Big companies aren't like you and me. Vendors like dealing with big companies for the obvious reason that they buy large volumes of products. And to encourage those sales, vendors give discounts to big buyers. What about Apple? When a big bank says it wants to buy a thousand iPads, of course it won't
You don't have to be a business to get discounts for large purchases from Apple. Apple has a "loyalty discount" program for purchases at relatively low levels. There are two price lists, one for sales above $5,000 and one for sales above $35,000:
|Discount for Purchases >$5,000||Discount for Purchases >$35,000|
|Macs, iPods, Displays, and Accessories (both Apple and third-party)||5 percent||7 percent|
|Applecare for Mac, iPad, and iPod||10 percent||15 percent|
|iPad||2 percent - 4 percent (depending on quantity)||2 percent - 4 percent (depending on quantity)|
[UPDATE:] The $5,000 and $35,000 thresholds for "loyalty pricing," as Apple calls these discounts, are based on a 12-month rolling purchase total. The discounts aren't enormous, but they aren't chump change, either. It's striking how small they are for the iPad. Clearly Apple feels it can sell all it wants with minimal discount. 4 percent on an entry-level iPad is about $20.
The really good news is that you don't really need to be a business to establish a business account and take advantage of business discounts. Any individual or group can go to an Apple Store, establish a business account and purchase through it. The accounting for you and your friends might get a bit tricky, and shipments go to a single address, but it could be done.
[UPDATE:] If you don't live near an Apple store, you can call an Apple Retail Business Team at any Apple store. Any store can ship to you, although it may be easiest to deal with the store physically closest to you.