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This article was published on February 13, 2012

Apple is giving Japanese students ¥10,000 gift cards with back-to-school Mac purchases

Apple is giving Japanese students ¥10,000 gift cards with back-to-school Mac purchases
Brad McCarty
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Brad McCarty

A music and tech junkie who calls Nashville home, Brad is the Director TNW Academy. You can follow him on Twitter @BradMcCarty. A music and tech junkie who calls Nashville home, Brad is the Director TNW Academy. You can follow him on Twitter @BradMcCarty.

Apple’s gearing up for back to school in Japan once again, this time offering ¥10,000 (~$129 USD) gift cards with the purchase of any new Mac. So once you get home and plugged in, you can treat yourself to new software, music or video via the App Store, Mac App Store or the iTunes Store.

The April 1 start date, according to MacRumors, is typical for Apple. For those of us in the US, Europe and elsewhere, we’ll likely see similar deals, though later in the year. It’s a nice change from the free iPod that you used to get with a new Mac, and it focuses on one of Apple’s strengths as a software distributor, rather than just hardware. It’s also a firm reminder that most of us already have an iPod, even if it happens to look like an iPhone or iPad. The hardware section, outside of the iPod touch, just doesn’t have the demand that it once did.

Last year in the US, we saw Apple giving $100 gift cards in a promotion that began in mid-June and ran through the end of September. With the company seeing massive growth in its sales of hardware, it’s no surprise that it would focus on looping people into the ecosystem with continued “gifts”.

For those of us Mac fans, it’s good news. Especially with the company expected to refresh the MacBook Pro line in April of this year. In a market where global PC shipments have had their worst reported numbers in ages, those sales numbers are a sign of life for an otherwise-aging platform.