Apple to charge "n tax" for 802.11n update

Apple to charge "n tax" for 802.11n update

Summary: AppleInsider is reporting that Apple plans to charge US$5 for the upgrade to the 802.11n wireless capability that is currently included (but not activated) in the latest Core 2 Duo iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook and MacBook Pro models. The only exception, according to AI, is with the purchase of the new 2007 Airport Extreme (pictured above) which will include the update for free.

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TOPICS: Apple
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Airport Extreme 2007

 

AppleInsider is reporting that Apple plans to charge US$5 for the upgrade to the 802.11n wireless capability that is currently included (but not activated) in the latest Core 2 Duo iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook and MacBook Pro models. The only exception, according to AI, is with the purchase of the new 2007 Airport Extreme (pictured above) which will include the update for free.

Purchasers of the new 802.11n-enabled AirPort Extreme Base Station (US$179) will receive the 802.11n software enabler patch for free according to the report. New York City Apple Specialist Tekserve tells me that the new Airport Extreme hardware is slated to "ship by" 28 February 2007. The Apple online store says only "February."

So why the "n tax" for existing customers? iLounge's Jeremy Horwitz explains that Apple blames the fee on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which "supposedly prohibits Apple from giving away an unadvertised new feature for one of its products." Horwitz goes on:

Another Apple representative has added details on the Sarbanes situation: it’s about accounting. Because of the Act, the company believes that if it sells a product, then later adds a feature to that product, it can be held liable for improper accounting if it recognizes revenue from the product at the time of sale, given that it hasn't finished delivering the product at that point. Ridiculous.

Topic: Apple

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44 comments
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  • How to antagonize your customers

    Since this is a software update, Apple's logic would seem to imply that any software update which improves the capability of the product should cost money. They may find a way to drag defeat from the jaws of victory yet. Just when they have some positive momentum in the computer market.
    georgep_z
    • Did you actually READ the story ?

      ?
      BitTwiddler
      • He read it and ...

        ... is absolutely correct in his assessment. Apple's arguement does not pass the stink test.
        ShadeTree
        • Try cleaning your upper lip.

          The smell will go away. ;-)
          nomorems
          • Another high quality post ...

            ... from the gutter. If your not capable of something a little more adult why do you bother?
            ShadeTree
          • Geez DarkBranch -

            Go tell Microsoft you want your sense of humor back!
            nomorems
          • I think he

            I think he is trying to be a bit more adult, but that's the best he could do...
            Moosehouse
  • wow.....

    That has got to be the worst excuse I have ever seen.

    And I'm hoping that it is not true... if it were, could you imagine the things software companies would be charging for? YIKES!!
    Badgered
    • Remember who's writing the article.

      The author has a few bones to pick with Apple. I would not take anything he has to
      say as fact. He's more likely to say disparaging things against APple than to be
      objective.
      Rick_K
      • See tic, the Mac zealots are EVERYWHERE!!

        Oops, I'm sorry, I forgot that we aren't allowed to speak anymore. My apologies. I would remove the title but ZDNet won't allow me to edit my posts. :(

        [i]The author has a few bones to pick with Apple.[/i]

        Yes Jason, I'll ask you what is always asked of anyone who ever writes anything that isn't full of 100% glowing praise for everything Apple: Why do you hate Apple so much?

        Haha, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried!!!
        NonZealot
        • Please leave me out of your absurd rants

          I know you're obsessed with me, but enough is enough.
          tic swayback
          • Ticcy

            Ticcy, thought you'd given up the ghost. Everyone can't be obsessed with you...
            Moosehouse
  • Gotta love the Apple tax!!

    If what Apple is saying, every firmware upgrade I've performed on my router and my motherboard should have cost me $5. Funny though how I was never charged. I guess Apple is lying? That's okay, we are used the lies:
    1. The WiFi hack that Apple says never existed (yet they patched it a month later).
    2. The iPhone is locked because of Cingular and not because Jobs is a control freak.
    3. Apple firmware upgrades cost $5 because of SOX. I'm guessing the $129/year patching fee is also because of SOX?

    How can people support this company and still sleep at night?
    NonZealot
    • More of your tired old lies?

      Are you paid by the post? Mr. WinZealot, you should get you facts straight.
      [i]1. The WiFi hack that Apple says never existed (yet they patched it a month
      later). [/i]

      No supporting evidence for this, then again you claim that George Ou was the
      evidence.

      [i]he iPhone is locked because of Cingular and not because Jobs is a control freak.
      [/i]

      This is quite common. Many carriers are looking for an "exclusive edge", this
      sounds like more of the same.

      [i]3. Apple firmware upgrades cost $5 because of SOX. I'm guessing the $129/year
      patching fee is also because of SOX?[/i]

      Ahh your favorite strawman. The fabled "patches". Yet you gladly go out and pay
      Microsoft for point upgrades Paying more, for a Microsoft point upgrade) than the
      cost of OS X. Remember win 2k was NT 5 and win xp is NT 5.1 Wasn't the upgrade
      to xp pro $199? SO does Microsoft pay you per post?
      Rick_K
      • Don't feed the troll

        Seriously, it only encourages him.
        tic swayback
        • I forget

          From time to time. The WinZealot trolls just love to post strawman attacks. It's really
          kind of lame to attack something you have no experience with, yet they do it all the
          time.
          Rick_K
        • Are we to assume that you are in favor of ....

          ... charging $5.00 for the driver that enable "N" functionailty on the "N" card that shipped with your computer but has a "G" driver loaded?
          ShadeTree
          • Simply put

            If you buy the "N" spec wireless router, you get the driver for free. Also of note this
            article is based on speculation, from a writer that has a bias against Apple.
            Rick_K
          • More Apple lock in.

            Only if you buy your router from Apple do you get the proper driver for the hardware you already bought for free. What if I don't want to use the card to access a home network? What if I want to use a "N" hotspot.

            You say the author has an anti-Apple bias. Whether that is true or not does not necessarily speak to the truth/untruth of what he said. If what he says is true, do you agree with the practice of charging $ 5.00 to get the driver to enable this functionality?
            ShadeTree
          • That depends

            For me it's really a non issue as my wireless card doesn't support the "N" spec. If I
            were to buy a newer Mac that did support it, I would expect it to work. Will Apple
            charge you $5.00 for the driver? What to say Apple would charge me, if I were to
            buy a Macbook Pro in March? I can't say one way or the other. But according to
            Jason, they are. Remember he went on a rant about them (Apple) wanting to know
            who gave him inside information. The person that broke an NDA. He has also
            written a few disparaging blogs about Apple using intel processors. Many of those
            blogs were easily disputed using facts, yet he would not respond using facts. I can
            say personally I doubt the integrity of any so-called "reporter" that won't back up
            claims (see George Ou), just post biased blogs without doing the research.
            Rick_K