But pickings may be slim for fans of highly portable netbook alternatives. Apple doesn't discount its iPad models, and other tablets are too new to be discounted (and, let's face it, not yet in huge demand). However, de Grandpre speculates that with iPads now available in major big-box stores, we might see some attractive bundles--for example, an iPad being sold with a heavily discounted iTunes gift card. This is certainly something to look out for if you're interested in the iPad as an e-book reader.
In fact, e-readers are also likely to figure heavily in the Black Friday landscape, with similar bundles a distinct possibility (for instance, a reader with book gift certificates from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or other booksellers).
Brim notes that bundles have been commonplace in the game console market for some time now, and he says that he wouldn't be surprised to see ones that include the Kinect motion controller, "maybe in a package with the Xbox 360."
Smartphones are popular gifts, and de Grandpre expects to see promotions from Amazon and the major wireless carriers. As with the iPad, however, don't expect to see the iPhone 4 sold at a discount. Apple has never discounted its phones, and nobody expects the company to start now. If recent history is any indication, Apple is far more likely to offer small Black Friday discounts on its computers, laptops, and iPods.
Look Online First
One last piece of Black Friday advice: As mentioned earlier, it's difficult to tell whether shopping on Black Friday will net you the best deals, but de Grandpre has become a firm believer in skipping the 2 a.m. doorbuster madness by shopping online. Last year, pretty much all the deals in stores were available on the Web too, he says. If you have to get up early to grab a limited-quantity deal, at least you can do so in the comfort of your home.