Recently, Apple unveiled its “Back to School” promotion, which usually sees the company hand out free iPods alongside Macs – or even the chance to trade-in the value of the offering against a higher-end iPod. This year, we naturally expected Apple to make the same offering, however, the company did not.
Instead, Mac-buying students now get a $100 iTunes Gift Card, which can be used to purchase digital content from any one of Apple’s – the iTunes Store, App Store and Mac App Store. While this is good, when compared with an iPod touch (eight gigabyte), it actually seems pretty darn rubbish.
Now, instead of an item that was valued at, say, around $200, Apple is handing out an iTunes Gift Card that is half that amount. Even if you would prefer to load up your new Mac with applications, selling a new iPod on eBay or Amazon isn’t too difficult, and iTunes Gift Cards can very easily be purchased (if you don’t want to link your card with iTunes).
Furthermore, while Apple is handing out $100 iTunes Gift Cards, it’s only giving away $70. This is because 30 percent of the cash spent in Apple’s digital stores goes right back to – you guessed it – Apple. Out of that $100, Apple is going to get $30 (providing, of course, that you spend it – something you’re likely to do in the long run, at least).
Because Apple takes a cut, applications in the Mac App Store are expensive – meaning the voucher you’ve got isn’t going to go far. Apple’s iWork suite will already see 60 percent of that $100 vanish – Aperture would see 80 percent disappear.
For Apple, this is great news – keeping people within its App Store ecosystem (getting them hooked early, you might call it) is exactly what the company wants to do. It’s customers, however, lose out.
If you have an opinion, or if I’ve failed to take note of some aspect of this deal, shout it out in the comments.