I’m mad. But I find that blogging about it can be cathartic. So here’s the deal: Jobs just gave his Macworld 2008 keynote and while I have to say the MacBook Air was very neat and would prefer to be blogging about that right now (and its expensive SSD option), I noticed this little tidbit:
9:35am – “All the same stuff we just heard about on the iPhone — on the iPod touch. Starting today we’re going to build it into every new iPod touch, for existing iPod touch users it’s going to be just a $20 upgrade.” EXCUSE me?! You have to PAY for this? This is SO weak.
Apple is now allowing iPod touch users to install these five applications for the low, low price of $20. The keynote crowd’s reaction to this announcement was unmistakably negative; a unified gasp was let up as well as a rowdy round of jeering.
Funny that the negative audio wasn’t in Apple’s online version of the Keynote…
Anyway, I sent a note to Apple’s iPod Touch Feedback:
My wife is a recent Mac user and wanted an iPod Touch in the worst way for Christmas; I saved and bought her one and now I find that the software that iPhone users are getting for *free* will cost $20 for the Touch?!?
This teaches me a couple lessons; first, that Apple products shouldn’t be considered for Christmas presents. I got it for her LESS THAN A MONTH AGO and now I’m expected to pay a 6% fee [based on Canadian price of the Touch] just to keep it up to date with a minor software update, otherwise get a ‘crippleware‘ update? Even Microsoft isn’t usually that money-grubbing. Second, that Apple products are a phenomenal money pit: they are the gift that keeps on taking.
The $20 fee is absolutely short-sighted; for the meager amount of money that will likely be raised, Apple has now alienated me a a customer and likely lost thousands of dollars in future sales.
Apple can justify it any way it wants, but it really boils down to trying to squeeze money out of those trapped in their vendor lock-in. Microsoft won’t be getting any more of my money and now neither will Apple.
Update: I think this sums it up fairly nicely:
I find it interesting that Apple chose to charge $20 for the new iPod Touch software. I think it should be free, especially when you consider that new iPod Touch models will come with the software pre-installed. I have never been a fan of penalizing the folks who have been using the device since day 1 and I think this does that. When I think of folks who got a new iPod Touch for Christmas who have to shell out $20 to keep up with the joneses, I think it’s a little unfair. While I don’t think we’ll have a $100 iPhone credit rebate firestorm on our hands, I think there will be some questioning by the iPod Touch faithful.