Apple Offers $100 App Credit with MacBook Purchase

Dennis Faas's picture

A few weeks back Microsoft announced an enticing plan whereby students purchasing a Windows 7 PC valued at $699 or more would also walk home with a free Xbox 360 (valued at $199). Now, Apple is trying to lure consumers in a different direction, offering a $100 iTunes gift card to anyone buying a MacBook.

The promotion, which runs until September 20, 2011 gives students, parents, teachers and staff members a $100 gift card when they purchase any of the following: an iMac, a MacBook Pro, a regular MacBook, or a MacBook Air. Unfortunately, those buying refurbished MacBooks or the Mac Mini won't qualify for the bargain.

Apple says those who do qualify can use the $100 gift card at any of its digital download stores, including the Mac App Store, the iOS App Store, iBookstore, and, of course, iTunes.

Deal Value Cut From Previous Years

This isn't the first time Apple has lured students with a deal of this kind.

For the past three years the Cupertino-based company has offered rebates of up to $249 towards the purchase of any iPod. Some analysts believe the fact that Apple is now offering digital downloads instead is a sign of the company's growing confidence.

"I'd say they're feeling pretty confident in what they have in market share," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst for Technology Business Research.

"The earlier rebates drove adoption of the iPod Touch, but now it's a very successful product -- more than 50% of the iPod business -- and they don't feel a need to do more for it." (Source:

Apple Bargain Unlikely to Lure PC Fanatics

Unfortunately, the deal is unlikely to lure too many traditional PC users away. The Xbox 360 offer is worth twice as much as the Apple gift card, and most MacBooks retail for well over $1,000 -- compared to the $699 Windows 7 PC in the Microsoft deal. (Source:

Still, the $100 gift card bargain should attract people on the fence about a Mac purchase, and that could mean it'll prove a big money-maker for Apple.

"They've reduced the cost to themselves by pushing people to the Mac App Store," Gottheil said. "A lot of the software people will buy [with the gift card] will be Apple-branded, and we know that software has a lovely gross margin."

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