updated 10:05 am EDT, Tue April 19, 2011
MobileMe winding down, iWork pushed to App Store?
Apple has shut down rebate offers for MobileMe and iWork, according to a leaked internal memo. It was previously possible to get $30 off a MobileMe subscription when buying a Mac or iOS device, or $30 off a new copy of the iWork suite when buying a Mac. Resellers were asked to "remove any reference to these promotions by close of business" on the 18th, the memo indicates.
The MobileMe change may be related to Apple winding down the service's current incarnation. Retail packages and some other payment options have disappeared, and the company is widely believed to be overhauling the service to not only make it free but upgrade it with options like a media locker and a "Find My Friends" function. Some rumors have had the switchover happening as soon as April, but this may be unlikely if an iOS update is required; iOS 4.3.2 was only recently released, and without any hooks for rumored MobileMe features.
Why an iWork rebate would end is less clear, but there may be less incentive to offer it given the software's presence on the Mac App Store. There each program in the suite is available separately for $20, potentially saving money regardless. Apple has also been pushing most of its software sales toward the App Store as a rule.