Most of my fellow students barely have enough resources to cover basic school supplies like pens, pencils and books. I thought I’d take a look at the education and student discounts Apple has going on as we enter the back to school season.
Well, this could be a really short blog post, but I’ll add a little depth to it as we head into a dog day-esque summer weekend—food for thought (as they say) to ponder all weekend long.
Apple historically has aligned themselves with the academic and creative communities of people. This in and of itself is a dichotomy of sorts as aside from the professor segment of the secondary education community, students themselves are mostly poor and getting deep(er) in debt as they continue their educations. The professional creative community, while not necessarily in debt, if they maintain their work studios and are using Adobe programs like the popular Creative Suite, need considerable income to pay off their business software and hardware purchases. There are of course no discounts available to creative professionals and these folks have mostly considered the Apple premium part of the cost of doing business in the first place.
Back to school student discounts
It is not enough to offer six-, twelve- or eighteen-months financing options as methods of attracting the student crowd of buyers. Most students are not interested in adding to their already more than substantial debt load. Apple does not see it this way of course; they simply are offering some extra time in which to pay the Apple piper. On the surface that looks like a good old American deal. But beneath the surface, the eventual inability of many students to pay for their purchases on time drives further business towards the loathed ecosystems that are bill collecting agencies.
I have always touted Apple refurbished products as a good deal for someone to consider when they are thinking about purchasing a Mac or an Apple product of some kind. Refurbished Macs have the same one-year warranty that new Macs have. My experience with Apple refurbished products are that they really do hold up like brand new products (my most recent example being an iPhone 3GS that I am finally considering replacing since it won’t run iOS 7—it is a refurb that has always worked (and looked) good as new).
Alas, Apple student pricing does not apply towards refurbished products. Apple says their refurbs are already discounted as much as they can be. That is a shame. A student discount would be a good deal if you could apply it on top of the price of a refurbished-priced Mac or iPhone; now there would be a deal a poor student could enjoy.
Since I am myself a student of a qualifying college institution, I was able to log in and see what was advertised as already-discounted-for-student pricing. It would have been nice to see something demonstrating the savings I was enjoying as a student compared to the regular price. The listings supposedly reflected the already discounted price. With the 21.5” iMac starting at $1,249, I was not overly impressed (to say the least)—saving a whopping $50 with student pricing.
The biggest competitive edge Apple has going into back to school season is not their student discounted pricing or their student financing options. If students are interested in a new computer, Apple’s main competition of new Windows 8 computers may help drive potential customers their way. Windows 8 has been received with a yawn, running on less than six percent of all computers since its release a little over nine months ago.