Apple (AAPL -2.05%) generally does not believe in putting its computers, phones, tablets, and other gadgets on sale. The company might sell a refurbished Mac, iPhone, or iPad at less than list price, and its retail partners may offer deals on their own, but Apple itself has generally offered a sale only on Black Friday.

This year, the company has decided to break from the norm. Apple's holiday sale will run for four days beginning on Black Friday and continuing through the end of Cyber Monday.

Before you examine Apple's deals, it's important to remember that the company may not always be the best source for buying its products. Many of its partners, including Best Buy and Amazon, have deals on Apple products that exceed what the manufacturer offers.

Do your homework. An iPhone 7 may be cheaper one place and an iPad Mini someplace else. (Check out Fool Adam Levy's take on how to score a cheap iPhone this holiday season here.) In addition, Apple's retail partners might offer straight sales, while Apple is offering incentives in the form of Apple gift cards.

Customers shop in an Apple store.

Apple is offering some enticements. Image source: Apple.

These are Apple's deals

As has been the company's tradition, Apple's deals are limited to specific items. They also, as mentioned above, result in you getting a gift card to be used at an Apple Store rather than a straight discount on the price. Not all products have special offers. Here are the ones that do:

  • iPhone 8 Plus, 8, 7 Plus, 7: $50 Apple Store gift card.
  • iPad 10.5-inch iPad Pro, iPad, iPad Mini 4: $100 gift card.
  • MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro: $200 gift card.
  • Apple Watch Series 3: $50 gift card.
  • HomePod and Apple TV: $25 gift card.
  • Beats (select models): $50 gift card.

Apple is offering these items with free delivery or free in-store pickup. The sale has already begun, and it ends at midnight Monday.

Are these good deals?

If you want discounted prices on Apple items, you're better off going to Best Buy or other Apple partners that have lowered their prices. 

Apple's offers make sense if you're a regular Apple customer who would spend money beyond the desired device. If, for example, you plan to buy an accessory to go with your new Mac, then the $200 gift card does save you money. If, however, you'd use the gift card just because you have it -- not for a planned purchase -- then these deals don't save you any money.

It's also worth noting that Apple is not offering any special deal for its latest iPhone X models. Those phones -- the most desirable in the line -- remain at full price.

These are somewhat lackluster deals in the general scope of Black Friday/Cyber Monday offers. But if you plan to buy a Mac, iPad, older-model iPhone, Apple Watch, or something else this holiday season, it's a relatively nice thank-you from the company for doing so.