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Why is FaceTime 99 Cents on a Mac ?


I was surprised to see the announcement today that Apple is charging for FaceTime on the Mac.  iChat has always been part of the OS.  And in a way, so is FaceTime as it’s included with the new MacBooks announced today.

So why charge?

The only logical explanation I see is an App Store try-out for Mac users.   There have to be plenty of Mac users who don’t own iOS devices.  Admittedly I have no idea how many, but a significant number.  Many of these users have probably never tried the App Store and Apple wants them to experience it – thinking it will lead to additional sales.

Those who own iOS devices may not have tried the Mac App Store yet either.  I know I haven’t bought anything.  In fact, I think I opened it once to take a look, and that was it.

I suppose they could have added it to the App Store and made it free.  Or is this some kind of Sarbanes Oxley thing??  Who knows?

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5 comments to “Why is FaceTime 99 Cents on a Mac ?”

  1. From what I hear, it’s the latter. Sounds like it has to do with accounting and adding additional functionality to old sales or w/e.

  2. Apple told Macworld’s Dan Moren that it’s accounting, thus SarbOx.

  3. I still don’t see why I should use that over Skype.

  4. Hey Andrew !

    Totally know what you mean, but:

    You can v-call someone who doesn’t have Skype. Your friends with iPhone 4s MIGHT have Skype, but they definitely have FaceTime. And you already know their phone number. No account creation steps.

    What I don’t understand is why they didn’t build it into iChat. That way you’d KNOW people had it on their Macs too. I love that FaceTime is always ready to take a call, especially when helping others. I used FaceTime on a friend’s Mac recently to see their tv screen while they were trying to configure an Apple TV.

    I guess they wanted to simplify and drop the iChat baggage, which was probably the better choice.

    I’m ready for a FaceTime app for Android !!!

  5. I do’t see how this could be related to Sarbanes Oxley. I admit I had no idea what Sarbanes Oxley was until you mentioned it, so I did some research. Sarbanes Oxley deals with record keeping and the storing of records. I do not see how this would affect price at all. Yes, they could have made it free; the records would be the same. This is simply Apple wanting your dollar and my dollar. I gave them mine because I wanted to use it, but this should have been a freebie.

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