Here’s what you learn from the biggest Black Friday discounts of 2017, charted

Image: Reuters/ Andrew Kelly
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Another Black Friday is approaching, which means it’s time for consumer technology companies to start slashing prices—and looking at which prices are cut can be revealing.

Whether it’s emptying out last year’s products from warehouses or trying to corner a specific market, Black Friday deals are a significant tool for manufacturers. Relative newcomers to the Black Friday scene, like Google and Microsoft, are using it to rope new customers into their software ecosystems with heavy price reductions on smart speakers. It’s a move from Amazon’s playbook, which the company is again applying to its entry-level tablet, the Fire 7. These companies also tend to offer their own subscription services, like Google Play Music or Amazon Prime Video, meaning these gadgets continue to generate additional revenue long after their Black Friday sales.

Elsewhere, a boom in 4K television sales have companies offering 40-60% price reductions.

To find these trends, we crunched the numbers for several tech manufacturers, excluding retailers like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. Retailers have different motives for discounts, and may well offer discounts deeper than the ones listed here, so be sure to shop around.


As part of Amazon’s quest to sell you everything it possibly can, it also wants to make sure you can buy whatever you need, whenever you need it. To that end, many of its Black Friday deals focus on products that help you buy more things from Amazon. It’s offering a 20% discount on its newest Echo smart-home devices, the revamped Echo and Echo Plus, which let you order from Amazon through Alexa, the built-in voice assistant. Also on sale are its Fire tablets (which now also feature Alexa) and the newer Kindle models, which are excellent devices for reading ebooks bought on Amazon.  

Amazon is also offering discounts on a range of products from other manufacturers, including Sony TVs, K’NEX toys, Rubbermaid dishes, and various smart-home devices to sync up with your Echo.


Apple doesn’t traditionally make a massive splash on Black Friday, instead choosing to put a select few items on sale. It also doesn’t tend to say what those items are until the day itself, so we can’t help you out there.

That being said, many retailers will offer discounts on Apple products themselves. Many of the big-box stores are currently offering gift card deals when you buy a new iPhone through them. Target, for example, is offering a $250 gift card when you buy and activate an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus through the store, according to Forbes.


Bose is offering a range of deals across its product lines, although nothing on its newest items, which suggests it’s just trying to get rid of excess inventory. The steepest discount goes to its SoundSport athletic in-ear headphones. If you’re looking for a good pair of headphones to run with—and your phone still has a headphone jack—these are a great choice. There are also decent deals on its older QuietComfort 25 noise-canceling headphones and its comfortable SoundTrue Ultra headphones.


Fitbit has been struggling recently, and its Black Friday discounts seem to reflect that. Instead of discounting any of its newer products, such as its Ionic smart watch or Flyer headphones, it’s just put its older products on sale, presumably in an attempt to get rid of them. Although if you’re after a simple step-tracking device rather than a full-on smart watch, the discounted Alta HR and Charge 2 are solid choices.


Google is desperately trying to get into your house. It, like Amazon, recognizes that people are going to start talking to their gadgets a lot more, and that data helps understand what those people want to buy. The Google Home and Google Home Mini, the company’s first two smart speakers, are both heavily discounted. But the Home Mini, the Echo Dot competitor and smart speaker gateway drug, is an especially good deal at $29 plus $10 in-store credit.

If you’d like to get sucked into Google’s entertainment ecosystem instead of its virtual personal assistant ecosystem, Chromecast and Chromecast Audio are also each $10 off.


LG makes just about everything, but this Black Friday the focus is on televisions. The market for televisions has become incredibly fragmented and confusing, with each company pushing its own standards and vanity statistics. Even more, it’s not clear that video technology needs to get better than 4K, which has now been available on the market for a few years. All these factors create an environment for some heavy sales. LG makes some of the best OLED TVs on the market, and is offering steep 50-60% discounts on most of them.

In LG’s other product markets, you can get a nice deal on a Roomba competitor for 33% off. If you’re in the market for a refrigerator or washing machine, the company is also offering decent savings, but nothing close to the TVs.


Microsoft released the Xbox One X console just in time for the holiday season. For the thrifty holiday shopper, that means there are some steep deals on the previous (and likely just as good) generation. The Xbox One S will be discounted to $189 on Nov, 23, which costs less than a decent Fitbit. (Last year it was discounted to $250.)

The biggest discount is for Microsoft’s collaboration with Harmon Kardon, the Invoke speaker. It’s a rival to Amazon’s Echoes and Google’s Homes, with better sound and less intelligence. The speaker is just $99, which makes it a tempting buy for those who want to use their smart speakers to just play music.


It’s a great time to buy an enormous television from Samsung (of course, the company would always tell you that). Since TV lineups refresh annually, Black Friday typically brings great prices for the trailing year’s models. You could snag a 65” TV for $850, nearly 25% off. However, that’s the slightly less sleek model. If you want a more premium look, you can buy the higher model numbered 55” TV for $899.

Samsung isn’t really offering any money off its flagship smartphones, the S8, S8+, and the Note 8, but it’s throwing in the Gear 360 camera for free. Smartwatches, a sector in which Samsung trails Apple by a wide margin, are discounted about 20%.