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Apple charges iPod Touch users for critical patches

Cliff Saran

Owners of iPod Touch handheld computers will have to pay for the critical updates Apple issued last week to correct 46 holes in its software.

Through iTunes, Apple is charging $9.95 to download the critical patches for the iPod Touch, while iPhone users can download the patches for free.

The software is part of the v3.0 operating system, which includes extra functions for both iPhone and iPod Touch users to support.

Expert have slammed Apple's decision to charge for the patch.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said, "There is no doubt that some iPod Touch users will be unhappy that they have to pay for their devices to be fixed, and it is certainly unusual for a company to charge for important security patches like this. In an ideal world Apple would make free fixes available for iPod Touch users who don't feel they need cut-and-paste and other new features, but do want to be able to use the internet securely."

Tony Cripps, principal analyst at Ovum, said, "This is not the first time Apple has charged for a software update. The iPod Touch is a relatively low-cost device and Apple may not feel it is obliged to provide support for this device because it is not a flagship product like the iPhone."

With a couple of million iPod Touch devices in circulation, Apple could be quids in if users decide to upgrade.

>> See also: Photos: First look at what makes the iPhone 3G S tick


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