Apple Makes iPhone OS 3.0 / 3.1.3 Free for iPod touch

If you have an iPod touch, check it for updates. Users are reporting that Apple has decided to drop the $4.99 upgrade fee for iPhone OS 3.0 on iPod touch.

The fee began as an excuse on Apple’s behalf, pointing to an obscure accounting rule that virtually nobody else agrees with in the industry. Apple argued that only devices (like iPhone) that were accounted for on a subscription basis could receive free software updates that add functionality. As such, iPod touch owners have had to pay for firmware upgrades, while iPhone users have enjoyed the same upgrades for free.

However, Apple’s plans to charge millions in software upgrade fees has largely failed. Developers are hesitant to update to iPhone OS 3.0 SDKs, as it means removing their app from availability on devices that still have iPhone OS 2.2.1. So, Apple developers resort to the lowest-common denominatory, leaving Apple with a fractured marketplace and the need to support 2.2.1 in current SDK releases. Developers also dislike the fee as they cannot take advantage of iPhone OS 3.0 features without also shedding users who don’t wish to pay the upgrade fee.

iPhone OS 3.0 has been rather easy to obtain without paying Apple’s fee, the iTunes web server offers the firmware download from a simple web browser request. This change appears to be timed alongside iPad’s release, and may also denote a shift in Apple policy away from the inexplicable legal accounting rule that they were clinging to.

Now developers will be able to target all of Apple’s mobile devices, however, the question remains if they will enhance their applications for iPad, considering the unknown market factor the device will have.

Apple declined an opportunity to comment for this article.

Christopher Price is the Founding Editor of Today, he leads the team building Console, Inc. - a new kind of Androidâ„¢ device. He still likes to pontificate... a lot. You can visit his personal blog at

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12 responses to “Apple Makes iPhone OS 3.0 / 3.1.3 Free for iPod touch”

  1. Ben

    I wonder if they are going to refund all the charges for people who have already paid for the updates.

  2. Christopher Price

    That would be a no.

  3. Erick

    just checked itunes and its still charging…where would it be for free?

  4. Christopher Price

    Click Check for Updates on the iPod touch’s device page.

  5. Laura

    It only brings me to the page for the 3.1.3 download which does cost money. Any ideas of where to go for the 3.0 download?

  6. Christopher Price

    Do you have a first, or second generation iPod touch? What version are you running now?

  7. Erick

    I have the second generation iPod Touch, and the version is 2.2.1. And it only takes me to itunes store to purchase it.

  8. Jesse

    Yeah, I have the 1st gen iPod Touch 2.2.1 and it’s asking me to pay for it, too

  9. alp

    dammit it still asks for $4.95 is this news fake?

  10. mystery man

    Enioy!!!!!!!!! BY BY APPLE $4.95 feee you bunch of billionaire crooks!!!!!!!

  11. diddly doo

    i really want the new firmware but i refuse to pay for it