“In an interesting departure from previous years, Apple is using a combination of cash and gift card discounts worldwide to attract shoppers to its on-line and retail stores on Black Friday,” Gary Allen writes for Forbes. “The gift card option focuses on creating more value for the same price, rather than giving shoppers a cash discount they could spend for other expenses. But beyond the practical differences, the discount change seems to signal a change in philosophy that directly affects Apple’s revenue stream.”

“The cash-off discount is standard in the retail industry, and is based on the attraction of obtaining a product at a cheaper price,” Allen writes. “That attraction doesn’t exist for a gift card discount, since shoppers will eventually spend the same amount of money. Instead, a gift card discount offers buyers marginally more products for the same price. The discount technique stresses value rather than savings.”

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