Apple preparing new upgrade fees
Apple Computer next week will announce a plan to charge for upgrades to some of the company’s highly acclaimed "digital hub" software, a move that could anger customers accustomed to receiving free updates.
According to sources familiar with the plans, Apple is expected to announce at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco Tuesday that consumers will have to pay for new versions of iDVD, iPhoto and iMovie, which will be sold together as a bundle. Previously, Apple had offered upgrades to its digital media, or "i" applications, for free.
iMovie is used for digital movie editing, and iDVD burns the final product onto a DVD. iPhoto is used to organize, edit and print photos. The move to charge up to $50 for the software trio is potentially the first step in charging for all six "i" applications, which would continue to be bundled for free with new Macs, sources said.
Apple’s other iApps include iTunes for organizing music, a calendar and a synchronization utility. It released new versions of iCal and iSync on Thursday.
Citing company policy, an Apple representative declined to comment on unannounced plans for products or services, the details of which could change before next week’s Macworld gathering. Apple CEO Steve Jobs opens the convention with a keynote speech on Tuesday.