Following the advice of the brave Ned Stark “Brace yourselves, school is coming”, Apple is preparing for the new wave of students with the Apple “Back to School” offer for 2012. This year, the Cupertino-based company wants to offer its best and has prepared a great collection of products needed for the campus life. The items range from the simple back-packs, device cases, speakers, headphones to specialized applications and partnerships with educational entities. And boy, do they have some offers.
The promotion will last until 21st September so if you want to purchase something, you have only one month at your disposal. All the products which are included in the offer can be bought for the full price or, discounted using Back to School gift cards offered when purchasing Apple devices. To spice everything up, Apple assures a free delivery service to all products.
Apple Back to School offer for 2012
Once in school, most find themselves in need for lots of things. Apple tries to fill most of those needs by providing good products at an almost fair price. Although not many options are offered by the device maker, Apple manages to have something special for the most demanding categories.
I remember the days when I used to wear a backpack, they still hunt me now. But more than six years ago, there was almost nothing to choose from. In order to prepare for the upcoming school season, Apple has signed a partnership with Hurley for a few stylish models with prices between $60 and $100, depending on the choice:
- Copy – available in blue and magenta for $79.95
- Shutter – a black-stripped choice for $79.95
- Dimension for $79.95
- Puerto Rico – a classic black and white model for $79.95
- Manzana – black and simple for $79.95
- Puerto Rico Laptop – a laptop sleeve with a strap available in black and white for $59.95
- Thule Crossover for $99.95
Most of the models mentioned above offer tough protection for a 17-inch wide notebook and a stylish look. The Puerto Rico laptop sleeve can only accommodate 13-inch laptops, while the Thule Crossover comes with several compartments for iOS devices and a water-resistant nylon body.
Those wishing to customize their Apple device or simply travel with a slimmer protection than a backpack can opt for several cases:
- Speck SeeThru – a slim and glossy hard 13-inch wide transparent case for the MacBook Air with a durable 1.2mm protective shell and anti-tilt rubberized feet (available for $49.95). This model also has a 15-inch variant for the MacBook Pro that’s composed out of two translucent pieces and it’s available in blue for the same price.
- iPad Smart Case – the model which Apple has accustomed us already is now available for $49.95, offering dual side protection while retaining the thin and light design of the tablet. The foldable accessory is available in six bright colors and can be personalized with free laser engraving prior to purchase.
- Incane Neoprene Sleeve – as you’ve already hinted, this is a slim case for the 11-inch MacBook, which comes with a single metal zipper and a padded interior for $39.95.
I don’t personally use a Mac OS X machine but when it comes to design and peripherals, Apple is the definite king. Besides the products that made the company famous, Apple has also teamed with others to provide state of the art gear:
- Kensington WordLock – a portable combination lock for laptops which acts as an authentication token using a keyless four-wheel combination lock. Price: $27.95
- Philips SB7200 ShoqBox Speakers – a stylish wireless speaker set that’s splash and shock proof, just like most rugger smartphones, and which offers a motion sensor, built-in microphone, Bluetooth connectivity and voice feedback for $179.95.
- Puma Pro Headphones – angled ear-tip and arm headphones designed with a sport style and three-buttons for control. Price: $79.95
- Philips DC390 Dual Dock – this dock allows charging for two devices at once and comes with two alarms with gentle wake up and increasing volume as well as enhanced optimization for music settings. All for the price of $149.95
- Magic Trackpad – the new multi-touch trackpad which can replace the classic mouse for desktop computers at the price of $69.
- G-Tech G-Drive – a 500GB portable hard drive which weighs less than a pound and comes with a three-year warranty and USB 2.0 interface at the price of $79.95.
- Wireless Keyboard for $69.
- Magic Mouse for $69.
- Bose OE2i Headphones: $179.95
Software is also essentially for students. I would not survive college without the Office package and other applications which help get your task to the finish line. For back to school 2012 season, Apple has the following promotions:
- Microsoft Office for Mac – coming in two packages, the Home and Student edition, the Office for Mac 2011 consists out of the usual tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and with the possibility of storing files online at the price of $119.95.
- Adobe Creative Suite 6 – choose from either Student and Teach edition with a single license which contains tools like Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, After Effects and many others, for just $249.95
- Mac Apps – Apple has an ongoing promotion for dozen of apps which have a discounted price for students. These apps include titles such as OmniFocus, AudioNote, Heart Pro III, Byword and others. The complete list can be found here.
- iPad Apps – the iPad has not left aside, and Apple subsidized the price of many applications, including Evernote, iMuscle, World Atlas, Solar Walk and plenty others.
Apple also offers special education pricing for their products, hardware and software alike, to select third party affiliates. Schools can enroll in this program and supply materials to students and teachers, while students alone can enroll and become eligible to a wide area of promotions. At the moment there are all over 100 entities affiliated (the full list is here) and to become eligible yourself, all you have to do is complete the steps here.
A few helpful tips
Apple also supplies a collection of documentation, video tutorials, and web pages to help those wishing to develop and deploy educational solutions to schools and such. These resources also include classroom guides and pretty much anything that educators would need in their work. Actually, Apple divides these resources into two large categories:
- Classroom content: a nice collection of materials which can show you how to teach with the iPad or the Mac, how to develop applications useful in classes and create classroom content, while showing how to teach in a challenging method for the student.
- IT resources: for those wishing to dig into the matter a bit deeper, Apple has everything set: deployment on iOS devices, administrating an iTunes U Site, developing regular applications, certifications, training and plenty others.
Bonus Payment Plans
Those who cannot afford all of their Back to School 2012 wishes, Apple has signed a partnership with RBS Citizens for providing steady payment plans for students and educators. The minimum loan amount is $499 and the APR ranges from 11.99% to 19.99%, depending on the credit rating and the loan amount. Applicants can also improve the chances for their loan to be approved with the help of a co-applicant, such as its parents.
Using this option, buyers will have the ability of purchasing the iPad 32G Wi-Fi for example, at $56/month over a year, or $31/month with a two year agreement. These offers stretch as far as Apple’s range of products and may help those in need.
How about coupons?
Of course, Apple has conveniently supplied a nice collection of coupons treat for those wishing to purchase something inside the promotion. Those purchasing a Mac for college will receive a $100 Back to School Gift Card, while those getting a brand new iPad will be offered a ticket for $50. It’s yet unsure which Macs and iPads qualify with the promotion, because last year for example the Mac Mini was not eligible but this will surely be announced. Just make sure you ask first.
These cards should be valid across Apple’s digital stores, including iTunes, the App Store and iBook, meaning that it can be used to purchase any software material (apps, music, so on and so forth) and even other Apple devices. How do you think Apple’s Back to School offer compare to Google’s tools for students?
Don’t forget: the Apple Back to School campaign for 2012 ends precisely on 21st September, the same date when the future iPhone might be released. What a fortunate move for Apple’s profits would that be…