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

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
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.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    tingertinger Posts: 4member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 40
    debusohdebusoh Posts: 85member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 40
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    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).
  • Reply 4 of 40
    debusohdebusoh Posts: 85member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 40
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 40
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    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).
  • Reply 7 of 40
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 40
    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
  • Reply 9 of 40
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Hopefully the prospect of thousands of potential customers with $100 gift cards will encourage more Mac developers to support the app store.
  • Reply 10 of 40
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 40
    msuberlymsuberly Posts: 226member
    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".
  • Reply 12 of 40
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    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
  • Reply 13 of 40
    ksecksec Posts: 1,567member
    I am just wondering at there any additional discount for Education Pricing during BTS period, or is it the same old discount.
  • Reply 14 of 40
    jne381jne381 Posts: 3member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 40
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    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?
  • Reply 16 of 40
    dooghdoogh Posts: 37member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 40
    x-menx-men Posts: 21member
    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!
  • Reply 18 of 40
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    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."
  • Reply 19 of 40
    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
  • Reply 20 of 40
    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!
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