updated 10:55 pm EDT, Wed April 25, 2007
iPhone, Apple TV upgrades
During its quarterly conference call, Apple on Wednesday said that it would continue to deliver free software upgrades with new innovative features to both customers of its Apple TV set-top device and its forthcoming iPhone. The continued delivery of free software upgrades was one of the driving forces behind the company's announced accounting changes for revenue realized from of the products. Apple said it would realize revenue for iPhone sales based on a 24-month subscription model, which would include payments from AT&T, sales of accessories during those quarters, and amortized sales of the iPhone device.
The Cupertino-based company likely announced the new features for both devices to avoid a similar backlash to its nominal $1.99 fee for enabling the unannounced 802.11n feature in already shipped Macs. Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said that Apple plans to roll out "new software features and entirely new applications" for the iPhone over time and will keep the early adopters of the iPhone happy, expecting that they will be the best way to spread the word about the new consumer device.
"We hope the result will be to surprise and delight our iPhone customers," Oppenheimer told analysts and journalists on the call. In typical Apple fashion, however, the CFO did not provide any details on possible features.
Earlier this year, Apple announced it would charge a nominal fee for enabling faster wireless 802.11n networking in already shipped Core 2 Duo-based Macs. The company said that accounting regulations required that Apple charge a fee for the new feature because it had realized the revenue for those Macs in previous quarters and had not previously announced the existence of faster wireless chips; continued software development for the new feature in subsequent quarters, the company said, required that it establish an upgrade free for the new feature.