Is Sarbanes-Oxley Forcing Apple To Charge You To Upgrade Your WiFi?

from the say-what-now? dept

Well, here's a weird one. It's no secret that Sarbanes-Oxley is a law with lots of problems. It's become a huge pain for businesses, forcing all sorts of useless, but expensive, procedures to be put in place that have little (if anything) to do with protecting investors from being taken in by unscrupulous companies. It's been a huge net loss to the economy, and has scared away plenty of companies from the public markets. While that may have held some "bubble euphoria" in check by keeping investment opportunities away from the public, the net result is bad for the overall economy. Last week, there was lots of talk about Jim Clark's decision to quit Shutterfly while blaming Sarbanes-Oxley for limiting what he could do at the company. Now comes the latest odd SOX complaint. Apparently Apple is forcing Mac owners to pay an extra $5 to unlock next generation features of WiFi that were bundled with recent machines. In order to unlock the pre-standard 802.11n features, you have to pay $5, with Apple saying that they cannot be seen as "giving away an unadvertised new feature of an already sold product without enduring some onerous accounting measures." The thinking, basically is that they would be unfairly recognizing the revenue early, since they hadn't completely delivered the product. The alternative would be to not recognize all the revenue ahead of time, but that presents other problems, and could even be more costly. Thus, consumers get the fun of having to pay extra to upgrade. Yet another fun unexpected consequence from excessive meddling from politicians.

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  1. identicon
    UniBoy, 16 Jan 2007 @ 10:54am

    Watch out...

    Apple is just leading the pack of technology companies (as usual).

    In the near future, ALL patches/updates/etc. will cost money. Either as a one-time cost for the update, or as an ongoing subscription cost that gets you all the updates as they become available. This is the direction the software industry WANTS to go anyway. SOX will be one little extra annoyance to help push it there.

    Oh, and in case you were wondering, you do not actually OWN any of the software you purchased anyway. You simply bought a LICENSE.

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