Apple has begun its seasonal sales push by offering free shipping on all items purchased via the US portal of the online Apple Store or via its official iOS application, running the promotion until December 22, the company’s website reveals.

The promotion follows Apple’s Thanksgiving deals, which saw the company markdown prices on its Mac, iPad and iPod devices for one day only, the only time in the year that the company introduces widespread discounts on its products and accessories.

AT the time of the writing, deliveries are available free only until December 22 in the US, with Canada and the UK both showing that deliveries are free for today only – a likely nod to an associated Black Monday promotion.

The reduction is aimed at ensuring friends and family members of people that own Apple products will be able to make multiple purchases from the Apple Store without having to worry about additional postage costs.

Screen Shot 2011 11 28 at 08.21.04 Apple now offering free shipping on all U.S online orders until December 22

Apple typically enables free shipping around the same time each year and this year sees it go live on Cyber Monday, the following Monday after Thanksgiving (and Black Friday) where retailers aim to persuade consumers to shop online.

The introduction of Apple’s free shipping also sees the company launch its seasonal gift packing for its products, advertising a festive ‘signature gift wrap’ on products including its iPad 2 tablet:

Screen Shot 2011 11 28 at 08.28.06 520x439 Apple now offering free shipping on all U.S online orders until December 22

The iPad 2 is expected to be another Christmas bestseller for Apple, with its tablet device heading many consumer shopping lists. With three iPhone smartphones now available, Apple is also expected to see significant uptake of its free iPhone 3GS and reduced iPhone 4 offers, ensuring the company continues its iPhone sales momentum after the hugely successful launch of the iPhone 4S.