Apple has once again launched a ‘Back to School’ promotion ahead of the start of the new school year in Australia and New Zealand. Students who purchase a Mac will receive a AU$100 (NZ$125) gift card and students who purchase an iPad with Retina display will receive a AU$50 (NZ$65) gift card – virtually identical to the ‘Back to School’ promotion held in North America and Europe last June.
The promotion is open to any student, parent or staff member of a K-12 or higher education school with any purchase made between January 15th and April 1st. Products included in the deal include any iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or Mac Pro (including refurbished models), but the only iPad that is valid with this promotion is the iPad with Retina display – refurbished iPads, the iPad 2 and iPad mini do not qualify.
Apple has also put together a short list of great Mac and iOS apps that might appeal to students – as well as a buying guide that includes various accessories, bags and software that is targeted towards students.
This year, Apple isn’t offering an iPod touch with the purchase of a new Mac. Instead, Apple is handing out a $100 gift card, advertising that the extra money is best spent on apps from the Mac App Store. You could argue that a $229 iPod touch is more valuable since you can resell it, but that ends up being a hassle as you have to buy the device upfront, mail in a rebate, and receive a check from Apple at a later date. Some might want the free iPod touch, but you could argue that a majority of senior high and college students already have one (or an iPhone), and wouldn’t benefit from an additional model. Apple no longer needs to make the iPod touch popular. By giving students a $100 gift card instead of offering a physical device, Apple is getting students to invest in the future. While the past decade was primarily about the iPod, this decade’s focus is shifting towards apps and Apple’s iCloud.
Apple is leveraging this year’s Back to School promotion to make the Mac App Store popular. While the credit can be spent in the App Store, iTunes Store, or the iBookstore, Apple wants you to load up your Mac with new software. In a matter of minutes, students can open their Macs, create an Apple ID, and download the entire iWork suite with little effort. Developers should be incredibly happy about this: Apple is giving potential customers money to spend on their applications. I would be coming out of my socks right now if I was the developer of Smartr or iStudiez Pro. This is a huge win-win for everyone involved. By handing out a $100 gift card, Apple accomplishes three things:
- Students have the opportunity to load up their Macs with paid software at no cost from the Mac App Store.
- Apple is aiding developers in the sales of their apps.
- Apple takes a 30% cut of each app downloaded.
By teaching students to purchase apps from the Mac App Store, Apple can lock new customers into their ecosystem, and get people used to the idea that software doesn’t come on a disc. Developers will be getting a lot of exposure during the duration of this program, although I think Apple will benefit again when the iWork suite will likely be the first thing students download. The beauty of handing students $100 worth of credit for apps, music, and books is that Apple will eventually make thirty percent of that credit back if students spend the entirety their cards in the Mac App Store or otherwise. Apple is investing in students to use their products, in developers to develop new apps on the Mac, and in their own ecosystem in one fell swoop. This is a great marketing strategy by Apple.
As had been rumored and then confirmed last night, Apple has launched its 2011 Back to School promotion today, featuring a $100 gift card for use on any of Apple’s digital stores. The promotion runs from today until September 20th this year and is available for college students and faculty staff.
When you buy a new qualifying Mac with Apple education pricing* from June 16, 2011, through September 20, 2011, you’ll get a $100 Back to School Card
The qualifying Mac’s include the MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and iMac – all of which are at a discounted rate for students. The gift card will work on the Mac App Store, App Store, iTunes Store or the iBookstore. The promotional page also highlights some accessories to help you “Gear up for college” as well as suggested “Apps for Studies” and “Apps for Study Breaks”.
The promotion has also launched in the UK where a £65 gift card is offered and in various other European countries where a 75 € gift card is offered.
The much anticipated Back to School 2011 promotion that was initially rumored to kick off in May, and then set for an announcement at WWDC with special iPad discounts, has finally been confirmed to kick off tomorrow, June 16, with a $100 gift card to buy software and media in Apple’s digital Stores. Photos posted by Italian website iPadevice [Google Translation] and MacRumors confirm that Apple has finalized work on the promotion, which will run until September 20, 2011, and will include a $100 (€75) gift card for software purchases. As Apple’s gift cards can be used everywhere though (iTunes Store, App Store, iBookstore), students who buy a new Mac will be able to redeem a code to use with apps, songs, movies, or books.
In the past years, Apple offered free iPods with the purchase of a new Mac as a clear sign of the company wanting to push iOS devices in the educational market — each student would get a free iPod touch, create an Apple ID to download apps, and eventually be tied to Apple’s ecosystem with other iOS devices. With the launch of the Mac App Store, however, and the upcoming OS X Lion, it appears Apple wants to heavily promote how the new Store will become the best way for Mac users to discover and buy software. In spite of the universal nature of gift cards, Apple clearly states on the promo material that $100 to spend on the Mac App Store can be used to buy Pages, Keynote, and Numbers.
Apple’s ‘Back to School’ promotion is scheduled to start up again sometime very soon and if reports from today come true, the promotion could be a bit different to years past. 9to5 Mac is reporting that when a student purchases a MacBook this year, they will receive a $100 worth of iTunes credit rather than what has previously been an iPod Touch in recent years.
Launching three months before the September iPod event Apple seems to have every year, the ‘Back to School’ promotion was largely viewed as one way of clearing out iPod inventory ahead of the refresh in September. Previous rumors of this year’s promotion suggested that Apple was set to offer $200 off the price of an iPad. As always, regardless of the bonus offered during the promotion, students get an education discount on the cost of any Mac they purchase.
[Via 9to5 Mac]
BGR reports one of Apple’s announcements at the upcoming WWDC will be about the Back to School 2011 program, which was initially rumored to launch this week. According to the website, this year’s Back to School will continue offering a free iPod touch to students who purchase a new Mac, although it’s possible that Apple will also kick off a new promotion with a $200 discount off an iPad following the purchase of a new Mac.
We have been told Apple will continue to offer educational discounts on computers and either a free iPod touch, or $229 towards the purchase of any other iPod. Our source also let us know that there might be something new in the works, as well… they heard that it’s possible Apple might offer students up to $200 off an iPad with the purchase of a new Mac.
The Back to School program has usually been announced in late May or early June. With the WWDC starting on June 6, the promotion could play nice with other major announcements such as Lion and iOS 5 made on stage. In the past years, Back to School allowed students to get a free 8 GB iPod touch, and the current family of iPod touches starts at $229 with the 8 GB model featuring the Retina Display and FaceTime camera. Apple’s push in the educational market was brought to the press’ attention again two weeks ago as the University of Delaware said an “Apple Store” would come on campus, enabling students to check out and buy products directly next to university’s library. With a wide selection of apps targeting students available on the App Store, $200 off an iPad combined with, for example, a MacBook Air indeed would be a good deal.
Following speculation on what Apple employees and store managers will discuss at the all-hands meetings set for Sunday, May 22, AppleInsider reports one of the subjects of discussion may be Apple’s new Back to School program.
People familiar with the Apple’s retail operations have told AppleInsider that the company is currently gearing up for its yearly educational promotion. The news comes as numerous reports have revealed that Apple has scheduled early 7 a.m. store meetings with employees this coming Sunday, May 22.
But with the annual back-to-school sale set to kick off as soon as next week, the educational promotion is potentially a more likely subject for Sunday’s meetings. Additionally, other people familiar with next week’s plans say some of the materials and shipments rumored to be making their way to stores around the same time will be part of ‘procedural changes’ to the way the shops run or operate, rather than new products customers could buy.
The Back to School program usually runs until the first week of September — before Apple’s music event — and in the past allowed students to get a free 8 GB iPod touch with the purchase of a new Mac. The timing of this report sounds appropriate, with rumors running wild about an Apple 10th anniversary of retail event and new product launches, but with Back to School seemingly ready to be launched considering the company followed a late May / early June timeframe in the past years. The current iPod touch family — assuming Apple is following its tradition of giving away free iPod touches to new Mac owners — starts at $229 with the 8 GB model, featuring Retina Display and FaceTime HD camera.