updated 05:15 pm EST, Mon February 13, 2012
10,000 yen off Mac, iTunes downloads
Apple is launched the annual Japanese version of its back-to-school promotion, intended to encourage Mac sales. Unlike the US and Canada, many schools in Japan start classes on April 1st. This year the company is giving away a 10,000 yen ($129) gift card, which can be used toward content at the iTunes Store, the App Store, and/or the Mac App Store.
Most student Mac orders are eligible for the card, the only exceptions being the Mac mini and any refurbished models. The promotion runs through May 22nd. Japan is following in the steps of the US and other countries, where students were previously able to get a free or discounted iPod.
iPods may no longer have the draw they used to. Sales have been falling for years, something that has been attributed to the proliferation of smartphones, and more recently tablets. Offering Mac, iOS, and iTunes content may also have the effect of drawing people deeper into the Apple ecosystem, showing its possibilities and creating investments people are reluctant to walk away from.