This week the folks at Apple have released information on their fourth fiscal quarter's earnings alongside comments on their future plans. This Q4 2013 has played host to comments on the biggest 4th quarter for iPhone, notes on future product categories, and word that future versions of software - including OS X - will be free as well. OS X Mavericks was introduced as a free software upgrade earlier this month, and this morning Apple's own CFO Peter Oppenheimer suggested that future versions of the operating system would be free as well.
This confirmation came aside several comments from Apple on how the decision to make their software suites - and operating system for desktop computers - free was an easy decision in the end. They also made clear that this move is prepared to follow suit with a $900M increase (sequentially) in net revenue appearing thanks to software upgrade rights and non-software services.
"We'll see increased deferral rates thanks to this free software plus sequential unit increases. We'll also defer $900 more than before in the September quarter through the December quarter. This will be a dollar for dollar reduction in gross margin." - Peter Oppenheimer for Apple
Apple also spoke up on how the software freedom here will allow them to compete on a new level with their biggest opposition, and how this benefits customers. They also recalled how previous versions of software have been free all along, and how this is just an extension of that ideology.
"The primary reason [for this free software move] was to make it part of what it meant to own a Mac and an iOS device. iWork had become the best-selling productivity app on a mobile device, we wanted all of our customers to have access to our very latest software so they could get the best features.
It was a bold move to make it free. Some other folks charge $199 for each of these - the OS and the productivity apps. We wanted to make it a part of the full experience. Going back to Snow Leopard on the OS side and iWork and iLife are free for all new Macs.
This is just another reason why everyone should buy a Mac. We think it was a great decision and will be great for our customers."
What do you think, readers? Is it a great decision to continue offering software free with newly purchased hardware devices?