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May 02, 2007



The subscription is for more than just software upgrades. You're paying for the tech support that goes with it for the year. Unfortunately cad companies don't separate the two.

We rarely use the tech support as I often know more than they do, so a less expensive option would be welcome. There is no "upgrade" pricing option so we're stuck with subscription.


I fail to see why you view "free upgrades for a couple of years" as a new definition of "subscription". You get something up front and "free" upgrades for the period of the subscription in Autodesk's subscription program as well. What am I missing?


That Apple is treating one-time income as subscription income for accounting purposes. This article provides an explanation:

"Apple's Revenue Deferment Program Will Lower FY08 Earnings"


So Apple is accounting revenue from hardware sales by using a subscription accounting model. While this may be unusual for hardware sales, it's a pretty typical accounting model for software sales. That is to say, I don't think it's a "different" subscription model at all -- it's just the standard subscription accounting model applied to hardware instead of software. Software companies were forced to use this accounting model several years ago with the implementation of new accounting rules from the AICPA that require revenue recognition to be deferred until the entire "product" is delivered (in other words, until all the patches are released). Apple is doing it of their own volition.

One could surmise that this move demonstrates Apple's confidence in the future of the company. It's a refreshing departure from the normal practice of shifting earnings up front and recognizing them immediately rather than banking on being able to deliver future value. Stated another way, Apple is investing in the future instead of cashing in now.

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