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Apple's 802.11n pricing for Italy, Australia

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.

by MacNN Staff




  1. Pismo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Every torrent site in the world will have the updater after the release and people will download it for free. I'm buying the new base station anyway so the updater will come with that.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969


    half of the story

    The last paragraph only acknowledges one aspect of the story. The rest, from accounting experts, is this:

    While it's true that Apple doesn't HAVE to charge for the new functionality, if they didn't charge for it they couldn't book the revenues when the computer was sold (they would hae to wait until the functionality was unleashed). That means Apple's financial results for the last quarter would show a total of 0 computers sold.

    The only other option would be to register a fair market price for the added functionality, which would be scrutinized (if they could do it at all) because the added functionality doesn't exist without the computer.

    To people who say this is money grubbing by Apple: this fee only applies to third party 802.11n routers (it's built in to the cost of Apple's new Airport Extreme). How many of the 1.6 million computers sold will this apply to? I think less than 20%, maybe even only 10%. That's at most $640,000, minus the costs. Not a big money maker.

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