Starbucks ditches physical iOS app cards — how will it affect app downloads?


Picking up a free app with your morning coffee is about to change, as coffee giant Starbucks(s SBUX) announced it’s doing away with redemption cards effective Wednesday. Instead, it’s opting to integrate the long-running “Pick of the Week” promotion directly into its free iOS(s AAPL) app.

This switch to digital will see the removal of the cards typically found near cash registers, instead swapping the lengthy codes for a paperless solution. Customers will now need to either connect to the complimentary in-store Wi-Fi, or fire up the Starbucks app and follow the on-screen prompts to download their latest freebie.

Starbucks and Apple first partnered back in 2007 when the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store launched. Initially offering just free music, the promotion soon expanded to offer content from outside iTunes. In 2011, free downloads from both the iBookstore and the App Store were introduced.

Speaking to CNET, Starbucks…

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