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  • Newsletter #355 Preview: The Leopard Report: How About a Fair Upgrade Policy?

    September 18th, 2006

    The other day I received a letter from a reader wondering whether he’d get a discount on Mac OS 10.5 Leopard if he bought a new Mac for Christmas. He hadn’t been following the news lately, so he wasn’t aware that it won’t actually ship until the spring of next year.

    Here’s what I told him, even though I don’t like the answer: Apple is very stingy in its operating system update policies. If you buy a new Mac after an Mac OS X upgrade ships, you can usually get the upgrade for a modest shipping and handling fee. Otherwise you pay the full price, even if you bought the previous operating system version the day before.

    To be fair, Apple has occasionally instituted a somewhat more liberal policy, where the mere announcement of an actual shipping date is enough to trigger the upgrade discount, but I don’t see things moving in that direction.

    In fact, I fully expect Leopard will cost more, partly because I expect you’ll get a lot more bundled applications. I’ll get to that shortly, but I am certainly not happy about the whole thing.

    Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.



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    3 Responses to “Newsletter #355 Preview: The Leopard Report: How About a Fair Upgrade Policy?”

    1. -hh says:

      To be fair, Apple has occasionally instituted a somewhat more liberal policy, where the mere announcement of an actual shipping date is enough to trigger the upgrade discount, but I don’t see things moving in that direction.

      I know that I delayed my G5 purchase until Apple anounced that all hardware sales would get a free copy of Panther in the mail…its what an informed consumer always does to look for value.

      If Apple doesn’t do the same for Leopard, they will hurt their Christmas hardware sales IMO. Pragmatically, the announcement would have to come by early November … and definitely at least a week before Black Friday.

      -hh

    2. aToMac says:

      I can’t agree with you. Also in December you get a great operating system. Why should you get a cheaper upgrade? What if Apple will double the amount of memory in the Macs? Should people who bought the Mac a week before get a discount on memory? I know these kind of upgrades are silent, but still.

      Many people don’t even know Leopard is coming, and why they should have it. It is us, the rumor readers who will be waiting, but not every Mac user cares.

    3. -hh says:

      I can’t agree with you. Also in December you get a great operating system. Why should you get a cheaper upgrade?

      This is not necessarily a straight “gimmie” for the consumer: it is for Apple’s own benefit to not lose sales during 4Q. Do keep in mind that its their more informed consumer base that tends to be stronger “word of mouth” advertisers (platform champions).

      Many people don’t even know Leopard is coming, and why they should have it. It is us, the rumor readers who will be waiting, but not every Mac user cares.

      “Most people” aren’t OS X buyers … they’re Windows buyers.

      And you can be pretty sure that except for the segment that are buying razor-thin profit low end machines, the majority of Windows buyers today know that VISTA is coming. Leopard is no different (and even Windows folk know that Vista is being compared to the Mac). As such, why should we assume that the majority of the Apple market – – particularly since there is no “razor thin profit” machine in the product line – – be effectively more ignorant of immenent product releases than Windows users are?

      -hh

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