In today’s Macworld keynote Steve Jobs announced that the iPod Touch will now be getting five applications from the iPhone that it previously did not have:
This is great news for touch owners.
What’s the catch? Well, for existing touch owners it’ll cost $19.99. As I read the live blogging on the event, a few sites grumbled about this, and I could see them getting their fingers ready to (unthinkingly) blog about the “outrage”.
Well, cool it, guys, and let’s think this through. Consider that Apple’s providing free updates to the iPhone. And Apple’s new Apple TV software is also free to existing owners. And the new touch apps are included on all new iPod touches starting today (with no price increase).
Given all that, can you think of maybe another reason why Apple is charging for the new apps other than being stupid, greedy, etc.? C’mon, think. Think, dammit!
This is speculation on my part, but I believe it’s because of the iPod’s revenue recognition. Unlike the iPhone and Apple TV — whose revenue is recognized over a period of time — iPod revenue is recognized at the time of sale. According to Apple, extending revenue recognition allows them to offer new features to the iPhone and Apple TV without having to charge for them. So in iPod’s case, from an accounting perspective they couldn’t just “give away” the features to existing owners.
In my view, $20 for these apps is a steal, but certainly no one’s forcing any one to buy them. Still, I’m sure we’ll hear lots of whining from a Mac blogging and user community that’s getting more and more whiny, knee-jerk, and filled with a sense of entitlement at each new Apple announcement.