What's Up With Apple: Cyber Monday iPad Deals, EU Never Sleeps, and More

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is getting into the holiday spirit with the company’s top resellers offering lower-than-ever-before pricing on selected iPads for Cyber Monday. Walmart, Best Buy and Target are reported to be setting the bar for iPad pricing, and Amazon is “aggressively price-matching” nearly every competing price.

According to 9to5Mac, Amazon is selling the M1-powered 11-inch iPad Pro models with prices as much as $250 below the list price. For example, the WiFi, 256 GB M1 iPad Pro is selling for $800, a savings of $100.

Electronics retailer B&H is offering the 12.9-inch M1 iPadPro with WiFi and 512 GB of storage for $1,299, a $100 savings. If 128 GB is enough storage for you, the price drops to $999.

While Americans were celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, life went on in the rest of the world. The big story, of course, is the emergence of another variant (Omicron) of the coronavirus. In Brussels, the Financial Times and telecom industry group Etno is sponsoring a conference on technology and politics. Among the featured speakers is Margrethe Verstager, the European Union’s competition and digital policy chief.

In comments made before the conference started, Verstager urged the European Parliament and the European Council to approve the proposed rules for restricting the power of big tech companies, even if the rules are not perfect: “It’s important that everyone realises that it is best to get 80 per cent now than 100 per cent never. This is another way of saying that perfect should not be the enemy of very, very good.”

The latest draft of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) was approved by a European Parliament committee last week and a vote of the entire body is due next month. As it stands, the DMA would prohibit tech giants like Apple, Google, Amazon and others from giving priority to their own services in search results or app stores.

In another regulatory move, the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is expected to block Meta/Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy, the largest provider of animated GIFs to social networks. If the CMA does what is expected, Meta/Facebook would have to reverse the $400 million acquisition that was announced in May of last year.

Briefly noted:

In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman suggests that new products from Apple (like mixed reality headsets, augmented reality glasses and an Apple Car) likely would see long gaps between the introduction of the products and their launch into the market. Gurman agrees that the mixed reality headset could be introduced next year but doesn’t expect the product to be shipping until late in 2022 or early 2023. As for the self-driving car, Gurman says Apple is targeting 2025 for a product launch.

The head of Apple’s global battery development team, Soonho Ahn, has left the company to go to work for Volkswagen. According to Inside EVs, Ahn was “poached” from Samsung in 2018.