Apple’s "back to school" promo offers $100

Apple has launched its annual “Back to School” promotional offer.

 And it may be a sign of the company’s future – a push away from the traditional iPod and a shove toward the digital nature of Apple in today’s marketplace.

For the last several years, at this time of year Apple offered a free iPod to anyone who bought a new Macbook.

This year, however, the only freebies new customers will get is a $100 iTunes gift card.

That credit can then of course be spent to buy iPhone or iPad apps, songs from iTunes, e-books, movie rentals or downloads, or even software for their new Macbook courtesy of the recently launched Mac App Store.

Some are disappointed with the change in the promotion. Business Insider, for example, calls it “lame.”

While a $100 gift card doesn’t come close to the value of a free iPod, this change is definitely symbolic in the way Apple is poised to shift its focus. It is surely all about digital content these days.

In the promotion signage, Apple heavily touts the Mac App Store, a platform that virtually any Mac developer who wants to be recognized now has to use. Because of that, it has found moderate success but it’s still not a household name.