iPad licensing agreement specifies paid annual OS updates

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple has posted the terms of its firmware licensing agreement for the iPad, which restricts free operating software updates to the current major reference release.



The agreement, posted online along with a link to the official iPad 3.2 firmware, presents the customary operating system software licensing boilerplate along with a new wrinkle on how Apple plans to deliver iPad updates:



"Apple will provide you any iPad OS software updates that it may release from time to time, up to and including the next major iPad OS software release following the version of iPad OS software that originally shipped from Apple on your iPad, for free.



"For example, if your iPad originally shipped with iPad 3.x software, Apple would provide you with any iPad OS software updates it might release up to and including the iPad 4.x software release. Such updates and releases may not necessarily include all of the new software features that Apple releases for newer iPad models."



The new policy shifts from the original iPhone update model, which deferred accounting of iPhone revenue in order to provide long term, free firmware updates. The iPad license harmonizes with the iPod touch model, which charges a nominal fee for each major reference release of the iPhone OS.



Other smartphone operating systems have either found it impossible to charge for updates (as Microsoft did with Windows Mobile), or deliver complex and sometimes dead-end update mechanism that rely on an alignment of manufacturers, carriers, and specific models. This often makes it difficult for users to download an update for their phone until months after it is actually released.



The original Android G1 was physically unable to upgrade to the next major version of its operating system, and Microsoft has similarly cut off its installed base from upgrading to the latest version of Windows Mobile repeatedly, citing minimum hardware requirements in WiMo 5.0, WiMo 6, WiMo 6.5, and now the WP7 platform planned for release at the end of 2010.



Apple's regular updates of the iPhone OS, including minor updates throughout the year and significant new features that debut each summer with a new reference release, have kept the iPhone OS platform fresh and competitive and played a major role in creating third party support behind the App Store.



Apple's cohesive software platform spanning the iPhone, iPod touch, and now the iPad has also created a strong position for the company, which is unmatched by rival smartphone platforms that are only focused on one type of device, and therefore one type of user.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    AI '"Apple will provide you any iPad OS software updates that it may release from time to time, up to and including the next major iPad OS software release following the version of iPad OS software that originally shipped from Apple on your iPad, for free.



    "For example, if your iPad originally shipped with iPad 3.x software, Apple would provide you with any iPad OS software updates it might release up to and including the iPad 4.x software release. Such updates and releases may not necessarily include all of the new software features that Apple releases for newer iPad models."'



    Makes sense. We pay for major OSX upgrades.
  • Reply 2 of 30
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "For example, if your iPad originally shipped with iPad 3.x software, Apple would provide you with any iPad OS software updates it might release up to and including the iPad 4.x software release."



    Does it include any of the point releases for the next major version?

    If not, anyone who gets the next major update will have to purchase the upgrade since the x.0 version will break something.
  • Reply 3 of 30
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,572member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post


    Does it include any of the point releases for the next major version?

    If not, anyone who gets the next major update will have to purchase the upgrade since the x.0 version will break something.



    "Major OS Release."



    Doesn't sound like you will be able to upgrade after that, even for a fee. Jury's out on that one.
  • Reply 4 of 30
    The OS upgrades for phones are free because there is a contract. The same upgrade costs cash for the Touch because there is no contract. The iPad will also not have a contract. Thus paid. I wouldn't have expected free upgrades.
  • Reply 5 of 30
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post


    "Major OS Release."



    Doesn't sound like you will be able to upgrade after that, even for a fee. Jury's out on that one.



    I think it's extremely unlikely that Apple would have sufficiently mapped out hardware/software releases so as to motivate them to write in language for the license that restricts each generation of iPad to a single major OS update.
  • Reply 6 of 30
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The new policy shifts from the original iPhone update model, which deferred accounting of iPhone revenue in order to provide long term, free firmware updates. The iPad license harmonizes with the iPod touch model, which charges a nominal fee for each major reference release of the iPhone OS.



    The iPad update model differs from both.



    The iPhone gave the owner up to two years worth of free upgrades (and possibly more).



    The iPod touch gave free point.point releases (2.1.1) but charged a nominal fee for major (2.0) and point (2.1) upgrades (though I think the last release is now free).



    The iPad looks to give free point and point.point releases, and one free major (4.0) upgrade.
  • Reply 7 of 30
    This statement by the author:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple has posted the terms of its firmware licensing agreement for the iPad, which restricts free operating software updates to the current major reference release. ... The agreement, ... presents ... a new wrinkle on how Apple plans to deliver iPad updates



    Is completely at odds with this statement from Apple:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple


    "Apple will provide you any iPad OS software updates that it may release from time to time, up to and including the next major iPad OS software release following the version of iPad OS software that originally shipped from Apple on your iPad, for free.



    Which is again at odds with this statement by the author:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ... The iPad license harmonizes with the iPod touch model, which charges a nominal fee for each major reference release of the iPhone OS.....



    No to mention the title of the article itself, which is dead wrong.



    Please learn to read, or write, or both. This whole article is just full of it.



    Edit: mark2005 got there first. The statement from Apple is being completely misrepresented and doesn't say what the author thinks it does.
  • Reply 8 of 30
    As long as the iPhone never qualifies for paid OS updates, I'm good. The moment it does, adios Apple and hello whatever floats my fancy.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post


    The OS upgrades for phones are free because there is a contract. The same upgrade costs cash for the Touch because there is no contract. The iPad will also not have a contract. Thus paid. I wouldn't have expected free upgrades.



    I can how that would be thoughy, but the contract with your carrier is irrelevant. Apple specifically has special accounting for the iPhone and the AppleTV, which does not have a contract associated with it. The iPods do not have this accounting, which includes the iPod Touch despite it using Phone OS.



    I hope Apple does the same thing with the next iPod Touch in September as it's doing for the iPad, but who knows, the v3.2 for the iPad is an oddball in and of itself so it makes sense that they'd offer the next update for free as we now past the expected iPhone OS and SDK Special Event average yearly timeframe.
  • Reply 10 of 30
    stevegmustevegmu Posts: 539member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    As long as the iPhone never qualifies for paid OS updates, I'm good. The moment it does, adios Apple and hello whatever floats my fancy.



    So $5-10/year isn't worth spending to use an iPhone?
  • Reply 11 of 30
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post


    "Major OS Release."



    Doesn't sound like you will be able to upgrade after that, even for a fee. Jury's out on that one.



    To me it seems that Apple said one major release to give iPad buyers an upgrade to iPhone OS 4.0 when it comes out in few months. I don't think they want to upset iPad customers by making them pay for a software update only 2 months after the release.



    One major upgrade means from 3.x to 4.0 but they will probably have to pay for 5.0 update. Apple never charges for .x updates.
  • Reply 12 of 30
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    To me it seems that Apple said one major release to give iPad buyers an upgrade to iPhone OS 4.0 when it comes out in few months. I don't think they want to upset iPad customers by making them pay for a software update only 2 months after the release.



    One major upgrade means from 3.x to 4.0 but they will probably have to pay for 5.0 update. Apple never charges for .x updates.



    If the next iPad comes out along with v5.0 I have a feeling the licensing agreement will be appended to say no additional [rich] updates for free.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    If the next iPad comes out along with v5.0 I have a feeling the licensing agreement will be appended to say no additional updates for free.



    Including the .x updates?
  • Reply 14 of 30
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post


    Including the .x updates?



    Well of course bug, security and performance updates will included. When have they never been included for free?



    edit: I updated my post to be more clear.
  • Reply 15 of 30
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    As long as the iPhone never qualifies for paid OS updates, I'm good. The moment it does, adios Apple and hello whatever floats my fancy.



    Yeah, I'll dump my iPhone rather than pay $5 for an OS update with new features. Funny.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    "For example, if your iPad originally shipped with iPad 3.x software, Apple would provide you with any iPad OS software updates it might release up to and including the iPad 4.x software release. Such updates and releases may not necessarily include all of the new software features that Apple releases for newer iPad models."



    Sounds like Apple guarantees you'll get all 4.x releases if your iPad shipped with 3.x, but no guarantees whatsoever on new software features you'll get with any update--not even with future 3.x updates--and no guarantee you'll even be offered any 5.x release, even for money.



    Major iPad updates will be provided annually? If so--and assuming you buy early in the product lifecycle--that suggests a 2-year lifespan... or half that of a Nexus-6.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post


    "For example, if your iPad originally shipped with iPad 3.x software, Apple would provide you with any iPad OS software updates it might release up to and including the iPad 4.x software release. Such updates and releases may not necessarily include all of the new software features that Apple releases for newer iPad models."



    Sounds like Apple guarantees you'll get all 4.x releases if your iPad shipped with 3.x, but no guarantees whatsoever on new software features you'll get with any update--not even with future 3.x updates--and no guarantee you'll even be offered any 5.x release, even for money.



    Major iPad updates will be provided annually? If so--and assuming you buy early in the product lifecycle--that suggests a 2-year lifespan... or half that of a Nexus-6.



    I like that you toss in that spooky little wink after posting the AI equivalent of "and then the bees in your head radio the home planet and they cancel gravity just as they had planned all along."
  • Reply 18 of 30
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 988member
    I'm just glad iPhone OS 4.0 is free for the iPad.

    I don't mind paying for iPhone OS 5.0 and later
  • Reply 19 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mark2005 View Post


    The iPod touch gave free point.point releases (2.1.1) but charged a nominal fee for major (2.0) and point (2.1) upgrades (though I think the last release is now free).



    I cannot think of any situation, ever, where Apple released a point (2.1) upgrade to the iPod touch, for which there was a specific minor release charge attached. Both point (2.1) and point-point (2.1.1) upgrades have both always been free so far.



    It was only ever the major upgrades (eg 2.0) or new feature releases which could be detached from the associated OS release (eg the 2008 JSU) that had a cost associated with them.



    I do believe, though, that after 2.0 was first released, a rather significant portion of the iPod touch user base was still sceptical about the whole notion of paying for OS upgrades, so there were hold-outs still running 1.x by the time 2.1 was ready for release. So Apple dropped the 1.x -> 2.x upgrade fee by half to entice those last few 1.x users to get with the program. But the fee was still only charged from people making the major revision leap (1.x to 2.x); people who already had 2.0 were given 2.1 for free like any other minor update.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    Version 3.2.X all the way thru the final release of a 4.X.X software will be free to iPad users. 5.0 will be paid only, with 5.X.X updates being free to people who bought 5.0
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