Today Apple revealed the refresh to the MacBook Pro line and also released OS X Lion to developers. It also took the FaceTime app for Macs out of beta and put the final version on the Mac App Store for $0.99. Apparently, people are in an uproar that Apple has the audacity to charge a dollar for the app. I’m not talking about the regular consumers who were QQing about the charge the instant it was announced, I’m pointing the finger to media journalists and bloggers. It is you, Sam Biddle, Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Seth Weintraub, Jay Yarow, and Rachel King to name a few, that are aggressively or passive-aggressively bashing the 99 cent pricetag on the app as it was some preposterous price-gouging wallet-draining scheme by Apple to prevent its users from getting an app that should be free by your self-proclaimed God-given right. And in doing so you are encouraging the ridiculously greedy and jaded behavior of people who think that 99 cents for an app is too expensive.
First off, Apple has every right to charge 99 cents for the FaceTime app, so fuck you if you don’t like it. I shall provide no further commentary on the matter, even though your bitching forced Apple to explain itself as to why it chose to charge for its own internally developed product that cost money to make.
The so called “psychological barrier” which Sam Biddle uses to justify the anger towards the up-charge is bullshit, not to mention completely illogical. It was artificially created by app makers and by journalists and bloggers who pushed for 99 cents to be the price ceiling for an app. That is, it’s the maximum that anyone should charge for any app on an App Store, and any more should be reason enough to deviate from your purchase. So the consumer public, Sam, Rachel, Seth, and the rest are freaking out because Apple has the audacity to not only put a price tag on the FaceTime app, but to max it out at the socially acceptable 99 cents. What they should be doing is educating their followers on how 99 cents ain’t that bad. In fact, it is common sense.
FaceTime didn’t magically appear out of thin air. Apple engineers worked on developing and perfecting the App. Countless hours of coding, product testing, marketing studies, and staff meetings were involved in the creation of this app. Rest assured that everyone involved doesn’t live in some Star Trek 24th century utopia where money is eradicated and people just work in order to better themselves and humanity as a whole. Charging 99 cents for the App should be enough to break even on the cost of development and distribution after about ten or twenty thousand purchases, something that won’t be hard to achieve in Apple’s case. But most people don’t see that. They justify that FaceTime should be free because it not only is something that all Apple users should have, it is something whose costs are already offset by all the other areas that Apple makes money from. Which brings me to my next point.
Your opportunity costs have been so skewed that for some bizarre reason you are OK with spending a few hundred dollars extra for a product’s brand premium but absolutely draw the line when you are asked to spend 99 cents more for that product in order to get some new functionality that was not natively in the product when you go it. Please explain to me why you will purchase a 13 inch MacBook Pro for $1,200 when you can get a Windows or Linux based laptop of equal performance and specs for a cool three to four hundred dollars cheaper, but you refuse to cough up one extra dollar for an app on that same overpriced laptop? Furthermore, FaceTime is an add-on. It brings entirely new functionality to your device. There is a huge difference between purchasing a product and being charged to use an application that comes already built into the device and purchasing a product and being charged for an external application that upgrades your product to give it new functionality that was not present there before.
“But it’s not like it’s doing anything new, my Mac already has a webcam built in!” many may argue. My MacBok Pro also came with a graphics card capable of video editing and hardcore gaming. Does that mean that I should be getting Final Cut Pro for free or the Mac Steam store should be gratis because my computer can support the products they offer? Consumers are suffering a huge disconnect in their personal definitions of opportunity costs. Instead of taking the time to educate people and to try to re-program them to see things in a logical manner, we are joining the masses of cheap freeloading morons in their idiotic crusade to justify their own illogical arguments. Now, continue with your bitching about the one-time 99 cent FaceTime app fee and go spend that same 99 cents on a Snickers bar that will clearly give you more pleasure and productivity over time than the FaceTime app on the computer which you had no second thoughts about dropping a few extra Benjamins for a brand premium on.