MWSF 2008: Why is Apple charging for iPod Touch application updates?

Well Macworld San Francisco was upon us again, as usual Apple didn’t disappoint in delivering some cool things.

MacBook Air, iTunes video rentals, Apple TV V2, Time Capsule WIFI backup drive to name a few. There was also an update for applications for the iPhone and new applications for the iPod Touch. The update for the iPod Touch brings Mail, Weather, Maps, Notes and Stocks apps to iPod Touch users, however there was a slight sting in the tail for existing iPod Touch users as the update will cost you £12.99 / $20!!! Ouch.

As annoying as this is (especially as these can be had for free if you jailbreak your iPod Touch!) I’m wondering if this is not just a matter of accounting requirements on Apple’s part?

A while back Apple introduced new MacBook Pros which had support for the new 802.11n WiFi networking but which wasn’t enabled to begin with. Apple then brought out new Airport Extreme base stations which supported 802.11n, anyone who had one of the new MacBook Pros had to pay a small fee for a bit of software to enable this functionality. I wonder if the upgrade charge for the iPod Touch applications is down to the same GAAP accounting policy that was at the heart of the 802.11N WiFi enabler? It seems odd to charge existing users for this but give it free to new purchasers otherwise.

As far as the iPhone app updates are concerned they are free as the iPhone purchases are accounted in a subscription method so these kind of updates can be provided free of charge. So, good news for iPhone users but slightly annoying for people like me who have an iPod Touch!