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In celebration of the New Year, Apple has announced that it will be holding a two-day shopping event in Japan on January 2-3, offering customers a free Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products. This promotion is similar to Apple's four-day shopping event held between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States.

apple-japan-shopping-event-2021.jpg

In a tweet spotted by Mac Otakara, Apple says the gift cards will be worth up to ¥18,000, or roughly $175. (The promotion page has since gone live with a complete list of eligible products and gift card values.)

As expected, the promotion excludes many of Apple's newer products, including the iPhone 12 lineup, Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE, HomePod mini, and Macs with the M1 chip. Apple says gift cards will be available for products like the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR, iPad Pro and iPad mini, 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, full-size HomePod, AirPods and AirPods Pro, Beats, and Apple Watch Series 3.

Apple has also marked the Japanese New Year with a new ad highlighting how the App Store can help people get off to a good start in 2021.

Article Link: Apple Holding Shopping Event in Japan on January 2-3, Offering Free Apple Store Gift Card With Select Products
 
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japanime

macrumors 68020
Feb 27, 2006
2,221
2,568
Japan
The gift cards only offsets the ridiculous import tax we have to pay here.
You mentioned something similar to this in the story about Apple's new Japanese video advertisement, but I haven't been seeing any significant markups.

I've bought several iOS devices and a watch from the Apple online store over the past three months, and at most they cost only 1,000 yen (about $9.50) more than what they were priced at in the United States. I don't consider that to be "ridiculous." Rather, it's due to fluctuations in the exchange rate. In the past, I've been able to buy Apple products for less than what they cost in the States due to a favorable Japanese yen rate.
 
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return2sendai

macrumors 6502
Oct 22, 2018
385
225
Great move, Apple. In the middle of a pandemic. With Tokyo cases soaring. Let’s create giant queues for a gift card.
 
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LunarDog

macrumors newbie
Dec 20, 2020
6
15
Great move, Apple. In the middle of a pandemic. With Tokyo cases soaring. Let’s create giant queues for a gift card.

Brick-and-mortar store is only one of the options. You can order on the site, through the app or by phone (as in "voice call") and the promotion applies.

The fukubukuro system was brick-and-mortar only, so it's a good change due to pandemic.
 
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bubbahotep68

macrumors newbie
Jun 18, 2007
13
1
While I love Apple, this is a really lame move compared to what Apple did in the past.

Up until the arrival of Angela Ahrendts, Apple participated in the Japanese tradition of fukubukuro. One would pay say $350 for a very nice bag or tote. Inside the tote or bag would be a variety of Apple products and third party accessories. You would not know exactly what you were going to get, but the value of the bag itself and its contents equaled or often exceeded the price paid for the bag. On top of this, select bags would contain a secret card good for a big ticket Apple item such as an iPad or MacBook Air.

In 2014 I was fortunate enough to be in Japan for New Years and spent a night waiting in line for a fukubukuro. Waiting in line in and of itself was an awesome experience. The bag itself was an rather nice and expensive InCase backpack in red and grey. Inside the bag was a special edition UE Boom, Beats wireless headphones, an external battery charger, a ¥5000 iTunes Gift Card, and... a secret card for an iPad mini. All for $350.
 
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