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Apple Back-to-School Deal Ditches Free iPod Touch for Gift Card

June 16, 2011

Apple on Thursday unveiled its annual back-to-school discount, but students will no longer receive a free iPod touch with their Mac purchase. Apple is instead offering up a $100 software gift card.

Those who purchase a qualifying Mac between June 16 and September 20 will get about 10 percent off the computer, plus a gift card that can be used in the Mac App Store, App Store, iTunes Store, or iBooks, Apple said in a note on its Web site.

The deal applies to a number of Macs. The MacBook is discounted $100 to $899, the MacBook Pro starts at $1,099, a $200 savings, the MacBook Air is available for $949, a $50 savings, and the iMac is also $100 off.

To get the discount and gift card, you must be a college student or student accepted to college, a parent of a college student, or a teacher of staff member at any grade level. If you buy a printer with your Mac, meanwhile, Apple is offering a $100 mail-in rebate. There's also the option to trade in your old computer and get a gift card for the value of the device.

For some, a gift card for music, book, or app downloads might not be as appealing as a free iPod touch, which now range in price from $229 for an 8GB version to $399 for 64GB. But with the January launch of the Mac App Store and the recent launch of iCloud, the move is not entirely unexpected.

During a recent earnings call, Apple also said it sold 9.02 million iPods during the quarter, a 17 percent unit decline from the previous year. Business Insider also recently reported that Apple has started to "wind down" the iPod brand.

Last month, Microsoft also kicked off a back-to-school deal that will provide students who spend more than $699 on a Windows 7 PC with a free Xbox 360 4GB console.




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