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Apple to charge $1.99 for 802.11n update

updated 01:10 pm EST, Fri January 19, 2007

802.11n update: $1.99

Apple has confirmed that it intends to charge customers a fee to download the software that will enable the built-in 802.11n functionality in its Wi-Fi cards which shipped in some MacBook and MacBook Pro systems. Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that all Core 2 Duo and Intel Xeon-based Macs -- with the exception of the 17-inch 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo iMac -- already has the 802.11n chip during his keynote speech at Macworld. The fee, which Apple says amounts to $1.99, will appear on the company's website once its new AirPort Base Station begins shipping next month. Customers who purchase the new Base Station will receive the software update for free, but Apple has said it is required to charge customers for the software upgrade due to generally accepted accounting principals, according to

"The nominal distribution fee for the 802.11n software is required in order for Apple to comply with generally accepted accounting principles for revenue recognition, which generally require that we charge for significant feature enhancements, such as 802.11n, when added to previously purchased products," said Apple spokeswoman Lynn Fox.

The new wireless standard boasts a large increase in bandwidth over the previous 802.11g standard, offering a longer range while providing backward compatibility with older wireless standards. The 802.11n standard will likely see ratification later this year, but the Wi-Fi Alliance has said it will begin certifying products based on a draft of the standard.

by MacNN Staff




  1. pkh5695

    Joined: Dec 1969



    NO! is the first thing that came to mind as i read this dont tell me apple is going to follow theses other companys that want you to pay everytime they changes something. next we will be paying everytime the update the OS from 10.5.0 to 10.5.1 then to 10.5.2 Come on dont be so greedy.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I think its a licensing problem, Apple has to pay for every download. I assume it will be 'free' if you buy other 802.11n hardware.

  1. jad713

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Better late...

    NOW, they start worrying about following accounting rules.

  1. whackjob

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Stop already it's just this and as mentioned above could be a licensing thing any way.

  1. jmonty12

    Joined: Dec 1969


    s**** Apple

    1. Buy new Airport Extreme with "free" upgrade. 2. Upgrade your system. 3. Return Airport Extreme. 4. (optional) Buy competitor 802.11n router.

    Of course, with the price of gas or shipping you might as well pay the $1.99.

  1. wadepeeler

    Joined: Dec 1969



    but my brother is a tax and accounting attorney who works for the IRS, and he says that Apple's rationale for charging for the update is a legitimate interpretation of accounting rules.

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re:s**** apple


    I'm sure someone will upload the software patch [downloadable from Apple for $1.99] at some point soon and then we can grab it form there and like the subject line says "s**** apple"

    I could maybe understand it more if I only paid $500 for my $2000 computer system - but I'm not chipping in an extra 2 bucks for some bullshit_

  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    buncha babies...

    $2? come on.

    if someone said, "Hey! I'll pay you $2 to downgrade from n to g/a!"

    would you?

  1. brassplayersrock



    re: upload

    one problem is that Apple might make it a one per computer upgrade. meaning that once it has been used on a computer that it doesn't allow itself to be used again. On another note, Apple could have charged so much more than $1.99 for this.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "I'm not chipping in an extra 2 bucks for some bullshit."

    Thanks for the great laughs. Wait - you're serious?

    You bought the computer as a computer that had only 802.11a and g. So now you get an extra feature for $1.99. You would only use the extra feature if you buy a 3rd party router. So consider it part of the price of the router, which will undoubtedly SAVE you money compared to the price of the Airport Base Station.

    If there's ANY chance unlocking it for free would raise accounting issues, Apple better not do it, with the options investigation going on. They can unlock it for free with the purchase of an Airport Base Station because it's then accounted for as part of the price of the Base Station.

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