NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Apple (AAPL) were slightly higher in early-afternoon trading today, as the tech giant offers gift cards for certain products, including the iPhone, iPads, Apple Watch Series 1, Macs or Apple TV, rather than discounts for Black Friday.

Apple last offered these gift cards back in 2014. It may have brought them back this year because there was some sticker shock when it announced the prices on its new Macbook Pro line, which start at $1,499 for the most basic model, Recode senior retail editor Lauren Goode said on CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Friday morning. 

These gift cards can help Apple move products off the shelves, particularly as it helps ease consumer concern about having to purchase extra adaptors with the new Macbook Pro.

The gift cards will also help encourage customers to come into the stores as they consider buying a product or products that they were previously hesitant about purchasing due to price, Goode said. Then once they buy one product, many think they are more inclined to purchase another Apple product while they're in the store. 

While Apple is trying to push products off the shelves, it has still not released its bluetooth headphones called Air Pods that were due out at the end of October. They are to be paired with the iPhone 7, which is the first model missing a headphone jack, Goode noted. The company is "missing out" because bluetooth headphones have been on the upward trend even before the new iPhones came out and is a "hot gadget" this season. 

(Apple is held in Jim Cramer's charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS. See all of his holding with a free trial here.)

Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Apple as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. This is driven by a number of strengths, which the team believes should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks the team covers.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: AAPL

If you liked this article you might like

7 Inexpensive ETFs for Small-Cap and Micro-Cap Exposure

7 Inexpensive ETFs for Small-Cap and Micro-Cap Exposure

Buy Stocks That Are Right for You: Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap (Friday 2/16/18)

Buy Stocks That Are Right for You: Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap (Friday 2/16/18)

Shorts Trampled In Bull Market Rally; UPS Share Structure Examined -- ICYMI

Shorts Trampled In Bull Market Rally; UPS Share Structure Examined -- ICYMI

Jim Cramer: These 4 Stocks Seem Attractive Right Here

Jim Cramer: These 4 Stocks Seem Attractive Right Here

Here Are the 3 Hottest Stories on Wall Street Friday

Here Are the 3 Hottest Stories on Wall Street Friday