Apple Offers $1.99 802.11n Upgrade

Apple has begun offering a $1.99 USD software patch that would enable use of 802.11n wireless networking on select Intel-based Mac models. However, the update has not come without controversy.

The Cupertino company claims that it had to offer the capabilities in this manner due to finance laws, commonly referred to as GAAP, which they say require a charge for significant feature enhancements. But many Wall Street analysts have said that is not the case.

"GAAP doesn't require you to charge squat," former Securities and Exchange Commission chief accountant Lynn Turner said. "GAAP doesn't even remotely address whether or not you charge for a significant functionality change."

Apple has not responded to such criticisms, and has instead chosen to push onward with the offering - albeit at a lower cost than the initially rumored $4.99 USD price. Those who purchase the new Airport Extreme Base station would not have to purchase the software update, as it is included with the product.

Compatible machines include all Intel Core 2 Duo models and the Mac Pro with the AirPort Extreme Option. The 17-inch inch 1.83GHz iMac does not include 802.11n functionality.

802.11n is said to have a typical data rate of 200 megabits per second and a max throughput of 540 mbits/sec, about 50 times faster than 802.11b, and 10 times faster than 802.11a and g.

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