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Apple kicks off back-to-school promo: Buy a Mac, get a $100 App Store gift card

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
As expected, Apple on Thursday began its annual back-to-school sale, offering students a $100 Mac App Store gift card along with the purchase of a qualifying Mac.

Students not only get the $100 gift card for software on the Mac App Store, they also receive education pricing on their Mac. The sale runs from June 16, 2011, through Sept. 20, 2011

Apple has set up a special section of its online store to advertise the promotion. College students or students accepted to college, parents buying for those students, or faculty or staff members at any grade level are all qualified for the sale.

To obtain the $100 gift card, users shop for a Mac at the online education store, an Apple retail store, an authorized campus store, or through 1-800-MY-Apple. The Back to School Card will be included with orders at retail online, while at a campus store, customers will submit their claim online and get a code via e-mail.

While the $100 gift card is advertised for the Mac App Store, the code can also be redeemed in the iOS App Store, the iTunes Store, and the iBookstore.

The promotion applies to the entry-level MacBook, which sells for $899 with a student discount, the MacBook Pro, which starts at $1,099 for students, the MacBook Air, starting at $949 with discount, and the iMac, starting at $1,149 for students.



Apple's site for the promotion is designed to push the Mac App Store, the new digital download destination for obtaining Mac software. The Mac App Store will also be the only place current Mac users will be able to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple's forthcoming operating system update.

"With the Mac App Store right on your Mac, you can find apps for studying, doing assignments, and getting organized," Apple's site reads. "And, of course, for playing games. The best part? You can download them to your Mac and start using them right away."

Highlighted on the page are three "featured Mac apps" available on the Mac App Store, pertaining to both work and play. They are note taking and syncing application Evernote, Apple's word processing software Pages, and the game Bejeweled. Other applications are listed in the Back to School App Gallery, provided in categories related to "Studies" and "Study Breaks."

Details of the back-to-school sale leaked on Thursday with promotional materials that were distributed to Apple's retail stores in anticipation of the annual event. This year's promotion may pack less punch for some, as in years past the company offered an entry-level iPod touch, worth much more than a $100 gift card.

For non-students, or for any who may be seeking an even greater value proposition on a new Mac, AppleInsider's Mac Price Guide makes it easy for readers to find the lowest price possible. Prices for new MacBook Pro models are included below, while other Macs can be seen in the full guide.

post #2 of 41
This is half the value of prior offers and is basically taking $$ from one pocket to the other from their perspective, since the marginal cost of buying something from the app store is nearly $0 to Apple. So they still get the $100 vs. being able to sell off an ipod if you wanted the cash instead (which also helped Apple by getting another device out there).

Very disappointing for the customers, but good for Wall St.
post #3 of 41
I missed the free touch promo last year when I bought my Macbook Pro by a few weeks. (first mac I have ever owned).

I have been wanting to buy my wife a macbook air, but was waiting hoping to get a touch this year.

I won't wait - she needs a new computer and I want to be free of windows, so I am going to get her one, but I am not really excited to get $100 free on the app store.

I haven't spent $10 on the app store with the mac I have now.

Does anyone know if you can spend it on iTunes? That would be marginally more valuable to me.
post #4 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by debusoh View Post

I missed the free touch promo last year when I bought my Macbook Pro by a few weeks. (first mac I have ever owned).

I have been wanting to buy my wife a macbook air, but was waiting hoping to get a touch this year.

I won't wait - she needs a new computer and I want to be free of windows, so I am going to get her one, but I am not really excited to get $100 free on the app store.

I haven't spent $10 on the app store with the mac I have now.

Does anyone know if you can spend it on iTunes? That would be marginally more valuable to me.

Yes, you can spend it on the Mac App Store, iTunes Store, iOS App Store or iBookStore.

An iPad or iPhone would be more useful anyways IMHO (cue Apple apologist accusations).
post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by debusoh View Post

Does anyone know if you can spend it on iTunes? That would be marginally more valuable to me.

Just checked the web site, you can spend it on Mac Apps, iOS Apps, iTunes or iBooks. So, I am sure I could find $100 worth of stuff in there that I would like. Not so bad I guess, just not as cool as a free touch.

Given that they seem to be selling tons of macs, I guess they don't really have to do any kind of promo. I still would have loved that free touch though.
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by debusoh View Post

Does anyone know if you can spend it on iTunes?

Have you ever used an iTunes gift card before in your life?

Provided you haven't, it's one account, for heaven's sake. You can't not have seen this.

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post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinger View Post

This is half the value of prior offers and is basically taking $$ from one pocket to the other from their perspective, since the marginal cost of buying something from the app store is nearly $0 to Apple. So they still get the $100 vs. being able to sell off an ipod if you wanted the cash instead (which also helped Apple by getting another device out there).

Very disappointing for the customers, but good for Wall St.

Indeed. But hey, for anyone in education, a Mac at education pricing and $100 iTunes credit ain't *that* shabby.

11" MacBook Air is just perfect for college. All you would then need is a 24" screen which takes DVI and HDMI for your Macbook Air and Xbox360 (if you have a small room).
post #8 of 41
Just bought my iMac. A bit disappointed I didn't get the iPod touch, but happy for the gift card nonetheless. With the free printer thrown in, it's still quite a bit thrown in. Can't believe it'll take 2 weeks for a stock iMac with magic trackpad to get here, though.
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post #9 of 41
I need to buy two identical iMacs, one for me and one for my son who is actually in college! In order to get 12 mo deferred financing using my apple juniper card, it has to be on one purchase, but the education site says limitation is 1 desktop, 1 laptop, and 1 Mac Mini per student (with only the first two qualifitying for the gift card), not to mention that mine should not qualify for education pricing.

Yet when I BTO the iMac on Apple's education store website and go to checkout, it does give me the option to double the quantity of the computer as well as the gift card.

Or should I just be honest and use the government store/employee purchase program and by them there for the same discount (minus the gift cards) since I am a government employee and there is no such restriction on buying two versus the 1 desktop only under the education site, even though they don't seem to enforce it.

Oh my concience
post #10 of 41
Hopefully the prospect of thousands of potential customers with $100 gift cards will encourage more Mac developers to support the app store.
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFatWookie View Post

Yet when I BTO the iMac on Apple's education store website and go to checkout, it does give me the option to double the quantity of the computer as well as the gift card.

The order won't go through. The limitation's there for a reason, and it's real.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Have you ever used an iTunes gift card before in your life?

Provided you haven't, it's one account, for heaven's sake. You can't not have seen this.

The man asked a simple question. Your response explains why you are stuck on "Geostationary Tower Plaza".
post #13 of 41
i hope the retail staff was warned ahead of time about this.

Because they are about to get a shite storm of griping and yelling from customers that think they are entitled to that free ipod and that Apple is some how required to continue that promo or one that is value wise better.

Just like they will get a storm of folks pissed that this is just for college students "my kids school requires them to have a Mac and we have to pay for it so I deserve to get that education discount as well" etc etc. Which I suppose it valid, perhaps high school kids should be included (if not also middle school) But the retail staff don't set the rule they just get 'griped' at about it

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post #14 of 41
I am just wondering at there any additional discount for Education Pricing during BTS period, or is it the same old discount.
post #15 of 41
This is a lame promotion. In years past I have been able to justify spending money on a new Mac because I could offset the cost by selling the free iPod. I highly doubt the Apple profit margin was hurting so bad that it needed to discontinue that promotion.

Apple's main motivation is probably to get students more acquainted with using the Mac App Store, but if that is the case, they should have just added the $100 gift card on top of the free iPod.

Even though I have used Macs for a long long time, I am looking at the Microsoft offer that gives away a free XBox with a laptop very closely...and I don't even like video games.
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

I am just wondering at there any additional discount for Education Pricing during BTS period, or is it the same old discount.

Identical to the rest of the year. Seriously, people, what's up with this nonsense about demanding discounts and free crap?

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #17 of 41
It's not too bad. It keeps people from just selling the iPod, which is bad for them, because the people who would buy the iPod are people that would pay Apple anyhow. It still accomplishes the goal of getting you familiar with the App Store and iTunes Store. It also encourages developers now, and in the future, to publish their applications to the App Store, if they are still distributing physical copies (because now customers will buy App Store products first).

I am sure that when people buy a Mac, the first thing they say is "What software do I need with it?"

They also JUST refreshed their computer line and are giving gift cards with them. It's still pretty nice. Don't act entitled.
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Identical to the rest of the year. Seriously, people, what's up with this nonsense about demanding discounts and free crap?

Not sure why you are struggling to understand this Skil, but it should not be that difficult. Whether it is a car or a computer, if the consumer is expecting to get a certain "rebate" due to past experience or in keeping with previous promotions, and the value of that promotion is effectively cut in half, you are bound to be disappointed.

I don't think anyone is demanding anything, but they are certainly entitled to express some frustration at being disappointed at their historically based expectations not being met.

What I am curious about is your need to put them down for exactly what you seem to be doing - expressing frustration!

As you seem not to be affected in any way by the change in Apples promotion strategy, maybe you should just leave people to say what they think, and comment in aother areas of the forum that actually affect you.

Just saying!
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Men View Post

if the consumer is expecting to get a certain "rebate" due to past experience or in keeping with previous promotions, and the value of that promotion is effectively cut in half, you are bound to be disappointed.

Why. That's not even a question. If it were, the answer would be, "No, I'm not expecting that."

Quote:
I don't think anyone is demanding anything, but they are certainly entitled to express some frustration at being disappointed at their historically based expectations not being met.

"What do you mean I can't get a sub-prime mortgage anymore?! I'm now disappointed."

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post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Identical to the rest of the year. Seriously, people, what's up with this nonsense about demanding discounts and free crap?

That $250 that I would've had if I sold the ipod, could be $6000 if invested well by the time I retire. That being said, this won't prevent me from buying further macs and their reasoning is perfectly logical for this, but it does stink
post #21 of 41
My repost from earlier story:

I support Apple, but for all the Apple sycophants (who if Steve Jobs raised all prices by 150% would find a way to say it's a good move) this deal does stink. You say they don't have to give anything - true, but you can't go from giving away a $200+ item (iPod touch) that has multple uses (email, music, video, Internet, games, etc.) to a lousy gift card. iPod sales may be down, but I think touch sales are still respectable and if they want to continue competing with Nintendo and Sony the touch needs to keep being promoted. Not everyone wants or needs an iPhone. I guess if your job bonus gets cut in half you don't feel cheated cuz they don't 'have' to give you anything, or if you go to your favorite eatery and the manager gives a buy one get one half price but then change it to get a free coffee you don't mind. If Apple sets a pattern they should stick to it, at least give a free Nano or as someone else said a $200 gift card. $100 is not going to sway anyone on the fence about buying one.

All IMO!
post #22 of 41
While I understand that Apple is not obligated to throw in *any* freebies with a Mac purchase, I still find the new $100 App Store gift card extremely lame in comparison to the free iPod of past promotions. I love Apple and their products, but Apple seems to be getting less and less generous with every passing year. It's all about how much money they can squeeze out of their potential customers as opposed to offering unmatched value to their customers' purchases. From a marketing perspective, it's not good to be perceived this way by so many customers, new and old. It's such a shame to see things slowly but surely heading in this direction.

(If you're reading this Phil Schiller, you might want to take a closer look at the overall reaction to this latest "promotion" and reconsider. Steve Jobs will understand once you show him the hard evidence!)
post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post

My repost from earlier story:

I support Apple, but for all the Apple sycophants (who if Steve Jobs raised all prices by 150% would find a way to say it's a good move) this deal does stink. You say they don't have to give anything - true, but you can't go from giving away a $200+ item (iPod touch) that has multple uses (email, music, video, Internet, games, etc.) to a lousy gift card. iPod sales may be down, but I think touch sales are still respectable and if they want to continue competing with Nintendo and Sony the touch needs to keep being promoted. Not everyone wants or needs an iPhone. I guess if your job bonus gets cut in half you don't feel cheated cuz they don't 'have' to give you anything, or if you go to your favorite eatery and the manager gives a buy one get one half price but then change it to get a free coffee you don't mind. If Apple sets a pattern they should stick to it, at least give a free Nano or as someone else said a $200 gift card. $100 is not going to sway anyone on the fence about buying one.

All IMO!

I agree 100%! BTW, judging by how offended "Tallest Skils" seems to be with regards to peoples reaction to Apples "Back to school" promotion, I am beginning to wonder if "Skils" may actually be Steve Jobs!
post #24 of 41
"$100 is not going to sway anyone on the fence about buying one."

You're right. Especially when it's not even *really* $100 and you're being limited on how it has to be spent. This is more about Apple's bottom line than giving the customer anything of real value.
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Have you ever used an iTunes gift card before in your life?

Provided you haven't, it's one account, for heaven's sake. You can't not have seen this.

I've been using Macs since the late 80s, develop Mac and iOS software professionally and never have used an iTunes gift card. Additionally, in Canada, iTunes cards could not be used in the iOS App store at first. Apple later changed that policy.

So his question was perfectly legitimate. How can you not understand this?
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post

My repost from earlier story:

I support Apple, but for all the Apple sycophants (who if Steve Jobs raised all prices by 150% would find a way to say it's a good move) this deal does stink.

I don't know. I'm not a student. I'd be thrilled to get a $100 gift card with my Mac. Apparently students don't buy music, books, or apps? I sure would appreciate it.

If you are basing future promotions based on past promotions and had your heart set on a free iPod with your new Mac, then I can see why you'd feel disappointed. But not enough to whine about it on a public forum. I've seen sales in department stores that weren't as good as sales I've seen before. I don't go running to the Target or JC Penney forums to whine about it though.

Does that make me a sycophant? All I can say to that is, well, I appreciate you using the correct term instead of "fanboy," but I still don't think it applies to anyone who isn't disappointed by this promotion.
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockarollr View Post

"$100 is not going to sway anyone on the fence about buying one."

You're right. Especially when it's not even *really* $100 and you're being limited on how it has to be spent. This is more about Apple's bottom line than giving the customer anything of real value.

Apple used past promotions to clear out old versions of iPods right before a refresh. If not for a promo they'd have to dump them on an overstock site with a much smaller profit margin. I'm not so sure that this gift card promo is better for Apple's bottom line than the iPod promo.

I certainly agree that it looks like a better deal to the consumer.
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Men View Post

I agree 100%! BTW, judging by how offended "Tallest Skils" seems to be with regards to peoples reaction to Apples "Back to school" promotion, I am beginning to wonder if "Skils" may actually be Steve Jobs!

me too..
post #29 of 41
Apple should do away with this promotion entirely. Next year it should be a gift card for zero dollars. The educational discount, which some people abuse and cheat, is more than enough for those kinds of customers.

I've said this before, but I wouldn't mind if less people used Macs. Apple is a very successful company and they don't need to market to people by enticing them with outrageous offers and discounts. These frugal people are free to use Windows machines if they don't like it.
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Apple should do away with this promotion entirely. Next year it should be a gift card for zero dollars. The educational discount, which some people abuse and cheat, is more than enough for those kinds of customers.

I've said this before, but I wouldn't mind if less people used Macs. Apple is a very successful company and they don't need to market to people by enticing them with outrageous offers and discounts. These frugal people are free to use Windows machines if they don't like it.

Wow. Aren't you just an effing old-school Apple hero in a world of new Apple dimwits? I've been using Apple's computers for many years (back to the Bell & Howell model Apple II) and more recently some of the very first iOS products. However, in spite of that I would never come at anyone from the angle that you just did - because it's assuming, self-righteous and contemptible. Furthermore, just so you know, it's not being "frugal" when you're just searching for value in a purchase that well exceeds an 80 to 100 percent premium over the cost of the competition's products, regardless as to whether or not it's perceived by others (such as yourself) to be a "good value" already.

Does Apple pay you to say such things in forums or are you just mindlessly brainwashed?
post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

I am just wondering at there any additional discount for Education Pricing during BTS period, or is it the same old discount.

It looks like they also up'd the discounts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

Apple used past promotions to clear out old versions of iPods right before a refresh. If not for a promo they'd have to dump them on an overstock site with a much smaller profit margin.

Or, knowing they are about to update, they halt production of the old one and let it sell out. What doesn't sell becomes service parts and (for iPod touches) perhaps refresh units for those in store ringer things

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post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jne381 View Post

This is a lame promotion... Even though I have used Macs for a long long time, I am looking at the Microsoft offer that gives away a free XBox with a laptop very closely...and I don't even like video games.

Talk about lame. You sound like the kind of shopper that spends hundreds of dollars to "save" 2%. Your still out the hundreds of dollars. Please, wise up. Buying a Windows laptop for something that you don't care about?? (and you've posted 3 times in 2 years.) Bogus.
post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockarollr View Post


Does Apple pay you to say such things in forums or are you just mindlessly brainwashed?

Apple is a very politically correct company. I'm pretty sure that they wouldn't pay somebody like me to post, somebody who is not afraid to speak their mind. I also don't have to be polite to customers, as I don't work for Apple and I don't have to follow their politeness guidelines. And I do sometimes have criticisms to make against Apple, it all depends what the topic is.
post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Apple is a very politically correct company. I'm pretty sure that they wouldn't pay somebody like me to post, somebody who is not afraid to speak their mind. I also don't have to be polite to customers, as I don't work for Apple and I don't have to follow their politeness guidelines. And I do sometimes have criticisms to make against Apple, it all depends what the topic is.

Well, polite is something that you definitely were not. True, you don't have to be polite, but that can lead to others assuming that you're not a very nice person in general. Of course, that's your prerogative if you don't care about what other people think of you.
post #35 of 41
Well at least Apple is still giving an additional discount on top of the student pricing. TBH they don't have to do this and people will still buy their products. I'll be buying my MBP for university soon; I guess I'll sell the iTunes card on craigs or something. And that free $100 rebate on printer deal is quite sweet too.
post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockarollr View Post

Wow. Aren't you just an effing old-school Apple hero in a world of new Apple dimwits? I've been using Apple's computers for many years (back to the Bell & Howell model Apple II) and more recently some of the very first iOS products. However, in spite of that I would never come at anyone from the angle that you just did - because it's assuming, self-righteous and contemptible. Furthermore, just so you know, it's not being "frugal" when you're just searching for value in a purchase that well exceeds an 80 to 100 percent premium over the cost of the competition's products, regardless as to whether or not it's perceived by others (such as yourself) to be a "good value" already.

Does Apple pay you to say such things in forums or are you just mindlessly brainwashed?

I could not have said it better myself! Perfect response!
post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFatWookie View Post

I need to buy two identical iMacs, one for me and one for my son who is actually in college! In order to get 12 mo deferred financing using my apple juniper card, it has to be on one purchase, but the education site says limitation is 1 desktop, 1 laptop, and 1 Mac Mini per student (with only the first two qualifitying for the gift card), not to mention that mine should not qualify for education pricing.

Yet when I BTO the iMac on Apple's education store website and go to checkout, it does give me the option to double the quantity of the computer as well as the gift card.

Or should I just be honest and use the government store/employee purchase program and by them there for the same discount (minus the gift cards) since I am a government employee and there is no such restriction on buying two versus the 1 desktop only under the education site, even though they don't seem to enforce it.

Oh my concience

Call Apple customer service, ask them. I bet they say if the site allows you, go for it.

I follow the same principal when I'm undercharged at a store or restaurant (like they forgot to add my beverage to the receipt). The answer is usually "don't worry about it", and my conscience is absolved.
post #38 of 41
I understand the move, as on paper it makes sense. With Lion coming out, they really want the Mac App Store to hit the ground running, and there's nothing like giving people a gift card to encourage adoption of a new product/service. The iPod touch giveaway was originally intended to get people hooked on the iOS ecosystem; it's possible now that iOS devices have reached a saturation point, and the benefit of giving an iPod touch away has lost much of its benefits to Apple.

Also, from Apple's standpoint, giving a $100 gift card is close to being equal to giving away an iPod touch when you consider the cost of the iPod touch to Apple (okay, maybe not quite equal, since Apple gets 30% back).

However, while Apple may see the iPod touch as costing about $100, which is only a little more than the cost of the gift card, the consumer sees the iPod touch as being $200, since that's the sticker price.

Consumers have long memories. While Apple isn't entitled to give anything away, consumers have certain expectations. Apple would have been better served giving away a $150 or $179 gift card, as it's closer to the perceived value of the iPod touch, gets people hooked on the ecosystem, and doesn't cost much more than the cost of the iPod touch when you figure Apple gets 30% back.
post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

I understand the move, as on paper it makes sense. With Lion coming out, they really want the Mac App Store to hit the ground running, and there's nothing like giving people a gift card to encourage adoption of a new product/service. The iPod touch giveaway was originally intended to get people hooked on the iOS ecosystem; it's possible now that iOS devices have reached a saturation point, and the benefit of giving an iPod touch away has lost much of its benefits to Apple.

Also, from Apple's standpoint, giving a $100 gift card is close to being equal to giving away an iPod touch when you consider the cost of the iPod touch to Apple (okay, maybe not quite equal, since Apple gets 30% back).

However, while Apple may see the iPod touch as costing about $100, which is only a little more than the cost of the gift card, the consumer sees the iPod touch as being $200, since that's the sticker price.

Consumers have long memories. While Apple isn't entitled to give anything away, consumers have certain expectations. Apple would have been better served giving away a $150 or $179 gift card, as it's closer to the perceived value of the iPod touch, gets people hooked on the ecosystem, and doesn't cost much more than the cost of the iPod touch when you figure Apple gets 30% back.

Well stated and reasonable - I like your stance! This is a good job of portraying both the reasoning behind Apples decision to alter the promotion yet allows room for customer disappointment, as well as offering what would have been a comfortable "happy medium" that would likely have satisfied most.
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Consumers have long memories. While Apple isn't entitled to give anything away, consumers have certain expectations. Apple would have been better served giving away a $150 or $179 gift card, as it's closer to the perceived value of the iPod touch, gets people hooked on the ecosystem, and doesn't cost much more than the cost of the iPod touch when you figure Apple gets 30% back.

Agreed. And I'm also disappointed since I actually wanted a new iTouch and I won't be eligible to get my iPhone on Verizon for another year and a half.

Also, in addition to it being close to the cost of an 8GB touch (150/179 as you mentioned), I really wish they'd made it an Apple gift card, not an iTunes gift card. Then I could have at least used it on a Magic Trackpad or some other accessory. I'm sure that also would've made it not seem as bad. The iTunes card is just so restrictive. I have almost nothing to purchase through the Apple Store.

Oh well, I just hope I can get close to $100 for it on craigslist.
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