About that $20 upgrade...

It's because it's not a subscription-based product.

The Macalope
Born of the earth, forged in fire, the Macalope was branded "nonstandard" and "proprietary" by the IT world and considered a freak of nature. Part man, part Mac, and part antelope, the Macalope set forth on a quest to save his beloved platform. Long-eclipsed by his more prodigious cousin, the jackalope (they breed like rabbits, you know), the Macalope's time has come. Apple news and rumormonger extraordinaire, the Macalope provides a uniquely polymorphic approach. Disclosure.
The Macalope
2 min read

The Macalope was certain that the whining would be swift and furious over Apple charging $20 for the same software features iPhone users get for free. As Adrian Kingsley-Hughes so brilliantly puts it:

Come on Steve, give your biggest fans a break.


$20 is awfully steep to add a little functionality to the iPod touch - functionality that already exists for the iPhone.


... I feel that this is going too far.

Yeah! Unlike all the other times Adrian writes about Apple!

Or not!


Well, dear reader, if you're experiencing a bit of deja vu over this, it's probably because we've seen this before. Which, not coincidentally, is what "deja vu" means in French.

Again, yes, Apple could give the update to iPod touch users for free just like their iPhone-using brethren, but they'd have to open past accounting periods and restate their financials. 802.11n? Any of this ringing a bell?

Not with Adrian, apparently.

The short story for those who got to class late is Apple must charge for substantial enhancements to products that do not have revenue recognized on a subscription basis or it has to restate prior earnings. The iPod touch does not have revenue recognized on a subscription basis. The iPhone does. As does the Apple TV. Hence, they get free updates and the iPod touch does not.

It's a somewhat complicated accounting convention and perhaps you can argue that the iPod touch revenue should also have been recognized on a subscription basis, but then it raises the question as to whether or not all iPods should have their revenue recognized that way and pretty soon it all devolves into communism and everyone's getting everything for free and even Randy Newman doesn't want that.

So you can't argue that Apple shouldn't charge for the update. It's too late.

You do have some recourse, however.

If you think $20 is too much, don't buy the upgrade.

Sure looks like it's worth it to the Macalope, though.