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  1. #1
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    Apple rant - so who is the bad guy again?

    I know I'm basically setting myself to be a pinata with this opinion but I am puzzled why Apple is getting a free pass with the release of OS 3 for the iPhone / iPod Touch. If you have an iPhone you're all set but with the iPod Touch you have to pay $10 for this new release. I own the iPod Touch, I really like it, but I can't believe I'm supposed to pay for this release.

    Since I realize that everyone adores Apple and being critical of Apple is going to make you a target I've bitten my tongue for a long time. But the more I think about this the more it just stuns me. For example, let's change the words a little and make this a headline:

    Microsoft releases SP4 for Vista - upgrade charge is $10 for some

    If Microsoft decided to charge for an OS upgrade they would be torched, and I think rightfully so. Yet I have yet to see anyone cry foul on this ... well besides me.

    I know Apple used to be the underdog we all HAD to route for because of the big monopolistic giants out there. But aren't we past that stage now? Isn't time to say that Apple isn't under the threat of extinction from the big guys and in fact IS one of the big guys now? If so, then shouldn't they be held accountable for strong armed decisions like this? I'm not saying there needs to be class action suits but it would be nice to see one technical website post a critical article every so often.

    I keep checking my RSS reader to see if anyone else feels the same as me but so far nothing. I guess they're all iPhone users and they're getting OS 3 for free (along with the new version of the iPhone).

    OK, I'm done ranting.

  2. #2
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    hi,

    i understand your rant - many expressed the same concerns when the iphone os 2.0 was released, i believe.

    if i understand correctly, there are some legal requirements for apple in this matter. because the iphone generates a revenue stream in monthly subscriber fees (even if they come as subsidies that at&t or other provider may give to the subscriber and pay to apple), the os upgrade can be given for free. but because the ipod touch is sold as a product and no subscription revenue stream accompanies it, they are required to collect some amount of money for it.

    i'm not a lawyer, but perhaps someone else can comment with more detailed and accurate information about the matter?

  3. #3
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    Interesting. I would like to know if that is indeed the reason.

    If true, then I wonder is similar products would also be "required" to charge for upgrades to the OS. The only one that comes to mind right away is the Zune but I'm not overly familiar with it or it's patching history. The iPod Touch is hard to categorize so it's not easy to make a solid comparison.

  4. #4
    Registered User peregrina's Avatar
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    But wouldn't this be considered a new version of the OS rather than a simple upgrade (I mean, it's going from 2.x to 3.0 and not to 2.3, or some such number)? In that case, I don't know of any OS that can be upgraded to a new version without some sort of payment.
    In our household: Black/Steel Aeronaut (with 2 large packing cubes and Absolute shoulder strap), Forest/Steel Aeronaut (1 large and 2 small packing cubes), Olive/Wasabi medium Cafe Bag, Linen/Olive Medium Cafe Bag, Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi Imago, Cardinal/Hemp/Steel Imago, Hemp Little Swift, Solar Shop Bag, Plum/Wasabi Side Effect, Black/Steel/Solar Smart Alec, Horizontal and Vertical Freudian Slips, TB Wallet, Hemp Little Swift, FOT pouch, Black/Olive ID

  5. #5
    Registered User peregrina's Avatar
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    I have the iTouch too and didn't think it was unreasonable to pay 9.99 for the new version of the OS... but maybe because I interpreted it as a new version rather than a simple upgrade
    In our household: Black/Steel Aeronaut (with 2 large packing cubes and Absolute shoulder strap), Forest/Steel Aeronaut (1 large and 2 small packing cubes), Olive/Wasabi medium Cafe Bag, Linen/Olive Medium Cafe Bag, Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi Imago, Cardinal/Hemp/Steel Imago, Hemp Little Swift, Solar Shop Bag, Plum/Wasabi Side Effect, Black/Steel/Solar Smart Alec, Horizontal and Vertical Freudian Slips, TB Wallet, Hemp Little Swift, FOT pouch, Black/Olive ID

  6. #6
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    I can't think of a legal reason that Apple would be required to charge for an update to the OS -- maybe I'm just up too late (guilty!), but I can't quite figure out how that would make sense. They could give away the upgrade for free, or pay people one gold eagle apiece to accept it onto their phone / iPod, or charge one meeeeelion dollars There are some rules (not the right forum to debate them in depth) that make it hard for companies to give away products in some instances, but improvements via software to existing products, I don't think fit into any of the relevant categories.

    I wonder if their sales to iPod Touch owners of the new OS (I think it's fair to say it's a new "full version" rather than just a minor upgrade, but the semantics of product naming and differentiation are full of mystery) will outweigh the loss of goodwill this will generate among them. It might not take many of them deciding to switch to the iPhone for Apple to be content to lose a few of the remaining iPod touch owners as customers.

    timothy
    Last edited by timothy; 06-20-2009 at 02:53 AM.

  7. #7
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    Hey All! Long time! Been crazy busy... but this post brings me back out of the shell.

    I think Maverick nails it. It's about revenue. Once the Touch leaves the store, Apple cannot make any more money, as opposed to the iPhone that has a steady revenue stream. Yeah, they get money for the apps... but the reality is that many people buy apps sporadically.

    The days of free upgrades are long gone, my friends, thanks to he demands of shareholders and investors. I've been reading a lot about consumer spending habits recently, and the madcap upgrade craze is fading fast. People are holding on to their electronics longer as the economy worsens, meaning that new revenue options are more limited.

    Microsoft would love to charge $129 for the Vista upgrade, but noone would buy it. They have been forced to being their price down due to bad product, lack of demand, and competitive pressure.

    Having said all of that, I have the 3.0 upgrade for my 3G... and it is sweet.

    I don't consider myself a Mac evangelist by the way... I have Windows and Mac machines living peacefully in my house. Sometimes they need a timeout to get them to play nicely together, but that's what good parenting is all about!
    ----------------
    Bob P.
    Magic Tiki Studios

    Empire Builder (black/steel), Brain Bag (steel), Small Padded Organizer Pouch, Clear Wallet, Soft Cell, Snake Charmer (cayenne) and assorted trimmings.

  8. #8
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    Nice to see you back Bob...

    You, Maverick and Peregrina all are pretty much right on it, I think. The iPod Touch, like all other iPods don't have much repeat purchase power built into them. iPhones on the other hand, well... if users could get the iPhone 3G S without taking a second mortgage, they wouldn't hesitate. Invariably, they want the next model whatever and whenever it comes around. Even though I'm pleased with my iPhone 3G 16GB, I did look to see what kind of love I could get against a new 3G S 32GB... no love for me before March of 2010. No big whoop since I also did the upgrade to OS3.0 and all seems great.

  9. #9
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    People do pay for Micro$oft upgrades, the price of Vista was included in their
    newest PC.

    Unfortunately, they didn't get what they paid for since Vista doesn't seem to work with any peripheral they bought.

    I am talking about low-end users who have a laptop or desktop for email,
    web surfing, photo storing and minor editing and word processing.

    I told people who are looking to upgrade to a new desktop, laptop, or netbook, right now, to avoid Vista like the plague.


    I have been a Mac user for ever but... When the Invidia chip failed on some of the 06/07 Powerbooks and Apple choose to deny the problem, I lost faith in them.
    They seemed to have become what their first ad was against, a sort of Big Brother with hip and expensive products.


    I believe that my next portable computer will be a netbook with Linux.
    I cannot risk taking, the Macbook Air, a $1000 + computer on the road just for surfing, read books, watch movies and storing pictures.
    Due to the Macbook Air limited ability for hardware upgrade, I find it too expensive for home use.

  10. #10
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    I shouldn't post here because I would never buy an Apple product. Especially with mp3 players, I've seen them copy features that exist on other players and then charge far more. Too many people seem to be part of an apple cult.

  11. #11
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    I'm an Apple fangirl (wanted to get that out of the way) and love their products. One thing that is especially sweet is that I still have my old 2G iPhone even though I upgraded to the 3G last year. I use the 2G as an iPod Touch and was able to upgrade to 3.0 on it, too. Apparently as long as the SIM card is still in it (even though it's not activated as a phone), the update process proceeds normally.

    I want one of the new ones, but can't justify the extra $200 ATT wants me to pay for it since my contract won't allow an upgrade until early 2010.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    People do pay for Micro$oft upgrades, the price of Vista was included in their
    newest PC.

    Unfortunately, they didn't get what they paid for since Vista doesn't seem to work with any peripheral they bought.

    I am talking about low-end users who have a laptop or desktop for email,
    web surfing, photo storing and minor editing and word processing.

    I told people who are looking to upgrade to a new desktop, laptop, or netbook, right now, to avoid Vista like the plague.
    You do pay for the original version of Vista with a new purchase, that is true, but you pay ZERO for the upgrades or service packs. As to problems, I'm not sure why Vista gets such a bad name. Only crash I had is on one game that I play. I have had and still have more crashes on XP. Vista has been very stable for me and I'm even running the supposedly flakey 64bit version.

    On the flip side, I've had my Safari browser crash numerous times on me with my iPod Touch and working with my friend's Apple laptops has resulted in a few crashes too. I was stunned when a USB drive I had failed to work on a 2 year old OS X laptop because it had formatted to work in the MSFT world.

    Back to the $10 issue I first mentioned, I had another friend say that he thinks Apple is forced to charge this because of some tax law where if you add functionality to the OS but there is NO subscription fee (like phone service) then you MUST charge for the update. I can't find anything to confirm this though.

    Think about that for a second. You're running a successful company and you have an upgrade to a product that people like. You decide you're doing well and you want to GIVE that upgrade to your loyal users. If this is true ... you can't. I support laws to protect the people (like safety belts) but protecting a company from giving away something?

    If anyone can find the details on such a tax law let me know. If true then it's not really Apple's fault.

  13. #13
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    Full disclosure - I am a Mac Fanboy - I have a Macbook, original iphone, ipod nano.

    Having said that I live in both the PC and Mac worlds. I think OS X is a better and smoother OS than the first release of Vista was. Vista SP2 made a world of difference. Windows 7 is about the same as OS X in terms of functionality, speed and attractiveness - I am running the release candidate (It's available for free and will run through at least March 2010 before you get warnings to buy the final version.) I am running Windows 7 on my netbook and on my Mac - it is very stable and has not crashed - except for dumb things I have tried. For me, the hardware put out by Apple is generally better than a lot of the PC world - I am willing to pay that premium (whichi is a lot less now than it was a couple fo weeks ago.)

    I think the fee for the Ipod touch update relates back to the Sarbanes-Oxley act which was passed several years ago because of wall street/banking shenanigans. The amount charged is up to the company - Apple could charge $0.10 or $100. I suspect they researched what people would tolerate given perceived value. Apple cornered the MP3 player market by putting out an ecosystem that makes things so easy and a series of devices with excellent design esthetics.

    Personally I think the Zune and Sansa Fuze are better players than iPod but until the latest release of the Zune Marketplace, putting music/podcasts/etc on the Zune was a multistep chore - now the Zune works as smoothly and automatically as the ipod and iTunes. The Sansa, unfortunately, remains a royal pain in the butt to put things on if you want things to go into their proper categories - again a multiple step process that is not at all intuitive. People are willing to pay for convenience (and the Apple reality distortion field).
    Last edited by rabergnc; 06-24-2009 at 03:42 PM. Reason: tpoys, typos, topys.......

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabergnc View Post
    I think the fee for the Ipod touch update relates back to the Sarbanes-Oxley act which was passed several years ago because of wall street/banking shenanigans. The amount charged is up to the company - Apple could charge $0.10 or $100. I suspect they researched what people would tolerate given perceived value. Apple cornered the MP3 player market by putting out an ecosystem that makes things so easy and a series of devices with excellent design esthetics.
    Hmm. I'll admit, I've only read pieces of SoxLey, but what would it have to do w/ charging (or not charging) for firmware or OS upgrades on the iPhone or iPod? So far as I know, it's about things like corporate record-keeping (some aspects of which I'll admit I like, even though it seems intrusive and overbroad).

    timothy

  15. #15
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    I am no expert on SoxLey but it is my understanding that as was noted above the phone is a subscription service while the touch is a product. When you add value to a service corporate accounting updates the taxable value. With a product that is updated by adding value, you need to capture the new taxable value ... Or something like that. Why this does not to other updates, I don't know. Maybe other companies absorb the cost. I do recall that when Apple updated WiFi to the 'N' standard, they charged $1 or something like that.

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