New iPod Touch apps cost $20, released to considerable controversy

It will take time to see what the sales numbers are like, but as with last year’s decision by Apple to charge a nominal fee for the “802.11n Enabler” for Core 2 Macs that already had the supported hardware yet shipped with 802.11g-only firmware, we expect that a great many people will be tempted to pirate this package rather than pay for it.

As part of a strategy to mitigate that tendency, Apple has made the package an iTunes Store purchase and there is undoubtedly at least some degree of “digital rights management”-type protection to ensure that piracy is not a widespread problem.

Along with the five apps included in the software update — Mail, Google Maps, Weather, Notes and Stocks — (sound familiar?) — there are a number of system tweaks and improvements that come with the “January Upgrade” as well. But we think a lot of existing, and potential, iPod Touch owners are going to have a thing or two to say about the fact that virtually all of this is just cross-over from iPhone v1.1.3, a free update.

Is this an “iPod Touch tax”?! Is this a fair price for what consumers will be getting?! Sound off in our new moderated comments! (Don’t bother submitting trolling, flaming/flame-baiting, duplicate or unduly negative/off-topic content; our new Comments are moderated-only for a reason; we aspire to a much better signal-to-noise ratio than that seen on most other sites’ comment pages, and our advertisers expect nothing less. At least half of our “comments” will be coming from members of the Rumors staff, and the rest will be picked from the top 1% or so of submissions. Just because there aren’t any comments yet displayed, obviously doesn’t mean there haven’t been any submitted.)


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  • Larry

    what about free update for appletv owners? how is that legal?

  • Rot’n Apple

    I too noticed the dead pan silence and gasps at the MacWorld Keynote when, “how dare he” Steve Jobs announce a price requirement of the software update for these added features. But to me, the price seems fair. I doubt the iPod Touch model will change wildly any time soon, except maybe for higher storage capacity and a slightly lower price, so it’s only due to the software technology that can keep it “fresh” as well as allow earlier owners to get more out of their original purchase. Correct me if I am wrong but is this not the first iPod to be more than just a audio/visual device for music, music videos, tv shows, films and podcasts but a internet and now e-mail “communication” device. It seems that the iPod Touch is growing out of confines of the iPod family line of players and is creating a new genre. The “Touch Tablet”, said with a big grin! Like someone earlier said, Apple is a business for profit, not a charity, and I would have no problems, as a stock owner, paying a fair price for any software upgrades that gave me enhanced new features, not just bug fixes, to keep my purchase viable. Tis better to pay $20.00 for a software update that adds features versus having to purchase the latest and greatest next generation iPod Touch, Apple TV, or a new iPhone at a considerably higher price.

  • http://www.blah.com blah

    firstly, “Apple’s package of five new “native” applications for the iPod touch”, if this is the case,i donot understand how that would be new features

    secondly for you guys in USA maybe thats just 20$ but for others like myself (i know,a small island),that mere 20$ could get you a nice meal (3 fried rice with some soft drinks),so its not some trivial sum

    do you think they are exploiting that law abt new features for their own advantage(they did it with iphone,now ipod touch)..i mean common,you dont have to be a genuis to see through this,not to mention the credit card issue stated above

    my last observation would be since they have the habit of doing such things,do you think that if ever their come up with a new gadget of the sort,people would buy right away or probably wait for the “new” features to come and then buy since it has come to the habit of apple to do so.

    They dont realize that there are other means to take this money,rather than deceiving most of the apple/ipod fanatic out there

    personally i still dont know if i want to buy it now,because we have the old version 🙁 and since we are a small island,its no where soon to get the new version,not to mention that now that people are aware of this,sales will not be good here as they would probably wait for the new which might never come(way of seeing things)….

  • Stefan S.

    For me, it’s just the opposite of a customer friendly behavoir to bill another 20$ (early adopters tax?) as the price has been set DOWN and there is a way bigger update on AppleTV for free. This is just a cheap way to get loyal customers money. Shame on you, Steve 🙁 I’m so disappointed…

  • Ron

    Apple also charges $20 for an MPEG-2 decoder for QuickTime, because if they didn’t, they would end up paying the required license fees themselves.

    $20 – that’s what? 1/3 of a tank of gas?

    From Macrumors:

    USAToday profiles Skyhook Wireless who helps provide some of the technology behind Apple’s new GPS-like location features in the iPhone and iPod Touch’s Google Maps application.

    Of interest, Skyhook generally receives a payment per device sold with the technology, and this fee may be built into the fee Apple is charging for the iPod touch software update.

  • Bobby V.

    One and Half Cents a Month

    The IPOD Touch update is an unbelievable bargain for consumers. It transforms the functions of a cute mp3 an video player into a full blown internet and email machine. With wi fi ubiquitous, this is a fabulous think and you don’t need an expensive cell phone contract to access the internet or email.

    Assume you will have the Touch 40 months and amortize the $20 over that life and upgrade costs about 50 cents a month or 1.66 cents a day!!!!!!!

    Bravo Apple for delivering fabulous value!!!