updated 12:05 am EDT, Wed June 15, 2011
$100 iTunes gift card instead of iPod Touch
New information suggests that Apple will launch its annual Back to School promotion on Wednesday, and with a twist this year that would be seem to confirm previous rumors: instead of free-after-rebate iPod Touches, the company will instead give away $100 iTunes gift cards as part of the purchase, 9to5Mac is reporting. Stores will also be redecorated, including an alleged change to the store software selection.
While the free $100 iTunes gift card is not as valuable in absolute terms as an iPod Touch, Apple may be hoping that customers will be happier with an on-the-spot gift card they can use immediately rather than having to wait several weeks for the rebate check to arrive. Customers who didn't really want an iPod Touch may also appreciate the extra versatility that the iTunes card provides, as iTunes gift cards can be used to buy not just music but books, movies and TV shows as well as apps.
In addition to changing signage and placing other information related to the latest promotion, sources say that at least some stores are partially removing the software walls, dramatically reducing the number of software titles available at the stores. Presumably the change would be made to help promote the Mac App Store and encourage customers to move completely to download-only environments. Apple itself has said they will be making both Mac OS X Lion and Final Cut Pro X available exclusively as downloads. [via 9to5Mac]