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Monday, June 02, 2008, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

Apple Back-to-School promo to offer free 8GB iPod touch

Apple on Tuesday will formally announce details of its 2008 Back-to-School promotion, which will offer a free 8GB iPod touch to students who purchase a qualifying Mac.

People briefed on the promotion Monday confirm that this year's incentives will be the electronics maker's most compelling ever, offering a rebate good for a $299 8GB iPod touch, as was first reported by AppleInsider last week.

"We've already ordered lots of iPod touches to be ready for [this] week," said one person familiar with the promotion. That person added that students will also have the option to apply the $299 credit towards the purchase of a higher capacity player, namely the $399 16GB iPod touch or a $499 32 GB iPod touch.

MacRumors is also confirming that a free 8GB iPod touch will be the highlight of the promotion, adding that students could alternatively elect to receive a $199 iPod nano for whatever reason.

The largest incentive previously offered by Apple came last year in the form of a free $199 4G iPod nano. However, the company was motivated this year to boost the value to the equivalent of its cheapest iPod touch as a surefire means to rapidly grow the install base of its multi-touch platform ahead of this month's App Store launch. The more iPhones and iPod touches in the hands of consumers, the larger the target audience for third party application developers.

In order to participate in the program, students will need to purchase a qualifying Mac — MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, or Mac Pro — at the same time they purchase the 8GB iPod touch. Educational discounts are also applied as part of the promotion, reducing costs even further.

Official details are expected on Tuesday (tomorrow) morning. Previous Back-to-School promotions have run through the first half of September.

Update: The promo has now been announced.