back to article Apple to charge $20 for iPod Touch update

Apple has sold more than 4m iPhones since the handset was launched in June 2007, CEO Steve Jobs said today - an average of 20,000 a day, he said. That was a prelude to the announcement of the phone's latest firmware - and one for the iPod Touch that comes at a price Unfortunately, the Macworld keynote was short on up-to-date …

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umm

I look forward to-r-renting it. Paying my arse.

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Guess I'll wait to buy one then

I was planning on buying an iPod Touch soon.

Since they're being amazingly stupid, maybe they'll do something equally stupid and give some kind of voucher for the update. Once I've downloaded the update for mine, my son can use it on his too.

Normally I think Apple is brilliant, but I think Steverino screwed the pooch on this one.

How can teaching people to not be early adopters be good for business?

Maybe he's trying to make up for the $20+ fall Apple stock has taken recently?

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jai
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calirification

should point out that the 19% marketshare doesn't place them 2nd to RIM - it's places them in 2nd place amoungst those behind RIM - Nokia (and their multiple handsets) still have 1.7% more than Apple (with their one)

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Jobs Horns

Rip off.

I for one will not be updating my iPod Touch. Being charged to update the device with, quite frankly, the apps and features that should have been available from launch is a kick in the teeth.

I'll be jailbreaking it instead. Congrats Apple! You almost converted me to the Dark Side with your lovely touch screen musical player, and now you've pushed me away.

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no impressed

He's a c*nt for punishing the early adopters like this. Pay for a software update that essentially boils down to 'missing features' ?

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Jobs Horns

Just for comparison...

Although I must have done more than a hundred firmware updates to various electronics products over the past decade or so, I don't recall ever having to pay for one.

For example, Sony PSP firmware updates are frequent, apparently well-written and supplied free. These updates have added significant new features such as RSS Feeds and Internet Radio.

Intel-Play once sent me a CD with new software (by overnight FedEx no less) for an amusing blue toy microscope. No charge of course.

Charging $20 for firmware updates... Puhleeze.

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Gates Horns

IPod subsidizes iPhone

Is this some genius plan to subsidize the iPhone?

If Apple really need £12.99 for some Apps they already wrote for the iPhone, then they must be desperate.

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Charges for features

Apple have started to charge for all updates which introduce features as opposed to bug fixes. They say that this is due to generally accepted accounting principles for revenue recognition. The 802.11n $1.99 update for the computers was the first to do this in January 2007. Blame the accountants.

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Jobs Horns

Please send feedback to apple http://www.apple.com/feedback/ipod.html

PLease everybody send feedback to apple and tell them how you feel about the $20 early adopter fee!!!!!

http://www.apple.com/feedback/ipod.html

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Apple Discussion Forum

There was a large topic on the apple discussions site which has mysteriously just gone down for an update

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IT Angle

Poor old early adopters?

On the other hand, 13 UKP = not a lot.

But there again, does it set a precedent for all other updates?

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@Christopher Cowan

Uh, no? If this was for "generally accepted accounting principles for revenue recognition", then why isn't THIS update $1.99, or even $1? $20 is a little high to be claiming "It's just because of SOX!".

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Jobs Horns

error in link

Sorry everybody this is the ipod touch link.

http://www.apple.com/feedback/ipodtouch.html

But don't be discouraged send your complaints to both pages

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Jobs Horns

iPod Touched..

Like AC in "IPod subsidizes iPhone" says, why the heck should folks that didn't buy into the iBone hype have to subsidize it by, as the writer correctly says, having to pay for applications that have already been written for the phone. Okay, I realise that the flipside of this is that iBone users will be saying that this is okay, and why the heck should they subsidize the lesser iPod version.

Thin edge of the wedge as far as I can see - how long before iPoders have to pay an annual subscription ("maintenance plan") for the bug fix patches.

I won't be buying the "upgrade" - I'll use the old Nokia770 instead - bigger screen, better networking, and nicer to use. Not sure I'll be buying another iPod if this is how they're going to treat their customers.

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1.1.3 is free....

but the extras including mail and customizable home screen is what you pay for.

I've just upgraded to 1.1.3 and there are bug fixes. Not sur eif i want to get the extras tho.

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Vote with your wallet.

Next time buy a Zen or a Zune. Of course Microsoft charges $399 for their update to XP. Apple $129 for there update to Tiger. Where do you draw the line between an update and upgrade?

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Coat

and one more thing...

... $20 dollars for the ipod touch update!

Let's see $20 x hmm, how many have we sold?

Hello accounts?

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Jobs Horns

Disappointing

I've e-mailed Apple conveying my disappointment over this. My iPod touch is less than a week old, and having just forked-out for their top-of-the-line model, I'll be damned if I'm gonna pay AGAIN for some measly software update.

Bad move Apple, do the right thing.

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Jobs Halo

I would tell you what the iPhone update is like...

...but the cat has just unplugged the USB cable while it was updating the firmware.

After a few choice words and the rapid ejection of the offending feline into our clement seasonal weather, I'll try again.

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@Eric

"""Of course Microsoft charges $399 for their update to XP. Apple $129 for there update to Tiger."""

Are you seriously comparing the differences between XP and Vista to the difference between Tiger and Leopard? I'm no MS fan, but there was a huge change in that 'update' you were talking about. And XP came out around the same time that OS X originally debuted. Vista has been the first for-pay upgrade available from MS. In the mean time Apple will have you paying 6 times for what are essentially new skins, icons, and features that should have been there in the first place. Lets face it, until Panther OS X was essentially a for pay public beta. Apple claimed that Tiger had 250+ new features or so, but 200 of those were new wall papers. Leopard added another 2 features over Tiger, plus a whole load of new backgrounds.

MS at least releases their bug fixes in free service packs... Even if they are required to use the OS.

Both companies and operating systems have their problems, but what you said was just fanboyish nonsense.

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Happy

Gmail IMAP

I've just noticed - none of the news stories have picked up on it - the Mail app now supports IMAP for gmail. THANK GOD!!! One of the few things that pissed me off about the original software (apart from google maps not knowing where you are, but I hear that's fixed too). I'm happy now, even if I'm the only one :-)

And iPod Touch owners, stop whining - you paid for what applications you got when you bought the damn thing.

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Flame

Apple is prohibited by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act from give the update away free

Ok I'm tired of the whining here is the fact of life. Part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act prohibits a publicly traded company from not some types of accounting write downs. In the past when a company wanted to provide an update at no charge that was more then a bug fix they could do no questions asked and the R&D write off was 100% allowable. Then comes along the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, that saids you can't do this.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act will permit a company to amortize the sales and income from a new product over the first 2 years. (note 1: Sarbanes-Oxley Act rules would not allow the iPod Touch to be a new product it's a new model of an old product the iPod). The iPhone and Apple TV Apple Inc. Amortized the sells and income over two years so they could provide free no cost updates and that is the only reason that they going through the accounting red tape.

If you remember the Wi-Fi Airport Extreme N enabler Apple release after they sold system with the unannounced N capability before the N draft standard was approved. Then after the N Draft standard was approved they ended up having to charge $9.95 for the N enabler. Because the SEC said if they gave it away they would be in violation of Sarbanes-Oxley Act rules. Apple ended up paying a fine because the SEC didn't think the $9.95 was fair market value for the update.

If you want Apple and other companies to be able to provide these types of updates Free again they your Senator's and your future president that they need to repeal and rewrite the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to be more consumer and company friendly.

$20.00 for the iPod Touch update is fair and reasonable considering Apple did not plan to add them in the first place, but did so because that is what the customer wanted.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act is killing free updates.

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IT Angle

er, does this mean...

..that if I buy a brand new iPod Touch I will have to then pay $20 for the update, or will it already by installed?

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Alert

Unanswered, Fair & Blatent Rip Off

All 3 in one announcement as far as I can see.

Unanswered : Are there going to be updates available for those who don't want to fork outr for the New Apps. I'd quite like my iPod Touch to stop intermittantly (and I must admit infrequently) quitting Safari with no warning or no explanation. I'm guessing Apple are working on that ?

Fair : New Apps cost. Same for all Platforms really. If you can find value in them (I'm sceptical that with current setup Maps is going to be that useful) then you buy them ... However ....

Blatent Rip Off : Cost of the Apps has been absorbed by Apple for new purchases. Result is that I recieved one as a gift early December, looks like I got a end of life model (no Apps) as the price is still the same with the Apps ...

Last and First are crucial. Apple better fix faults for those who don't buy the extra Apps.

I send the word : NEVER buy anything from Apple unless it's only just been released. iPod touch very new and still get shanked by a Macworld Publicity stunt ...

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£13 or £600

I've paid it. It beats the shite out of an 18 month contract @ £35 with O2. So my 16 GB iPod Touch which I've had for a few months has now cost me £282 which still seems a bit cheaper than £899 or whatever it was for an 8GB iPhone. I've saved £600 (although I have signed up for a massive £4 Cloud subscription so I have Wi-Fi everywhere there are more than five people gathered).

Pissed off? Smug more like. Having battled with the idea of an iPhone, I stayed strong and went for the cheaper option. Now if I'd bought an iPhone (or indeed was O2 or AT&T), I really would be pissed off.

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Jobs Horns

Differences

iPod Touch owners by and large are not whining about the price and I for one would have been happy to pay it. The upgrade is preinstalled on new iPods for what I believe is the same price they were yesterday or one week ago or at Xmas. People feel they have been charged an early adoption fee and that the update should have come before the Xmas rush and maybe was deliberately timed to be after Xmas.

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Need to say more?

Apple whole business model is based on riping off comsuner. Creative try many years ago charging for update but, of course it did not work! But mindless drone Apple consumers are know for their big wallet....

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I don't get it...

This seems like a smart decision. The iPod is a MEDIA PLAYER, not a smart phone. You knew what you were buying. This is nothing more than a pack of applications that are available if you want to extend the functionality of your MEDIA PLAYER. Why isn't there a reaction like this when some random company releases an application for Series 60 that costs £13?

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Stop

@Demon re:SOX

Apple seem to have a rather unique interpretation, possibly based on some sort of back-end accounting trickery they've done. (Like claiming the cost is spread over several years due to some sort of subscription model for the hardware they've shifted)

No-one else seems to need to charge for maintenance updates, so why does Apple. For example, it could be claimed the later N95 updates are similar as they provide changed functionality.

Let's face it, it's just a rip off, one they get away with because enough customers accept it.

.

I also see little mention of the 4 million claimed sales of the iPhone. Does this seem believable? Or are they busy bulldozing them into the desert to avoid telling the saintly Jobs the sales figures aren't all the great?

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@Demon

You are so wrong. Let’s use your logic and see how it applies.

Nokia has added new features to existing phones. They are not new products; Nokia has sold for a number of years. It’s just that they allow current owners to update to the same firmware that new phones will ship with.

Nintendo has provided updates to its products and they have been making consoles and handhelds for years. Once again, not a new product.

The PSP is new to Sony, but a console is not and Sony continues to add new features to the PS3 through updates.

The above have all been free. How can they do it and not Apple?

Also, Apple has provided free updates that added new features to the iPod in the past. Do a search and find them!

Nokia, Sony and Nintendo are all publicly traded companies, just like Apple. Ever think that Apple is using the interpretation of SOX as an excuse to charge?

Also, using your thinking, wouldn’t Apple need to charge an extra $20 for a new iPod Touch to cover the new software? Of course not, the R&D will be paid for by new sales. You just don’t write it once and never update it.

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Coat

@Greg Ayres

Good for you Greg. You've saved your £600 or so. I assume that you don't have a mobile phone with a contract then, or that you get yours free. In which case - you truly are a smart consumer.

Of course if on the other hand like most of us you're also forking out an additional £30-£60 a month for a mobile contract in order to make telephone calls to people: then one could argue that you're talking out of your arse when claiming such a massive saving over those dumb (yet generally inexplicably happy) iPhone owners. But I'm sure that's not the case, otherwise you wouldn't be making such a stupid comparison. Right?

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Jobs Horns

iPod Touch

I've got a touch. Got it for christmas. Guess what? I'm running Mail.app, along with weather, stocks, calendar, notes and all the iphone apps (short of call, and sms and what not).. so yes, I've jailbroken it. Took about 5 minutes on google and boom, I've got a nifty installer (reminds me of aptitude for debian systems), plus all the iphone apps that I want. All for the cost of bandwidth. $20? Like hell I'm going to pay that. Next they will be charging $50 to add flash support to the safari browser.

Also, to the gmail IMAP comment. The iphone mail.app already supported gmail IMAP, you just couldn't click 'Gmail' when you wanted to add the account. You needed to go to gmail's help to check out the server settings, but I've been using gmail with IMAP since day one (december 24th) on my touch.

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Jobs Horns

@Charges for features

so all they have to do is always release bugfixes in combination with 'features' and they have a cash cow.

it's not a bug ... it's a feature !

bugfixes should be available for download free ( without added features. ) if you want new features then pay for them.

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@ Nokia & Sony

Nokia is not a US Company it is incorporated in Sweden and Sony is not a US company it is incorporated in Japan. SOX accounting rules do not apply fully to companies not incorporated outside the US. While certain classes of both companies stocks are Trade on US stock exchanges and they do business in the US there are differences in how SOX is applied.

Microsoft had to introduce the Zune and amortize the sales, revenues and costs over 2 years just like Apple did with the iPhone and Apple TV or they too would have run a fowl of SOX when they gave Zune1 owners the Zune2 software free.

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@Nintendo

Nintendo is incorporated in Japan and not the US see pervious comment.

SOX will not stop bug fixes and minor updates. The SOX Accounting rules only apply when New substantial features are added to a product.

Apple SMS on the iPhone to send to multiply addresses is not the type of update that is effected by SOX. SOX comes into play when you start adding major new features and applications.

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@ myself way up there and Demon.

I noticed that the free firmware update fixed some bugs and cleared up a few issues so i decided to bite the bullet and paid for the "January Software Upgrade" -as Apple call it.

Ok it's got what i want and i don't run the risk of it turning into an iBrick when the next update comes out so i'm happy. But if they are charging because of this Sarbanes-Oxley Act why don't they just charge the same as a song on itunes???

Apple have found a cash cow and we will get hit by it again :-(

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Joke

I reckon Jobs reads the Reg, and...

He's just done this to wind Webster Phreaky up.

Mark my words, in a week or so Steve-O will be saying something along the lines of "Nah, only kidding: have it all for free".

That Jobs, he's so fond of a jape.

(*remembers the Motorola ROKR that came out just after the first Apple cellphone rumours*)

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Flame

Hold up..........

all this talk of SOX - so how come then the iPhone update is free but its $20 for the iTouch update????

Sony is incorporated in the USA - Sony Electronics Inc. So is Nokia - Nokia Telecommunications Inc.

Apple kiss ass fanbois giving us a load of crap about SOX. Punters are being ripped off - that's the story not fuc***g accountancy bullshit principles.

Pay for firmware updates??? You must be joking. Up YOURS Apple!!

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Jobs Horns

Bend over fanboi's...

this is gonna make yer eyes water a bit. <LOL>

MS must be rubbing their hands in glee at the idea of CHARGING for Windows Updates. <ROTFLOL>

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Tom
Jobs Horns

For christs sake

When will people learn, just stop buying things off this man, all mac products are shiney crow magnets. You deserve what you get with your damn sudo-PC loving antics.

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The Law

As posted above, for all the whiners and whingers, they *HAVE* to charge for the update... thank the wonderful governments around the world for that one, £13 isn't a lot for what you get, Mail as an addition tempts me in to getting one..... however you still require the Cloud subscription or similar to really make use of it and given that you could get web based email from anywhere with an active internet connection anyway it's maybe not that useful. The Google Maps Locate Me function they've just added to the iPhone won't do much without the GSM transmitter either.

Still £13 isn't shocking

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Jobs Horns

Problems getting Touch update installed

Feeling a bit pissed off with having to pay to update a product that has been obsoleted 3 months after launch, but buying gritting my teeth and purchasing the Touch update anyway...

However, Apple's fabled "it just works" appears to have taken a holiday. Clicked on the link from the Apple website and got given a page telling me to upgrade the Touch, which I did. Went back - still only two buttons: "Remind me later" (which gives a session timeout error) and "Ignore". No indication of any iTunes upgrade required, but no obvious way to buy it either.

On the off-chance, searched around and found an iTunes 7.6 update I hadn't applied. Installed that, and then saw a different page which allowed me to buy it and helpfully told me that 7.6 was a requirement. Bit chicken and egg, that. Bought it, sync'd as per the install instructions page, but no joy. It's showing on my account but I don't have the apps on my Touch. I'd check the instructions again, but there doesn't seem to be any way back to them I can find. Half baked.

All this is on a brand-new, virgin iMac with updates applied about 2 days ago, so no excuses that it's a problem with some esoteric PC setup. Come on, Apple. If you're going to gouge, us, at least _test_ the fricking process first.

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Black Helicopters

iPod update

They are also charging for the new iPod game they released yesterday. I'm disgusted.

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Americanised iPhone Port!

What really bugs me is that they have just ported the iPhone software over to the iPod touch.

Example: Have a look at google maps, there is the button to highlight where you are on the map. This uses gprs triangulation so would never work on the Touch!

Also the 'Worldwide' weather app appears to be oblivious to any cities outside of the US.

Typical American software, just doesn't accept there are other countries outside of the mighty US of A!!

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Gold badge

Don't like paying? don't pay then

When you buy a product you check to see what features it has and if it doesn't have them you don't buy it.

You shouldn't expect firmware updates to do anything but address bugs and performance problems.

Apple are adding features here, while nothing spectacular it still involves development and testing like any other commercial software.

If you don't like it, don't buy it. It's that simple.

The iPhone is a different market, you're on a service plan.

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Stop

Accounting regulations...

...do not force them to charge for the update. It's just better for them, from a tax perspective, if they do this.

Sarbanes-Oxley is both bloody stupid and bloody brilliant. Why is it brilliant? Financial institutions have less desire to base their operations on U.S. soil as the compliance costs are rather high.

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Alert

Quick! El Reg! A man is in trouble!

As an earlier poster pointed out, Webster Phreaky hasn't yet posted a comment on this, and this has to be about the easiest chance for an Anti-Apple shot that there is.

Please can you contact his ISP, find out where he lives, and send the emergency services immediately.

I imagine he is trapped under a pile of Windows Vista boxes, desperately attempting to free himself to post something acerbic about ol' Mr Jobs even as we speak.

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Happy

Worth it for me...

I've just paid for the software update, and whilst I'm not ecstatic about stumping up 12 quid I reckon it's worth every penny for the mail app alone. It's good to see that Apple seem to be abandoning using software to make a greater differential between the iphone and the touch.

The one thing I'm still waiting for is 802.1X certificate support so I can connect to my work wireless, other than that the touch now has everything I need.

@Darren Skidmore: The location finding in google maps does do something on the touch. They're making a database of wifi hotspots and will use that to give you a rough location. Don't know how big the database is or where it covers yet though.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Tony Chandler

I reckon he's too busy ordering all the new Apple gear to post. Either that or his PC's crashed.

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the myth that they must charge for updates

clearly this isn't true.

Creative give firmware updates for Free and they're american

Microsoft give updates for free and their american (service packs anyone!) - and their updates include new software and functionality

I can get bios and graphics card firmware updates for free.

Note: previous Ipods had free firmware updates that added new functionality!

I've just paid nearly £300 my ipod touch, and now they want me to buy a service pack (effectively)

This was my first venture into Apple and so far it's my last. A great product that is hampered by a greedy corporation.

I was reluctant to jailbreak it, but this charge has changed my mind also. a Very very poor decision on Apple's front.

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