While Apple may or may not be the top seller year in and year out in each of their product lines, they have certainly captured the imagination of the globe. Sure, many people still buy PCs powered by Microsoft, but no one clamors for the first look at a new release by that company. Yet whenever Apple unveils their latest iPhone, iPod, iPad or Mac computer, thousands of people write about it, and countless consumers jump on the waiting list to be one of the first people lucky enough to bring one home. This phenomenon isn’t specific only to the general public. Most employees who work for Apple feel the same way. In fact, that may be a key reason why they pursued a job at Apple in the first place. And now that the computing behemoth has unveiled their new employee discount, chances are even more tech graduates will be flocking to interviews.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook started off 2012 with a bang, announcing a brand new discount program that all Apple employees would be eligible to receive. The basic idea is that anyone who works for Apple could take $250 off the purchase of a new iPad, and a full $500 off any new Mac computer they wanted to buy. Although it was announced in January, the program did not go live until just this week. But Apple employees can now rejoice, for the discount program is now in full swing. In order to take advantage, an employee must make their purchase through an internal portal, set up only for Apple staffers.
Of course, there are some caveats to this deal. An Apple staff member must be at the company for at least three months before they can take advantage of any of these discounts. On top of that, they can only purchase products on discount once for every three years they are employed by Apple. On top of that, there are also certain products that are ineligible. The Mac mini, which is on the market for all consumers at a $599 pricetag, can’t be bought with the $500 discount. One of the newest, most exciting Mac releases is also blocked from discounts. That’s the MacBook Pro that’s equipped with a Retina display. That model has barely been on the market, as it was just announced during the 2012 WWDC keynote presentation.
With all of that fine print in place, the question arises of whether or not the discounts hold any real value for Apple employees. Many people purchase a new computer or device more frequently than once every three years, so staff will certainly not be able to use the discount to their advantage on each new item they buy. Additionally, cutting the most affordable Mac computer from the list is a real heartbreaker, especially for new employees just out of school, trying to balance cost of living expenses with massive student loan bills. Other popular Apple products, such as the iPod and iPhone, aren’t included in the discounts at all, so there will be no freebies, even for long-time, dedicated employees. It seems that it wouldn’t hurt Apple in the slightest to give their staff free technology, especially since their internal costs versus what consumers pay for these products are probably very small. What good is working for Apple if you can’t enjoy the technology, and must buy your own fiber optic patch cables to link PC-based hardware that you have to buy because you can’t afford Apple’s much preferred versions?