Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has always prided itself on offering products that were so much in demand that they never had to put them on sale. That all changed this morning when Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced a “one-day shopping event” on Black Friday.

Apple black Friday

Apple only gets “down and dirty” once a year

Anthony Wing Kosner of Forbes points out Black Friday is the only time that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) actually discounts products like other retailers. What is different about this year is that it looks like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be putting more than refurbished and second-line products on sale.

According to Gotta Be Mobile, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is planning to offer $41 off the iPad Air and iPad 2, $21 off the iPod touch, $101 off for the MacBook Air, $101 off for the MacBook Pro with Retina display and $101 off the iMac. While there is always the possibility of a surprise, most analysts do not believe the Black Friday sale will include any discounts on iPhones or iPad Minis.

Although the discounts mentioned are not showstoppers, they are significant and represent a first for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) on Black Friday or anytime.

Getting the best deal

According to Kosner, getting the best deal on an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) product is really about inventory. If supplies of a product are tight, most people assume that Apple will keep the most inventory for itself and probably prioritize availability over price. However, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) maintains tight control on inventory information, so consumers are reacting to perceived availability instead of actual inventory.

That’s why it looks like the best deals on a new iPhone or iPad Mini on Black Friday will be at Wal-Mart, where you just pay $189 for the iPhone 5s and $45 for the iPhone 5c, which includes a $75 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) gift card and requires a two-year contract; and $299 for the iPad mini, which includes a $100 Wal-Mart gift card. Note that this sale will only be available for one hour on Thanksgiving, in-store only, with a limit of one per customer. Also keep in mind that many of these apparently amazing Black Friday sales at Wal-Mart and elsewhere are for very limited quantities, and the real goal is to get you in the door to buy other things when the iPhones and IPad Minis are gone.