It’s certainly not going to knock any socks off this year, but Apple has finally kicked off its annual back to school sale. A day behind schedule, Apple on Thursday announced that students making qualifying Mac purchases will receive a complimentary $100 iTunes gift card. The offer applies to college students and those accepted into college, and any MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac or Mac Pro purchase will qualify for the gift card. Apple’s promotion this year offers less than half the back-for-your-buck compared to past promotions that offered a free iPod touch with each purchase, but $100 toward software for your new Mac computer on top of a 10% student discount still makes for a decent deal. Apple’s offer runs from now through September 20th, so students have more than enough time to wait for that imminent MacBook Air refresh we’ve all been expecting. More →
Microsoft is currently offering Windows Phone handsets from three major U.S. carriers for just a penny each. Through the company’s online Microsoft Store, users can now purchase either Verizon Wireless’ HTC Trophy, Sprint’s HTC Arrive or T-Mobile’s HTC HD7 for just $0.01 alongside a 2-year contract with a smartphone data plan. While the HD7 is the oldest of the bunch, it’s still a wonderfully capable supersized smartphone that we enjoyed very much when we reviewed it last November. The Trophy is Verizon’s first Windows Phone, featuring HD video capture and SRS WOW HD sound, and the HTC Arrive is easily our favorite Windows Phone to date. Microsoft’s penny offers are only good through July 2nd, 2011. More →
On Thursday, Groupon — the popular location-based coupon service — filed for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The start-up, which alerts 83 million email subscribers in 43 different countries of local deals that range from restaurant discounts to sailing lessons, hopes to raise $750 million in its IPO. “Expect us to make ambitious bets on our future that distract us from our current business,” Andrew Mason, Groupon’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Some bets we’ll get right, and others we’ll get wrong, but we think it’s the only way to continuously build disruptive products,” Mason added. Groupon launched in November, 2007, has more than 7,000 employees, and reported $645 million in revenues during Q1 2011. Hit the break for a letter from Mason that was included with the company’s filing. More →
Amazon isn’t the only game in town when it comes to deep discounts on popular smartphones, and while Amazon’s 4G phone sale is certainly impressive, LetsTalk has a few even more appealing deals for Memorial Day. From now through May 31st, the online retailer is offering several incentives that add up to big savings on Verizon Wireless’ Android smartphones. First, LetsTalk is offering free overnight shipping on all Android phones. Add to that a 20%-off coupon for all Verizon Android phones (coupon code 7c7f3319) and we’re looking at some of the lowest prices we’ve seen yet on several sleek smartphones. Some highlights from LetsTalk’s sale include the Motorola DROID X2 for $120, the Sony Ericson Xperia PLAY for $80 and the HTC DROID Incredible 2 for just $64. Countless other smartphones are already priced at $0.01 or even free, so Amazon clearly has some competition over the coming long weekend. More →
One of our Apple sources has informed us that they’ve been hearing Apple’s yearly back-to-school special will be announced at WWDC next month. We have been told Apple will continue to offer educational discounts on computers and either a free iPod touch, or $229 towards the purchase of any other iPod. Our source also let us know that there might be something new in the works, as well… they heard that it’s possible Apple might offer students up to $200 off an iPad with the purchase of a new Mac. If true, this would be pretty great deal. If only Apple could make enough of them…
Thanks, Lindsey S.!
Amazon is known for offering deep smartphone discounts on a normal day, so when the retail giant announces a special holiday sale, prospective smartphone buyers would be wise to check it out. In celebration of Memorial Day, AmazonWireless is offering sale prices on nearly 20 4G smartphones. Highlights from the Memorial Day weekend sale include the Samsung DROID Charge for $179.99, the LG Revolution for $149.99, the HTC ThunderBolt for $129.99, the Samsung Infuse 4G for $129.99, the T-Mobile G2x for $99.99, Sprint’s Google Nexus S 4G for $49.99 and the HTC Inspire 4G for just $0.01. All prices are on contract, of course. Amazon is also offering a few other incentives, a $10 Amazon Appstore credit for students when they purchase of an Xperia PLAY between now and June 4th, and a $25 Amazon gift card with the purchase of any Windows Phone starting May 30th. More →
Amazon on Monday revealed a new discounted version of its popular Kindle eBook reader. Amazon’s announcement came on the same day Barnes & Noble announced its all-new NOOK eReader. When asked during a Q&A session after Monday’s press conference if Barnes & Noble would ever consider releasing an ad-supported NOOK, CEO William Lynch laughed and said it was highly unlikely — but Amazon seems to be having some success with the ad-supported model. Joining the company’s $114 ad-supported Wi-Fi Kindle is the new $164 Kindle 3G, which gives consumers the option of saving $25 and dealing with advertisements. The device is otherwise identical to the standard Kindle 3G, which features a Pearl E Ink display, a full QWERTY keypad and free 3G connectivity. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
As much as we like Verizon Wireless’ second 4G LTE-enabled smartphone offering, $300 is a tough pill to swallow — even for the fastest smartphone we’ve ever reviewed. While the improved battery life and slimmer build probably do warrant a $50 premium over the HTC ThunderBolt, Verizon’s other 4G smartphone, its $250 asking price is a bit steep to begin with. As usual, however, AmazonWireless has swooped in with a sale price and undercut Verizon’s asking price by a cool $100. The new lower price of $199 is in line with what one might expect to pay for a smartphone on contract, and the DROID Charge is well worth it thanks to a 1GHz processor, a gorgeous Super AMOLED Plus display, an 8-megapixel camera and, of course, blazing fast 4G LTE speeds. Amazon’s $199 price tag for the DROID Charge is only available for a limited time, though no end date has been specified for the sale. More →
Microsoft on Thursday revealed its back-to-school offer for 2011, which is likely to drop students’ jaws and raise parents’ eyebrows at the same time. This year, students with a valid student ID who purchase a Windows 7 computer for $699 or more will receive a free Xbox 360 4GB video game console. “A hot new Windows 7-based PC with a free Xbox 360 is the ultimate productivity, social and entertainment package for students,” said Kathleen Hall, general manager of Windows Marketing at Microsoft, in a statement. “In one shot, with this great offer, Microsoft is giving students everything they need for a successful new school year.” We’re not sure how much the Xbox offer will help students with their school work, but it will definitely help them blow off some steam and avoid burning out while still managing to save them some money. The deal becomes available to students starting this Sunday, May 22nd. Hit the break for Microsoft’s full press release.
As much as we loved the HTC ThunderBolt when we reviewed it this past March, we can certainly understand if some people are hesitant to spend $250 on a new smartphone — even if it does run on the fastest cellular network in the country. If you fall into that category of intrigued smartphone buyers who just cant stomach parting with that much money up front, you’re in luck. AmazonWireless has brought back its previous sale price for the ThunderBolt. That’s right, just $129.99, a smartphone data plan and a two-year contract will get you all the 4G’d Froyo you can handle — but only for a limited time.
UPDATE: To clarify, during this sale the ThunderBolt is $129.99 for new customers, $174.99 for existing customers upgrading on an individual account, and $199.99 for existing customers upgrading a line on a family plan. More →
RadioShack quietly announced on Monday that it is now offering AT&T’s Inspire 4G for just $29.99 with a two-year contract for new AT&T customers and existing subscribers looking to upgrade. Though the Inspire is still a relatively young device that was just released in February, newer dual-core smartphones are already making it look a tad gray up top. Its specs are still respectable, however, and they include a 4.3-inch display, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, Android 2.2 (Froyo), an 8-megapixel camera, 768MB of RAM, 4GB of storage and HTC’s Sense UI. RadioShack’s price is the lowest we’ve seen from a reputable retailer, and it’s good from now through May 21st.
Nintendo has just announced that the Nintendo Wii retail price will drop to $149.99 beginning May 15th, and it will include a free copy of Mario Kart and the Wii Wheel accessory as well. This bundle replaces the bundled Wii Sports game that used to come with the system, and we have to admit, this is an amazing deal and a great way to help revitalize sales of the Wii system and games. Nintendo also lets us know that it is into color coordination, because the steering wheel and the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers match the color console you purchase — white or black. Not bad, Nintendo, not bad. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
Yellow Pages, a subsidiary of AT&T, is launching its own Deals platform that will compete with Groupon and other bargain services, Bloomberg is reporting. The service is live now on YP.com, and AT&T is offering new customers a $10 credit towards their first “Deal of the Day” purchase — provided that you sign up before May 22nd. The carrier says that its Yellow Pages Deals service will be available in Atlanta, Dallas/Forth Worth, and Los Angeles to start, although it will be deployed to more cities in the future. AT&T could have the upper hand among mobile users, as it typically installs a default Yellow Pages application on most of its phones. However, it’s unclear if it will build the Deals service directly into mobile apps, or if it will only be an online/e-mail offering. If you live in one of the three starter markets and want to save a few bucks on your next steak, face painting lesson, or both, hit the jump to get started now. More →