Apple Back to School 2011 Starts Thursday: Bit of a Letdown?

Back in May we gave readers some information of what might be available from this year’s Apple Back to School promotion but then a few days ago we received news that the promotion might not include the free iPods that everyone is used to and instead would offer iTunes gifts cards. Today’s news seems to confirm this and we have also heard that the Apple Back to School 2011 offers will begin today (Thursday). However, it seems that many of you will feel that this year’s promotion is a bit of a letdown.

When we informed readers that the iTunes gifts cards looked likely to be the best offer we also heard through several sources that the promotion would begin on Wednesday (yesterday). However Wednesday came and went with no news but it does look very likely that the promotion will instead begin today. Many of our readers posted comments to our article saying that if the $100 iTunes gift card speculation turned out to be accurate they would be very disappointed indeed. Some readers told us they’d been waiting for the promotion to buy a new Mac in order to take advantage of the usual free iPod offer. Phrases such as “uber-lame,” “Apple major fail” and “pretty gutted” were typical of the reaction of consumers to the news that there might be no free iPods.

Again and again the word “disappointment” cropped up and it seems that many of you out there feel that you have no need for an iTunes gift card and that the Back to School promotion this year will pretty much suck. Further news that seems to confirm the $iTunes gift card offer comes from Arnold Kim over on MacRumors with what is called “photographic proof” (see below courtesy of MacRumors) that has come from marketing materials. Kim confirms the start day of the promotion as June 16 and the marketing blurb does indeed talk about a $100 gift card (no mention of iPods) on purchase of a Mac, which can be used in the iTunes Store, App Store, Mac App Store or iBookstore. It’s also stated that the promotion will run until September 20.

According to Kim there is also confirmation of the European Apple Back to School promotion from and in Europe the offer will be for a 75 Euro gift card. You may also be interested in our recent article on Back to School tech accessories and tablets. Now it seems certain that the promotion begins today and that the best deal is the $100 gift card we’d like to know how you feel about Apple’s Back to School efforts this time around.

Were you waiting for the promotion before you made a Mac purchase in order to get a free iPod? Do you think many consumers will feel let down as our previous commenters implied? Maybe you’re just as happy with the $100 gift card? Let us know by sending your comments.

  • Arion Tsang

    this deal is really crap as many people where waiting for the ipod touch. To be honest, if the $100 could have been used in the apple store to buy things, that would have been a little better as that could have gone to the ipod touch for those who wanted it!! DISAPPOINTED and I am sure this is for all people who have been waiting for it. Furthermore some other countries do not have this deal yet??

  • Matt Reeve-Fowkes

    I am disappointed that the promotion isnt being run this year. In the UK, Apples pricing is a lot more than what you guys pay in the US - For example your bog standard, entry level MacBook is £745 in the education store, which is $1200 USD. I had planned to flog the free iPod to knock the price of the MacBook down, but now I may have to reconsider. After all, Windows really isnt THAT bad and you can get a good quality laptop for half the price of a Mac.

    In response to the $100 giftcard; I agree, its a shame that Apple couldnt offer that discount for use in their retail stores rather than for apps. After all, its all money so however you spend it, it’ll cost Apple. Its even more of a shame that you cant even use it to buy Office for Mac (something that would be very helpful at college) because its not available in the Mac App store, and you cant use it to buy the physical product in an Apple store. Having Office would be a lot better for everyone than some crappy apps.

  • Shawnise Denkins

    I am upset with Apple beacuse they are being cheap! I have been waiting to purchase a MBP. But it looks like im going to have to settle for a PC becuase they are giving XBox’s out for free. This would have been my first mac but i guess i’ll wait. Thanks Apple.

  • Yousra Khan

    Umm free Xbox over $100 App card..? Yep! Sorry Apple but this was a major letdown.