Apple spokesperson Lynn Fox has confirmed to News.com that Apple will be charging an upgrade fee in the amount of $1.99 for Core 2 Duo iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, and Mac Pro users who have 802.11n capable chipsets. Users who purchase an Airport Extreme base station will not have to pay for the upgrade.
An Apple service document obtained by MacRumors had previously indicated that the fee would be $4.99, however Apple may have decided to cut the cost in reaction to strong negative reaction to the fee.
Apple said it is required under generally accepted accounting principles to charge customers for the software upgrade. "The nominal distribution fee for the 802.11n software is required in order for Apple to comply with generally accepted accounting principles for revenue recognition, which generally require that we charge for significant feature enhancements, such as 802.11n, when added to previously purchased products," Fox said in a statement.
The explanation for the fee is reminiscent of an explanation previously given to iLounge. However, the explanation does not fit well with many of Apple's previous practices. For example, in May Apple updated iWeb to version 1.1 which added a host of commonly-requested features at no charge.