updated 09:00 pm EDT, Tue May 17, 2011
Could be cause for mystery preps at Apple Stores
The hubbub of activity surrounding the Apple Retail Stores over the past week or so has fuelled a lot of speculation, from 10th anniversary celebrations (the original stores opened on May 19th, 2001) to rumors of new products or the long-expected rollout of Apple's cloud services (part of a revamped MobileMe) and more, but among all the rumor and guesses, one thing is for sure: it's almost time for Apple to begin its annual back-to-school promotion, which could begin as early as next week, says AppleInsider.
The yearly educational special has historically offered a free or discounted iOS device when customers purchase a new Mac. When combined with the modest educational discount and ongoing printer specials, the promotion has proven extremely successful at luring more students -- and their parents -- into purchasing a portable or desktop Mac. Faculty and some other school-associated personnel can also take advantage of the offer, which typically runs until early September -- shortly before new iPod models are traditionally announced.
Last year's promotion was announced on Tuesday, May 25th, and offered a free (after rebate) 8GB iPod Touch with the purchase of a Mac. No details have yet been made available of the potential offer for this year, but the promotion could explain reports of clampdowns on time off, overnight preparations and weekend employee meetings.
It is also likely that Apple is indeed planning additional announcements in the near future: many have expected for weeks that the company would finally reveal its plans for an overhaul to its internet-services suite MobileMe, tying it partially or wholly to a rollout of cloud services to compete with similar offerings from Google and Amazon, both of which have had problems. Reports of "procedural changes" in the Apple Stores themselves, including a new payment system, may also be coming soon. [via AppleInsider]