updated 01:35 pm EST, Wed January 24, 2007
Apple Italy Wi-Fi upgrade
Apple Italy has reportedly confirmed to Italian publication setteB.IT that it will charge 1.95 Euro to activate its 802.11n-capable wireless cards on recently-sold Intel Macs in Italy. Apple introduced the wireless adapters along with an accompanying Base Station on January 9th during the Macworld Conference & Expo, and company CEO Steve Jobs the following day revealed during his keynote speech that most of the firm's recently shipping Core 2 Duo-based Macs already included the new 802.11n standard. The company failed to reveal until later, however, that it would charge a nominal fee for those Intel Mac users hoping to upgrade to the new standard. The Cupertino-based company confirmed the suspected fee on January 19th, saying that it intends to charge U.S. Intel Mac owners $1.99 to download the software that will enable the built-in 802.11n functionality in its Wi-Fi cards. [updated]
Apple Australia also confirmed a fee of $2.99 for Australian Intel Mac owners who recently purchased systems containing the upgradeable wireless cards. Some industry watchers wonder as to why Apple Australia would charge local Australians the fee -- which is based on an 'obscure' U.S. accounting law -- to which Apple responded, explaining that all revenues for Mac systems sold overseas are accounted for back in Cupertino where U.S. laws apply. APC notes, however, that the former SEC Chief Accountant Lynn Turner said "GAAP doesn't require you to charge squat. You charge whatever you want. GAAP doesn't even remotely address whether or not you charge for a significant functionality change," contradicting Apple's claims that it must charge the fee in the first place.