Apple has announced its offers for Black Friday, a one-day shopping event after Thanksgiving that signals the start of the Christmas shopping season in America.

In recent years Black Friday has spread to the UK, with Amazon discounting tens of thousands of products, starting Monday.

Apple Black Friday

Apple has posted a teaser image on its Web site reminding shoppers that Black Friday is Nov. 25, adding: "Mark your calendar now, and come back to the Apple Online Store for the special one-day event. You'll discover amazing iPad, iPod and Mac gifts for everyone on your list."

Last year Apple discounted Macs by $101 and iOS devices by between $11 and $41, although discounts in the UK store weren't as substantial.

This Monday Amazon began its Black Friday Lightening Deals, which will see tens of thousands of products discounted by around 30 to 50 per cent; shoppers have to be quick though, as each item has a timer and must be paid for within 15 minutes of being ordered.

Black Friday has been the biggest U.S. shopping day of the year since 2005, with many non-retail companies giving their employees the day off, despite it not being an official holiday. The term comes from Philadelphia, where it originally described the heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.

Apple has also updated its Web site to include a Christmas buying guide, with gifts ranging from iPad accessories, speakers, iPhone-controlled remote control cars and designer iDevice bags and cases.

It was reported today that Apple is now the second most popular online retailer in the UK, behind Amazon and one place ahead of Argos. Apple has jumped up six places through the year, after it was ranked eighth in July.