free bandwidth and developers
I'm extemely happy with my new ipod touch- purchased last Sunday and the first Apple product I've ever bought. I do think macs are a rip off but will still be interested to see what Apple make next that is as revolutionary as the original ipod. My touch is being used as an ebook reader and games player- I have a sony walkman which is a better mp3 player.
Would it be better if Apple sold the units at a loss and then recovered the money with a royalty on all software and media sold? Would this be less of a 'rip off' as the true cost is hidden? This is the model other large device manufacturers have used and I would rather pay this chunk of profit upfront than gradually over the life of the device. Do we expect companies to provide goods and services for free now?
It's not just the software developers and bandwidth that cost, what about the chip designers, electronic engineers, research fab lines etc. These things cost a lot of money to get right and its only after all this is perfect that they can hammer them out for decent margins due to scale of production.