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Summary:

For years, Apple has included Proof-of-Purchase Coupons in their packages, noting the specific software included. For example, if you recently purchased a Macintosh, you’ll have Software Coupons for Mac OS X 10.4 and iLife ’06. But when was the last time Apple actually accepted these coupons […]

For years, Apple has included Proof-of-Purchase Coupons in their packages, noting the specific software included. For example, if you recently purchased a Macintosh, you’ll have Software Coupons for Mac OS X 10.4 and iLife ’06. But when was the last time Apple actually accepted these coupons for discounts on later software?

I used a Mac OS 8.5 Software Coupon that came with a tray-loading iMac to get a $20 discount on Mac OS 9, when it was released many months later. I then later used one of the Software Coupons that came with that purchase to get a CD of Mac OS 9.1 shipped to me for free.

In the era of Mac OS X, Apple has basically done away with upgrade pricing and the use of the software coupons. They offered purchasers of the Public Beta a discount towards version 10.0 and then made version 10.1 a ‘free’ upgrade (if you couldn’t get it at a nearby computer store, it cost you $20 for Apple to mail it to you). But for the last five years, there has been no way to get a reduced, upgrade price for OS X.

And yet every retail box of OS X contains not one, but four coupons, which say “to get software updates and other special offers from Apple, you’ll need the coupons below” and “Important: Do not discard these coupons.” Apple is instructing its customers not to discard these coupons, yet most Apple users would tell you that these are completely worthless and you might as well just throw them out.

This is especially pointless for iLife, which has never had upgrade pricing. If you purchased the retail box of iLife ’05, you also received four software coupons that were simply not applicable for the purchase of iLife ’06 under any circumstance.

As someone who has purchased multiple versions of OS X and iLife over the years, I would appreciate being able to actually use one of the four included coupons to get a slight price break. But if Apple is not going to have upgrade pricing anymore, they should just stop printing these coupons and save some paper.

  1. Here here!

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  2. I’ve been a Mac admirer for years, but I don’t have a Mac so anything I say may be a little inaccurate.

    Whenever you buy a new Mac, it’s bundled with OSX (and iLife).
    You don’t have the option to buy a Mac without OS.
    You can’t install OSX on non-Macs.

    My conclusion from the above is that whenever you buy a copy of OSX, it’s actually considered as an upgrade… it’s assumed that you already own a Mac, with a previous OS of course.

    So yes, Apple can save a little paper by dropping the bundled coupons.

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  3. No kidding. I bought my first Mac when OS 10.1 had just come out (it was an iBook G3 700mhz). Since then I’ve upgraded my OS with every new release and I’ve even upgraded my hardware. Everytime I’ve purchased something new from Apple, I’ve gotten those coupons. Since I jumped onto the Apple bandwagon after their transition to the OS X era, I’ve always wondered what exactly they were for as when I’ve tried to use them to upgrade software, they’ve never been accepted…

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  4. well DUH they’re obviosuly there as collectors’ items

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  5. Thank you! I received coupons when I bought 10.3 and 10.4 and two different versions of iLife. I may have also received them when I bought iWork. I’ve always wondered what the point was and I’m happy to see that I’m not the only one baffled by this.

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  6. Hear Hear!
    And I agree Joecab – they are for collectors, as proof that you were a mac owner since… what ever year (or version).

    Well, with the coupon’s question up and running, there is another one: what am I suppose to do with dozens of Apple stickers?

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  7. As an IT purchaser of multiple Macs over the last several months, I can definitively state that as of the Core 2 Duo models shipping, Apple no longer is including the Software coupons. I guess after several years, they realized the pointlessness of it.

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  8. Really? I always thought they were for like 10.4.7 vs. 10.4.8 upgrades, in case you didn’t have internet and couldn’t upgrade via Software Update.

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  9. just received logic studio, sure enough, software coupons… maybe they’re not including it w/ osx, but certainly with pro software packages

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  10. I just recently purchased iWork ’08, and got four software coupons with it. I don’t think Leopard came with any, but I could be wrong. I’d have to check.

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