Apple “to drop free AirPods” from Back to School promotion

Apple is reportedly scrapping plans to offer free AirPods to customers on its Back to School promotion.

Every year, Apple runs a unique promotion in the United States, United Kingdom, and several other countries, allowing students and those working in education to get a freebie when buying a new Mac or iPad. For the past several years, Apple has offered a free pair of AirPods, but Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman suggests this year it won’t.

The program, which is expected to return on Friday, will drop the free Beats headphones or AirPods offer and instead give users an Apple Gift Card to spend on apps and software. It’s thought that it’ll offer a $50 gift voucher when buying a new iPad, and a $100 voucher when buying a new Mac.

Note that this voucher is on top of already discounted pricing on iPads and Macs, so it’s still a great deal for students – though those who’ve been holding out to get their hands on a new pair of AirPods will be disappointed.

We’re not sure why Apple is dropping the free AirPods offer, but it’s likely due to the ongoing supply chain issues, which are causing widespread product shortages across some categories – including the Mac. By giving away a free pair of AirPods, Apple would significantly increase interest in its new M2 MacBook Air, and that could put unnecessary pressure on an already-tight supply chain.

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