iPad owners will receive one major OS upgrade for free, but subsequent OS upgrades will cost a fee, according to documentation posted by Apple.
Apple on Monday began seeding the Golden Master version of its iPhone OS 3.2 software development kit to developers, which will be the version of the OS that ships on the iPad, according to MacRumorsí Arnold Kim. Apple also posted the iPad licensing agreement to its server. A clause in the agreement reveals that iPad customers will get a free download of the major OS following the one that shipped with the product, and after that, subsequent major OS upgrades will come at a cost:
Apple will provide you any iPad OS software updates that it may release from time to time, up to and including the next major iPad OS software release following the version of iPad OS software that originally shipped from Apple on your iPad, for free. For example, if your iPad originally shipped with iPad 3.x software, Apple would provide you with any iPad OS software updates it might release up to and including the iPad 4.x software release. Such updates and releases may not necessarily include all of the new software features that Apple releases for newer iPad models.
That implies that for first-generation iPad customers, iPhone OS 4.0 will be a free download, but versions that follow ó 5.0, 6.0 and so on, will cost a fee.
The iPadís upgrade policy would fall in the middle of the upgrade policies for the iPhone and the iPod Touch. iPod Touch owners had to pay a $10 fee when they upgraded to iPhone OS 2.0 and iPhone OS 3.0. iPhone customers, however, receive OS upgrades for free. Apple has cited legal accounting requirements when explaining the reasoning behind the iPod Touchís policy.