A source within Apple has provided us with an internal memo announcing the end of Apple’s long-running rebate programs for both the MobileMe service and Apple’s iWork productivity suite of applications. The rebate allowed Apple customers to receive $30 off their purchase of the $99 MobileMe if the service was purchased alongside a new Mac or iOS device. The iWork rebate program, also $30 off, became an option with new Mac purchases.
Starting at the “close of business” on April 18th (that’s today in most markets) the MobileMe and iWork rebates no longer exist. Above is a screenshot of the internal memo we obtained. Apple’s decision to end the rebate program comes right before the rumored revamp of Apple’s MobileMe service. Back in February, we reported that MobileMe could now only be purchased online: not at retail stores, and no retail packaging would be shipped to the customer.
Apple is rumored to be updating MobileMe either later this month or in June at the annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC). The refresh is rumored to include a new “music locker” service for music streaming to Apple devices from the cloud, in addition to new cloud-based services. A ‘Media Stream’ and ‘Find my Friends’ feature is also rumored to be tied into the revamped MobileMe. Those features may debut in iOS 5. Apple cutting the rebate program may add credence to past reports claiming that MobileMe is becoming a free Apple service.
The iWork rebate program is also being cut. We don’t particularly think that iWork is becoming a free service, but it’s a safe bet that we will be seeing an iWork ’11 update later this year. iWork for Mac has not seen a major refresh since January 2009 as Apple has seemingly put their iWork focus on the iPad. No new features of note have been rumored for iWork, but evidence of this upcoming refresh has already appeared on the Mac App Store and in Apple’s Keynote Remote application for iPhone and iPod touch. Thanks, Robert!