Shopping season is here, with a vengeance. The circulars and sales sheets are popping up like discounted weeds, and while most Apple products aren't eligible for steep discounts at retail, the big chains do find a way to make it worth your while.
US retail giant Target has posted its two-day discount flyer online already, and among the doorbuster deals (starting at midnight Thursday night/Friday morning) is a $195 8GB iPod touch, while supplies last. "But that's what they always sell for!" you say. True, but for this promotion Target is throwing in a $40 store gift card, lowering the effective price of the iPod to $155 assuming you can find $40 of other things you want to buy at Target. (There's always light bulbs and batteries.)
Update: Target has sweetened the pot with an iPad 2 deal. Buy a Wi-Fi+3G iPad 2 and get a $75 Target gift card. This offer is good starting at midnight Thursday night.
Electronics and Apple gear megastore Best Buy is not to be outdone, advertising a similar deal for its doorbusters on Friday, but with a $50 gift card instead. Best Buy stores also open at midnight the day after Thanksgiving, because why the heck wouldn't you want to be at Best Buy in the wee hours of the morning trying to focus on which 3D TV has the better picture?
Apple generally does not reveal its discounts for Black Friday until a bit closer to showtime, but last year's deals may serve as a guideline for what to expect later this week.
Interesting side note from the Target circular: check out the price on this Acer netbook. Yes, for about the same net cost as the iPod touch, you can have an entire teensy computer.