google’s flagship Galaxy Nexus phone is expected to be a huge holiday sale contender. The Galaxy Nexus, which is the first device running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, launched in the U.K. this week and is eagerly awaited in the U.S.

U.S. smartphone users may not be able to get their hands on Samsung’s hot new phone until Black Friday or later, but they may hold off on shopping the Apple sale and save their dollars for the competition.

Apple held a similar sale on Black Friday 2010, featuring $10-$40 discounts on its devices and computers, deals many judged too modest. Apple will wait a few more days to find out if this year’s bargains pack a bigger punch and drive holiday shoppers to choose its tablets and smartphones over the competition.

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