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New Poll: Are 5 iPod touch apps worth $20?

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2008
News Categories: Site News

After reading the many comments we have received since Apple’s announcement that it would sell a set of five iPod touch applications for $20, we wanted to poll our readership on an important question: are Apple’s Mail, Notes, Stocks, Weather, and Maps applications worth the asking price?

When answering the poll question, found on the left hand column of the main iLounge.com homepage, bear in mind that the price could have been less or zero, could have been more, and could have been split so that individual features were sold at different prices. Since this is the first time that Apple has tried to charge users for iPod programs—other than games—and the results of your purchases will likely influence the company’s future iPhone and iPod application sales plans, we’d really like to know what you think. Answer the poll today!

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Comments

1

It’s worth noting that the $20 is not just for the 5 apps, but also for the other features: lyrics, and the customizable home screen. That, in my opinion, is a real rip-off. I don’t care about the home screen, but lyrics is a feature that should have been in the original firmware. Note that you do get one free feature: the ability to pay Apple to rent movies…

Kirk

Posted by Kirk on January 16, 2008 at 1:34 AM (PDT)

2

How do we define whether or not something is “worth” $20? As a capitalist, I figure if I’m willing to pay the price, then it must be “worth it” to me. It’s my money, and nobody has a gun to my head.

I’d pay the $20 (without hesitation) for Mail and Maps alone. Weather and Notes would be a bonus. So I’m voting that these five apps are “worth” $20.

For the record, I have an iPhone, not an iPod Touch.

Posted by BJ Nemeth on January 16, 2008 at 2:01 AM (PDT)

3

I downloaded the new firmware directly when i saw it was available. I never thought about paying for it, in the end i did automatically without any hesitating.

I fell for the thought i would have an iPhone without the phone-part. I hate the fact that hotmail (the free version) doensn’t support the mail-widget on iPod’s or iPhone’s, that’s the only thing which is a pity.

I’m glad i downloaded it, to me € 17.99 is ok

Posted by IT on January 16, 2008 at 2:12 AM (PDT)

4

$20 is fine but it’s amazing how new buyers can get it free and people like me in Malaysia can’t even get it in the first place as we have no iTunes Store. As what I mentioned on the other thread, I wished Apple would release it for everybody.

Posted by heart of joy on January 16, 2008 at 2:31 AM (PDT)

5

Yes, it’s worth £12 so I don’t have to jailbreak my ipod.
And if these updates had come free then all the iphone users would be complaining.

I would assume that with the SDK coming out, that this is a sign of things to come. You will have to pay to get some new features. No bad thing.

Posted by Bryan on January 16, 2008 at 2:34 AM (PDT)

6

The price itself isn’t outrageous. But the idea that I have to pay for something that anyone buying the Touch now gets for free is wrong. Apple didn’t punish the early AppleTV buyers by making them pay for the version 2 software, why do it to iPod customers?

I reckon Apple has seen the value of the iPhone subscription revenue stream and is now beginning to regard its iPod customers as second class citizens.

Posted by yashin on January 16, 2008 at 3:11 AM (PDT)

7

As others have mentioned, you’re not paying for the apps. You’re paying for the apps AND the software update. I’m ok with paying for apps, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect support in the form of free software updates for a device that is what? 6 months old? And to add insult to injury, the damn thing nags you to upgrade every single time you plug in the iPod.

This is the equivalent of bundling 10.5.2 with iLife and expecting you to pay $70 to keep your computer up to date. If this “january update” (which implies that there will be more) is the start of a trend of non-free software updates, this might very well be the last iPod I’ll own. Say what you will about the Zune, but at least Zune early adopters were rewarded with the new Zune software.

Posted by Guillermo on January 16, 2008 at 3:47 AM (PDT)

8

They may well be worth $20 to me if they weren’t being added to all new iPod tocuhes at the same price I paid for my ipod touch. Why do I get discriminated against because I was an early adopter. If its good enough to be given to new ipod owners as part of the package what about the existing one!

Posted by Peter on January 16, 2008 at 4:14 AM (PDT)

9

If I had a touch, I’d probably pay the $20, but I don’t, and I think it’s seriously dodgy to pay for new apps and a software update. Considering that Apple has never charged for ipod software updates before, I think it’s crap. If they’re arguing that they had to charge something legally because it was that significant an update, then they should’ve just charged a token $5.

Posted by Nuke666 in Melbourne, Austalia on January 16, 2008 at 4:26 AM (PDT)

10

Thank goodness they didn’t release a 3g iphone, or a 32gig ipod touch.

Imagine the noise we would of had to put up with then wink

Early adoption has become a game a russian roulette. Them’s the rules (4gig iphone anyone?), yet people continue to be surprised!?

Posted by Bryan on January 16, 2008 at 4:32 AM (PDT)

11

I have a IPhone. If I would have a IPod Touch then I def. would spend $20 bucks.

First of all, $20 bucks is not that much money. I mean u pay $20 bucks to go to the movies with ur girl or get a shirt for the smae money. so $20 bucks is not a amount that will make someone feel broke.

The extras functions you will get in the IPod Touch is good and don’t forget you will continue using safari to check ur bank balance or get movie tickets online (fandango) or just check ur e-mail. so u will use these $20 applications on regular bases.

It’s a choice you CAN make. AIPod Touch with a vew extras.. thats all…

Personally I use all these functions on daily bases on my IPhone

Posted by dennis on January 16, 2008 at 5:10 AM (PDT)

12

Although 20 bucks is no big deal but the practise of giving it free to new buyers whilst charging $20 to existing owners/early adopters who would buy an iPod without a moment’s hesitation is totally unfair. If such discrimination against early adopters (who also tend to be more passionate about Apple)continue, Apple will certainly lose a lot of customers who will now be wiser and postpone their purchase of newly-launched iPods.

Posted by heart of joy on January 16, 2008 at 5:10 AM (PDT)

13

I believe the $20 is a bookkeeping requirement for Sarbanes Oxley. They did the same thing with 802.11n on Macbooks, charging $3 to unlock it for existing owners.

I paid a lot more than $20 more for my iPhone for mail alone.

Posted by Chrystopher on January 16, 2008 at 5:26 AM (PDT)

14

Hi everybody. I don’t have itunes store in my country (Chile ...), then ... what can I do ?. In my case it’s not about the money, is only about de availability, it is not fair for us, I feel a little discriminated. By the way, that’s is a strong reason to jailbreak my ipod touch.
Regards.

Posted by krystium on January 16, 2008 at 5:34 AM (PDT)

15

Right, it’s not JUST the fact that Apple is charging current Touch owners 20 dollars for 5 Apps and a customizable screen. It is ALSO the fact that the Touch is coming off the shelf for NEW owners with this firmware/software loaded FREE. THAT is not right, especially considering that this product has BARELY been out 5 months. It’s ### if Apple is TRYING to piss off it’s loyal customers!

Posted by John on January 16, 2008 at 5:43 AM (PDT)

16

I’ve seen multiple references to the Sarbanes Oxley theory and think that is without merit. If this were the case existing Apple TV owners would also be charged to upgrade to version 2.

And that’s why the $20 fee is unfair. New functions for the iPhone = free. New functions for Apple TV = free. New Functions + old functions from iPhone for Touch = $20?

Posted by crosmyn on January 16, 2008 at 5:59 AM (PDT)

17

Remember, kibbitzing iPhone users, that all of these ‘new’ apps work best with constant wireless access.  The Touch doesn’t have that. Between wifi-free zones and the predominance of secured/closed networks, I bet I have wireless 10% of the time I’m not in the house. That substantially lessens these apps’ value.

I bought the Touch without these apps, so no big deal going without. I certainly don’t think I will pay $20 for them now. It’s not a question of outrage, just being sensible.

Posted by Jim G on January 16, 2008 at 6:00 AM (PDT)

18

People need to stop thinking of the iPod touch as simply an iPod and more as a handheld computer. And with handheld computers, software upgrades cost money. Here’s a perfect parallel: when you buy a brand new Mac, the iLife suite comes included. But what happens if you already own a Mac and want iLife? You shell out $79 to get it.

I upgraded my iPod touch. $20 was not a big deal to me, and I’m very happy with the additional apps. Would it have been nice to get the upgrades for free? Sure, but after February’s SDK, I have a feeling that few apps for the iPod touch/iPhone are going to be “free.”

Get used to it, because this is only the beginning.

Posted by John on January 16, 2008 at 6:19 AM (PDT)

19

For me, it is a question of outrage. I don’t know why people are trying to defend Apple here at all when they’re clearly in the wrong. And do note that there is also a software update to 1.1.3 that is free, although I haven’t heard that the free version contains anything really significant. Can’t believe Apple are charging 17.99 euro for this, which is $27. No WAY will I be paying that.

Posted by Patrick Kavanagh on January 16, 2008 at 6:25 AM (PDT)

20

in my opinion, the reason they decided to charge $20 for 5 apps is not to milk money out of us.  it was simply to prepare us for the idea of paying for them.  the iPod Touch / iPhone SDK comes out in late february and you can be certain that steve jobs has target price range in mind for third party apps sold through the iTunes store.  It looks like that’s somewhere around $4 a piece.  Which seems reasonable.  If developers get greedy and charge $20-$50 for mobile apps, the ecosystem isn’t going to be as successful as it needs to be.

Posted by spriter on January 16, 2008 at 6:47 AM (PDT)

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