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Apple users demand higher prices, worse treatment

Life imitates satire

Letters No sooner had we launched our campaign for Apple to raise its prices - last week's hikes being considered too puny - then a real-life petition has echoed our call.

Only it's for real: life imitating satire. The petition can be found here - it's already attracted over 600 signatures. (Signatory No.46 is David Pogue. That David Pogue?)

On the other hand, a campaign protesting against the $129 fee for the Jaguar upgrade and a $100 iTools iToll, has gathered 24,000 signatures.

Why mention the first petition at all? Especially when many of the signatories are actually indignant about the new fees? Because the "punish me harder" brigade is a factor when Apple decides pricing. If Apple assumes that price elasticity of demand is close to perfectly inelastic, it can charge what it likes. The small but noisy contingent of loyalists has evidently persuaded Apple that this is the case. So a few people can hike fees up for the rest of us. The huge number of dissenters signing up to the second petition, and in our postbag below, suggest Apple has an extremely hard sell indeed. Apple's feedback page is here.

Wow! You've made me see the light! Maybe I can just give weekly tithes to the Church of Steve-- I don't even need software back in return. It's the least I can do for Apple (Malachi 3:8-10).


I would gladly sell my house and all its contents to support Apple!

Dave England
(With apologies to the Not the Nine O'Clock News team).

Jobs should, of course, take a cue out of the Amiga playbook- at $500, payable quarterly, you could join the "I Am Apple!" club, gaining you rights to purchase the hardware - along with a dashing beret, and joy at keeping Microsoft's false sense of competition alive. If Microsoft's market share is breached, 10 lucky members receive Jobs' toenail clippings- one a piece, sure to be worth millions on eBay.

-Joe "Floid" Kanowitz

I read the “Letter” column about how happy Apple customers are to be given the opportunity to hand over even more of their hard-earned cash to Apple. I wonder if these added expenses will cut into their caviar budget or perhaps they will be forced to leave the Ferrari in the garage next week.

I, for one, think it’s utter crap. Apple offered a product for free (iTools), giving everyone the impression that it would remain free, and now their asking for $100 a pop. This the kind of tactic we expect to see from Microsoft and I find it a little disturbing to see Apple shafting me in this manner. I feel like I’m getting it prison style because Big Steve sees me as an easy target and it’s making me angry.

Last year when Mother’s day rolled around, every member of my family pitched in some money to buy an iMac for my grandmother. She loves it, and we set her up with an iTools account because Apple told us it came free with the computer. The address “” seemed cute at the time, but I deeply regret it now. The very thought of explaining the situation to her makes me cringe. I would never dream of paying Apple the $100 personally, but I might purchase the account for my grandmother so I don’t have to spend months explaining to a zillion little old ladies why her e-mail address changed.

Of course, maybe I can con the little old woman into forking out $100 a year for a bunch of crap she doesn’t want or need. I mean, that’s what Apple is trying to do to me, right?

I’m a loyal Apple customer and I think they suck. I’m not chucking all my equipment or doing anything crazy, but for all those deluded, pampered rich people out there who think Apple Computer is doing it all for the love, get a fucking clue. It’s called capitalism and you’re soaking in it.

Ignorant Cranky Bastard,
Christopher Miles

To be respected on Wall Street, Apple has to price their products like Fords rather than BMWs. We'd buy them if they were priced like Volvos. I can think of nothing I'd rather do than send a few bucks to make this point and to make up the difference.

Why not exhort Apple to put up a one-Click donation page. Then we could tip them for doing the right thing, which they often do, vs. only dinging them when they screw up.

In the real world, we pay big bucks to wear cool clothes, hear cool music, sit on cool furniture and drive cool cars. None of them are as close to us as our Macs and their software. Let’s Think real Different and send these artists some tip money, as we do (or know we should) with shareware.


Britt Blaser

I know for myself and at least six of my Mac-using friends, we're not going to buy 10.2. Instead, my brother is planning on upgrading his ancient beige G3 to a 17" iMac and will start burning copies of 10.2 for all-comers, unless, of course, Apple tries to pull a product activation stunt like MS.

Apple really should have a lower upgrade price for us long-time X users. The OS 9 users are laughing all the way on this one. When they did the public beta #1 for $30 and then deducted the beta price from the 10.0 (beta #2) price it was a great PR move. Very unlike the Win98 situation.

But now, with the $129 for 10.2 for everyone, I think Apple is going to slow down adoption. $50-$70 for an upgrade would be reasonable, I think. I do realize that Apple has a lot of programmers on staff who are otherwise being subsidized by hardware sales, but since they are a hardware company, they should focus more on moving more boxes.

On the other hand maybe this is some weird psychological experiment: Those of us who already use 10.1 will continue to do so, and the OS 9 users will now switch to 10.2 thinking they are getting a bargain.

[name withheld]

I am a loyalist, 16 years and 7 Macs worth, but that is the stupidiest piece i have ever read. it wouldn't be bad if you have decided to start a collection for Apple, that i can accept, but not this.

The reason why the new iMacs sales stopped cold was because of the $100 raise and now the .mac raise is going to be even worst. I don't use iTools or the, now but they should let the e-mail free and charge for everything else.


Jose Cobos

I really don't mind paying for the Jaguar upgrade. It's no different from upgrades between previous Mac OS versions since 7.5. What I really object to is paying 100USD a year for iTools. What is iTools, really?

Email Account - my ISP gives me one already. Why do I need one from Apple?

Online Storage - you put a 40GB hard drive on my TiBook. Why do I need online storage?

Antivirus Software - Mac OS X is based on Unix. Unix has no virii. Therefore, no Mac OS X virii and no need for antivirus software.

Sounds like so much shit stains on underwear to me. :)

Buck Pyland

Those of us who have beta-tested OS X for the past year or more should be given some consideration in pricing levels if nothing else. Raising prices during a perceived recession is no way to garner new customers. Its like the government raising taxes because the economy is soft, it just makes things worse
Get serious folks! When a company is looking at less than 5% of the computer market, you don't raise prices. You let them buy in low and sell higher later. The Macintosh has had an image problem that needs to be overcome. You don't get new customers by raising prices.

Get a grip!


Nice article, I could not agree with you more concerning your tongue-in-cheek story.

Here's a copy of my letter to Apple:

Dear Apple,

I am greatly disheartened to hear that you'll be charging a lot of money to current users of OSX for the OSX.2 upgrade.

I was a beta tester for OSX and bought the first copy of OSX when it came out. The OSX journey has not been a pleasant one. By charging such an outrageous upgrade price for OSX.2 only rubs salt into the wound of an already unpleasant OSX experience. What can you guys possibly be thinking of by this untimely and unworthy added expense?!

love & peace,
Victor Maldonado

The 10.2 thing just flat pisses me off. I just bought a dual ghz about 6
weeks ago and now I have to spend $129.00. If there was an upgrade path
it would be one thing, this is just a tad much and I can't begin to tell
anyone quite how much I hate getting screwed without getting kissed.

John Oswald

This reader is very angry:-


Pirating makes sence now


The difference between the Reverend Jim Jones and the People's Temple crowd and Job's and the Mac Zealots as far as I can see is this:

Jones gave his people the Kool Aid and they drank it expecting to live forever in Heaven..

Jobs would SELL them the Kool Aid -- presumably in little white and blue polystyrene disposable cups with OS (skull and crossbones) logo on the outside. The Mac Zealots would drink it expecting to live in Heaven on Earth.

Murray McDowall

Indeed, if I take .Mac and 9 additional email boxes it will "only" cost me $190/year.

This is cheap.

I'd have to pay, for example, Pair Networks $119.40/year for the same (before prepay discounts, which Apple is thankfully not offering), plus a few appr. $1.50 a month for a domain.

Why should I pay $50 less for my own domain and email, plus a catch-all mailbox in addition to 10 defined mailboxes so that anything to my domain gets to me) when I can Apple only $50 more for less.

Of course, they are offering me backup software from Apple that won't work unless I upgrade my dual 500 G4 to a computer with an included Apple CD-R (since this beast only has a DVD RAM.)

In fact, perhaps I'll just draw up a $50 check to Apple now as my "contribution".

Sadly, I work for Apple and can't write from my domain.

This story reminded me vividly of a Dilbert strip, where Dogbert had a meeting with the pointy-haired boss, and noted that the company's long-term objective was to make customers send money to the company each time they saw one of its ads...

I thought it was a good joke, but it is now evident that I was wrong, and that Apple has achieved this holy grail of marketing. It is also safe to deduce that Scott Adams used to be employed at Apple, how else could he have come up with that idea?

Oh yeah?

In that case I'm going to send the twats a bill for all my lost data with a 100% built in aggravation charge. I have found much to my annoyance that the only safe way to use iPhoto is to leave stuff on my camera at least until I have it safely stored on a non-Mac system. It crashes and corrupts.

This thing is still under guarantee, after all. Any attempts to do serious work within iPhoto result in it hanging to the extent that the OS won't even shut down and I have to go to the comman line to manually kill the process. A fact NOT made easier by the fact there is no pipe symbol on this keyboard (a Swiss German iBook). Indeed, after switching to the US keyboard layout and touch typing to do that, switching back to Swiss German loses half my accented characters. It's plain unreliable. I do not trust it with my data.

I take this very personally, as a couple of females are seriously annoyed that I lost their photos. [Intriguing - Letters Ed]

Even Windows never cost me so much grief!

Paul Sture

Anyone stupid enough to buy a proprietary system deserves to have the apples fall off the tree and hit them on their bloody head to knock some sense into them.

Freddy Parker

Man are you guys crazy or what?

I mean, I started reading as it was a joke, but by the end I was wondering if you guys were serious.

If you are serious, let's get something straight. We don't mind paying for all the extras, like extra space and all the other back-up and virus stuff, what we do mind paying for is email. It is free EVERY where. You visit a web site and your bombarded with FREE EMAIL offers from companies who only offer it so that you can visit their site. Apple gets our money thru hardware and software, so I do mind paying them for email.

Dorian Matter

It's all just very sloppy. Not that Intel, Microsoft, AMD, HP, Compaq, etc don't do things sloppy, but when you're part of the top 90+% of market, you can get away with it more than when you're trying to make a place for yourself that you lost.

Drew Baxter

Although I appreciate sarcasm when I see it (and, yeah, it's certainly true that Apple's latest 'jack-the-customer' plan is still cheaper than riding the Micro$oft Upgrade Train), I'm neither complaining nor demanding sandpaper (to prove I can 'take it like a man'): I own both an iMac and an iMac2 and I simply choose not to upgrade to 'Jag-Wire' unless and until it comes down to about $80. Maybe it's worth $130, maybe it's not; maybe if Apple had priced it at $200 retail and $130 upgrade, I'd have bought it (I can be marketing-stupid too).

But the simple fact of the matter is that even on the new iMac2, I continue to use OS 9 for most of my work, largely because most of my software is not OS X compliant (apparently; OS X wants to start a "Classic Environment" for damn near everything I use), so I figure, what's the point? The only really-new 'gotta-have-it' toy in Jagwire is a direct ripoff of Watson, which is still available for 10.1 for a lot less money than upgrading to 10.2.

Mr. Challeron

In reply to Marc Canters email: There are many companies which make a good profit without charging an arm and a leg for a service. For some people, $100 a year may not be much, but to college students, it's a heck of a lot. A couple weekends worth of beer, if nothing else. And I would prefer spending $100 on beer than something from Apple. But thats just an opinion....

Steve Ferris' email: You only need to type the paragraph once. If this was an editing mistake on The Registers part, sorry, otherwise, please don't repeat yourself. There is more in the total cost of ownership when you compare switching to Windows to staying with Mac and paying so much a year and yadda yadda. I don't pretend to know what the difference might be, as you do, but you jump to a conclusion without the proper support. And besides that, one could always just get a PPC version of Linux (ok, I'm a Linux fan, sue me), stick it on ye old mac, and you're good to go. For less than EITHER O/S costs. A slight learning curve, but nothing acceptional.

Abe Jellinek's email: Looking at .Mac's site, I don't see them offering broadband with the subscription. Or cable TV. Or a phone service. Or a cell phone. Uh, what are we talking about again? You can get .Mac, but you still have to find an ISP, you still have to go get cable, your phone service, etc etc. .Mac is just an extra cost ON TOP of all that. Mind you, most ISP's give you an email address with your subscription. You will have that email address no matter what, why pay extra for another?? I get the feeling you were rambling and forget what the HECK you were talking about. Most of the tools they offer you can get for free or darn close somewhere else on the internet. Sure, you may have to deal with banners, but if it saves me $100 a year, I'll deal. And I believe your comment about iCal is completely opinionated, and since I have not used iCal, I will not say you are incorrect, but, least of all you might be somewhat biased.

Oh yeah...I got my own domain for less than $100 a year, imagine that. And they give me space on their servers if I

There is a version of Microsoft Office for Students/Teachers, which you get a discount on. Yes, thats right, a DISCOUNT for STUDENTS.

"I do not rage blindly against any new UI features Mr. Jobs and Co. want to add to the system."

However, you do rage blindly against those you accuse of doing such. Your comments lack basis, and your comparisons are completely irrelevant. All the services you mention are not offered by Apple, and therefore are not useable in your arguement. I will tell you that you can get email, a homepage, online storage space, and even some anti-virus programs for free. You can still find a few free e-Card vendors out there, and there are some support forums that are free.

I think all three of you have a rather uninformed opinion of this whole matter.

-Mark Harrison

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