Feeds

Apple may offer Wi-Fi update for free, says former chief beancounter

The world according to GAAP

Top three mobile application threats

There's one flaw with Apple's excuse for planning to charge $2 to enable 802.11n next-generation Wi-Fi on Macs that have the hardware to support the technology: it's bollocks. So says the one-time most senior accountant in the US, Lynn Turner, former chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

When it emerged Apple might charge $5 for the upgrade, insiders claimed it had to do under the rules laid down by the post-Enron collapse, post-WorldCom collapse Sarbanes Oxley Act. This puts down in black and what the so-called Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which now govern how US firms can claim revenues.

Apple shortly confirmed that this was the case, but sweetened the pill by dropping the price to $2.

Now, Turner, quoted by the Wall Street Journal, claims GAAP does not force companies like Apple to charge for updates that add previously unadvertised functionality, as Apple claimed.

"You charge whatever you want," she told the paper. "GAAP doesn't even remotely address whether or not you charge for a significant functionality change. GAAP establishes what the proper accounting is, based on what you did or didn't charge for it."

To be fair, Turner's statement simply says Apple can give the update away for free, not that this is an easy a path to take as charging an up-front fee for the update - which it may also have to charge if it releases a version of its Windows-on-Mac utility, Boot Camp, for versions of the Mac OS X previous to 10.5, for the same reason.

If Apple doesn't charge for the update, it may have to restate revenues and face a bureaucratic nightmare that far outweighs the hassle to users incurred by having to pay $2. Or it might not.

Generally Ambiguous Accounting Principles, anyone? ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE & Vodafone will let you BONK on the TUBE – with Boris' blessing
Transport for London: You can pay, but don't touch
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
Google eyes business service in latest Fiber trials
Lucky Kansas City buggers to host yet another pilot program
Huawei exec: 'Word of mouth' will beat Apple and Samsung in Europe
World Mobile Telephone Factory No.3 won't fling the big bucks around just yet
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.