I figured that with the steep reduction in price of the iPhone ($199 and $299, the same price as an 8GB iPod Nano and 8GB iPod Touch, respectively), Apple might be willing to allow students and faculty members the opportunity to buy an iPhone and get the rebate as part of their most excellent Back-to-School Promotion. I did a little bit of research and found out that although the prices are nothing different, the rebate only applies to iPod purchases.
In related news however, I did find some other ways that starving students (and teachers) can score some bonuses on their Mac purchase this summer. If you go to Best Buy’s Ad for this week, you will see (at least in my area, verify in the comments what your result is) that they are offering gift cards to Best Buy and the iTunes Store with the purchase of iPod Nano or Touch in preparation for Father’s Day. The values are $20 to $40 for the Best Buy gift cards and $25 or $50 for the iTMS gift cards. So, you get a new Mac, get the gift card, get the rebate, and you can totally afford to get MobileMe when it comes out.
(I did ask a couple Apple Store employees if the iTMS gift cards would work in the App Store, and they told me that the iTMS gift cards “are only for content in the iTunes Music Store” and not for the App Store. I guess it makes sense to separate them, but since it is all linked to your Apple ID, it should work out. Apple still has time to switch sides on that, though.)
Also, if you are a member of Best Buy Reward Zone, you can gift card rewards for your purchases. So, add up the cost of a new Mac and an iPod and you could get up to $50 in gift cards. All that together makes for a pretty compelling sale, even if you hate Be$t Buy. Hey, who turns down free money?
Circuit City is offering a similar deal on iPods (only $15-$30 gift cards, though), but they don’t sell Macs there, so it doesn’t help much.