GAAP does not set Patch Price policy

On January 31, 2007, in news, by

In addition to my SBSism, I’m also a Patchaholic and write on Patching issues for Brian Livingston’s WindowsSecrets newsletter… as such I always keep an eye out for Patching issues… which is why there’s a lot of patch related stuff in the blog as well… yeah …yeah….I know I used a flaming headline and cheap shot the other day but I’m still ticked off at Apple for forcing John Q Public into going through an insane patch installer for Quicktime to get the update (as that’s the only way that software installer will do it’s magic).

Patches from vendors should have two basic tenants….

1.  Don’t hurt.
2.  Be easy to install.

But that’s not the point of this post about Apple’s latest patch offering…. This one caught my eye on Donna’s blog

The Apple Store (U.S.) – AirPort Extreme 802.11n* Enabler for Mac:

BetaNews | Apple Offers $1.99 802.11n Upgrade:

“The Cupertino company claims that it had to offer the capabilities in this manner due to finance laws, commonly referred to as GAAP, which they say require a charge for significant feature enhancements. But many Wall Street analysts have said that is not the case.”

To the Corporate folks at Apple…. Please state the FASB number that you are using for this guidance?  If it is not a FASB, then perhaps an Emerging Issues Task force resolution?  Because, quite frankly I’ve gone through the gambit of FASBs, EITF,  Pronouncements, Abstracts, Publications… and I don’t see a one that “requires” you to charge for significant feature enhancements.  Perhaps I missed a recent pronouncement that came out?

To the best of my recollection, there is no such rule that GAAP …and that’s generally accepted accounting principles folks.. not ” finance laws”….. that requires a firm to charge for anything. GAAP is historic in nature… it follows the transaction, the recording of it, not the pricing decisions around it.  While basic fundaments of cost and business savvy may lead a firm to making a business decision to charge for a feature update like this…. and it’s quite novel in that…. the Financial Accounting Standards Board is not the reason this patch has a fee.

To the PR folks at Apple.. and to the more insanely stupid folks at this Ad agency…. knock it off.

If you want to charge for it… then do it… but don’t blame it on GAAP. 


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