Apple has announced that it is switching up its back to school promotion this year. Instead of getting a free iPod Touch, this time students will be offered a $100 gift card to buy apps with.
The $100 app store credit comes with purchase of a Mac with Apple education pricing during the period of time between the months of June and September 2011. The qualifying Mac can be bought at an Apple retail or online store, as well as your campus’ store. The credit can then be spent on the Mac App Store, the iOS App Store, iTunes or the iBookstore.
It may seem as if the company is cutting back with its $100 Back to School Card when you compare this to the monetary value of past promotions. Last year they offered an 8GB iPod Touch with a value of $199.
We’ve pointed out that Microsoft is also doing a back to school promotion this year which you’ve probably seen commercials for already. It seems like a better deal; any student who purchases a Windows 7 computer worth over $699 gets a 4GB Xbox 360, worth $199. You could arguably find a Windows PC with similar specs for $100 cheaper than the low-level Macbook, even with the Apple back to school pricing. Couple those savings with the $200 value of the Xbox—double the Apple gift card—and the numbers make it seem more logical to go with a PC.
Even with those savings in mind and high sales (popularity) still for the Xbox 360, Apples’ new promotion is probably a smart move. According to VentureBeat, apps are better for Apple than its old iPod deal since “the company will recuperate at least 30 percent of any purchase made using the credit.” Plus, the variety of software available in the app store seems more practical than a gaming system. We’ll see how it all plays out at the end of the promotion when September rolls around.