Apple’s 2011 “Back to School” Program To Launch Next Week?

Following speculation on what Apple employees and store managers will discuss at the all-hands meetings set for Sunday, May 22, AppleInsider reports one of the subjects of discussion may be Apple’s new Back to School program.
People familiar with the Apple’s retail operations have told AppleInsider that the company is currently gearing up for its yearly educational promotion. The news comes as numerous reports have revealed that Apple has scheduled early 7 a.m. store meetings with employees this coming Sunday, May 22.
But with the annual back-to-school sale set to kick off as soon as next week, the educational promotion is potentially a more likely subject for Sunday’s meetings. Additionally, other people familiar with next week’s plans say some of the materials and shipments rumored to be making their way to stores around the same time will be part of ‘procedural changes’ to the way the shops run or operate, rather than new products customers could buy.
The Back to School program usually runs until the first week of September — before Apple’s music event — and in the past allowed students to get a free 8 GB iPod touch with the purchase of a new Mac. The timing of this report sounds appropriate, with rumors running wild about an Apple 10th anniversary of retail event and new product launches, but with Back to School seemingly ready to be launched considering the company followed a late May / early June timeframe in the past years. The current iPod touch family — assuming Apple is following its tradition of giving away free iPod touches to new Mac owners — starts at $229 with the 8 GB model, featuring Retina Display and FaceTime HD camera.