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Rumour: Apple to charge for iPad iOS4 upgrade

Rumours are rife on the Internet that Apple intends to charge for a forthcoming upgrade to the iPad operating system.

Apple's tablet device is the last of the company's portable gadgets to get some iOS4 action, and iPad owners are miffed enough at the delay.

Stuffed is reporting that the company has top secret plans to relieve iPad owners of another five quid and their anonymous source says that the charge is "definite".

Apple bashing seems to be the flavour of the month at the moment with anyone with access to a keyboard and blog willing to kick the company while it's down over the whole 'Antennagate' affair, but we're going to put our heads above the parapet and state for the record that this is not gonna happen. Never. Not in a month of Sundays.

The Cupertino firm has just emerged bloodied and bruised from a public relations nightmare surrounding the iPhone 4 and its widely reported (though seldom demonstrated) dropped call woes, and to invite another kicking from the baying tech press by reneging on its promise of a free upgrade to iOS4 would be suicidal.

Apple is currently swimming in cash, trading blows at the top of the 'most valuable technology company on the planet' charts with arch-rival Microsoft. The iPhone is selling in its millions despite hatchet-job reporting by hundreds of commentators who have never used the handset, and the outfit's computer business is more buoyant than ever.

Apart from all of this, every single iPad owner has a written contract with Apple as part of the hardware End User License Agreement which quite clearly states that the next major iPad software release will be free for hardware owners.

It's true that subsequent upgrades may come with a charge in the same way as the iPod Touch has seen in the past, but we'll say this one more time for clarity.

Apple will not charge current iPad owners to upgrade to iOS4.

If it does we'll eat a doner kebab sober.