During today's financial results conference call for the third calendar and fourth fiscal quarter of 2013, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer indicated Apple will continue to offer iWork, iLife, and OS X for free for the foreseeable future.
When OS X Mavericks was released last Tuesday, Apple announced that for the first time ever, OS X system updates would be available to customers at no charge. At the time, it was unclear whether the upgrade would be a one time affair or if the company would continue to provide OS X updates for free.
In addition to providing Mavericks for free, Apple will also give free copies of its iWork and iLife apps to users who purchase a new Mac or iOS device, and will continue to provide the software free of charge in the future as well.
"We wanted all of our customers to have access to our very latest software so they can get the best features," said Oppenheimer. "We wanted to make it a part of the experience."
Apple's choice to offer Mavericks and its suite of iWork/iLife apps for free will contribute to a $900 million increase in deferred net revenue in the December quarter. Apple defers recognizing small amounts of revenue on Macs and iOS devices to comply with obscure account regulations over feature updates to purchased hardware. Deferrals will be recorded over two years for iOS devices and over four years for Macs.