How Apple's winning Black Friday — at full price

Apple outsources discounting
Apple outsources discounting
30% Apple revenue comes from holiday quarter: Pro
30% Apple revenue comes from holiday quarter: Pro
Apple's Black Friday 'strategy'
Apple's Black Friday 'strategy'

Despite avoiding the Black Friday bustle, Apple is still managing to generate holiday buzz on Main Street and Wall Street alike, an Internet analyst told CNBC.

Though Apple is not promoting Black Friday savings this year, other retailers are advertising their Apple products to lure in shoppers — and boosting Apple's brand in the process, Gene Munster, managing director and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, told CNBC.

"If you just look at Target and Best Buy as two examples, and use them as a barometer, the fact is, they're really embracing these doorbusters as a sign that demand is pretty healthy here," Munster said on CNBC's "Squawk Alley." "So, so far, so good."

A shopper during Black Friday at a Target store in Chicago.
Not the Black Friday retailers were hoping for

Apple iPads were top sellers in stores and online at Target, the company said in a release, saying that on average, Target sold an iPad every second throughout the day on Thanksgiving. Apple Watch particularly enticed in-store shoppers, Target said.

Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac senior editor, echoed Munster's thoughts on the somewhat unconventional strategy.

"Them [Apple] not doing their own Black Friday sale is perhaps going to hurt their holiday income a bit," Gurman said. "But I think it's worth it because they've really done a good job outsourcing to retailers. So their direct sales might go down a little bit, but these sales through Best Buy and the third party resellers might go up a bit and it will balance out, or even put Apple in the green a bit. So I think overall it is a solid strategy."

A shopper rings up a purchase on her smartphone. 
The downside to higher Thanksgiving sales

Products like iPads, Apple TV and Apple Watch aren't Apple's main sources of revenue. Apple's flagship product, the iPhone, still is the key to revenue growth and its performance depends users upgrading more frequently, Munster said.

But as non-phone products garner attention this holiday season, they can be taken more seriously by investors, Munster said. Though Apple Watch's revenue is nothing more than a "rounding error" at present, as it gains momentum, it could be a "silver bullet" for the wearables category, wrote Daniel Ives of FBR Research in a note.

"We ultimately believe that an uptick in sales/interest in the Apple Watch, heading into the holiday season, will have positive implications for Apple," Ives wrote. "We continue to view the Apple Watch as a potential door opener for wearable technology across the board, as this next paradigm shift is likely set to take place across the consumer/enterprise landscape."

Still, even as Apple Watches top holiday wish lists, not everyone is so bullish on the influence of Apple's ancillary products.

"[Targets] clearly are selling a lot of iPads, but the main reason for that is they're offering these ... gift cards with them," Brian Blair, co-founder of Grays Peak Capital told CNBC's "Closing Bell." "They're doing that with the Watch as well."

Max Wolff of Manhattan Venture Partners also doesn't expect the Watch to get "massive traction" anytime soon, though he's more optimistic about the Apple TV's potential for the consumer market.

"It really is about iPhone sales," Blair said. "And one of the things that feels like it's going to be a risk for Apple in the December quarter is the sell through of the iPhone .... We're not seeing that frenzy at the retail level. We're not seeing it at the carrier level."

An company spokeswoman told CNBC that Apple does not release out Black Friday-specific sales data and declined to comment on retailers' reports. Shares of the technology company closed down less than 1 percent Friday, on a day when the stock markets were mostly flat.