Apple iPad will have free OS updates up to and including OS 4.0

Apple’s new iPad ships with a dedicated OS versioned as iPhone OS 3.2.¬†From Apple’s own iPad Software Licensing Agreement we have found this section:

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.

Some people have been assuming that iPad OS updates, especially OS 4.0 and up, would be charged for. This is not an unreasonable assumption based on the model that Apple used for iPod updates. As many of you may know the iPod having charged updates, and the iPhone getting free ones was mostly to do with accounting regulations in the US. The difference being between a paid and subscription model for accounting sales of the devices. Recently Apple revised it’s accounting practices in line with US law, which seemed to make this distinction moot anyway though.

Anyway, what this current agreement basically says is that any updates to the iPad OS up to, and most importantly including OS 4.0, will be free. After that it’s not clear.

That doesn’t seem too bad, as I doubt we’ll see OS 4.0 until the summer at least.

Whilst the terms of their agreement doesn’t say OS 5.0 will be free. It doesn’t say it won’t be either. Although by the time OS 5.0 is on us we’ll have most likely got to a unified OS across all ‘i’ devices, and both new iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads will have been launched long before. Most likely around the time of iPhone OS 4.0

No this isn’t an April Fools post. Apple is really giving you something for free! Well at least free with the purchase of an iPad!

But Happy April Fools day anyway. :)

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