Apple's new 2015 Back to School offer: free Beats headphones with Mac purchase

While many have been left wondering what happened to Apple's annual Back to School promotion, last week retail chief Angela Ahrendts promised an update, and here it is: Those who qualify for the education pricing discount and buy an eligible Mac will get a free pair of the Beats Solo2 headphones. Unfortunately for potential iPad customers, no part of the promo applies to tablet purchases, unlike the last few years. The offer is not yet highlighted on Apple's website, but begins today, July 23rd in retail stores, and on August 6th on the online store.

The computer eligible for the free headphones are the iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or Mac Pro. These must be purchased with the education discount, which means the customer must be a student or a faculty or staff member of a school. Sadly the Mac Mini is not eligible for the promotion.

Eligible Mac purchases will actually get customers a $200 credit that can be applied to either the Beats Solo2 On-Ear Headphones, or the wireless versions of the same model. This will make the standard, wired version free, while the wireless option, which sells for $300, will require customers to pay the $100 difference.

In the past, the Back to School promo has always given customers free gift cards with credit for the App/iTunes Stores. Last year a $100 gift card came with Mac purchases, while those bought an iPad or iPhone received a $50 gift card. In terms of monetary value, the $200 headphones credit is definitely worth more, but is a much more limited gift item.

The only details of the promotion that are currently on Apple's website can be found on the rebates page. The offer is good on Mac purchases through September 18th at both retail and online stores.