Will Apple’s OS X Mavericks be free?

“In the last week’s episode of The Accidental Podcast, John Siracusa proposed the all-important question ‘will Mavericks be free?'” Thomas Brand writes for Egg Freckles.

“In the past, a copy of Mac OS X has cost as much as $129 beginning with 10.0 Cheetah, and as little as $19.99 beginning with 10.8 Mountain Lion,” Brand writes. “Only Mac OS X 10.1 Puma was a ‘free upgrade,’ and even then it came with a $19.95 shipping and handling fee. No, when people ask ‘will Mavericks be free,’ they are not basing their inquiry on the sale of any existing desktop operating system. But in comparison to the operating system they have in their pockets, iOS.”

Brand writes, “A free mavericks sounds temping towards encouraging adoption, but I suspect Apple won’t change the price of the next version of OS X.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Attribution: MacStories. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


    1. Even Lion was $29.99 and with Mountain Lion set at $19.99 we have a total price of this ‘cat system’ at $50 (10.7 & 10.8 being basically the same system), now after two years will we need to add additional cost or will Mavericks be a free annual update ? Windows 8.1 is free.

    1. You better practice up on your show-tune lip-syncing & dancing there Ferris. You’ll need it to keep the other lady boys satisfied after the NSA & Justice Dept throwing your thieving a$$ in prison.

        1. oops now you are in trouble their T word will have certainly flagged up on their servers, though if they are Windows they will probably be knocking at the door of some ginger haired 12 year old on the other side of the pond as usual.

    2. I have bought every single version of 10.x – once. For non-production machines I am an early adopter.

      Hopefully my contribution has supported the development of OSX.
      Getting OSX through Pirate Bay sounds revolting (less so for movies and TV-shows that I COULD have recorded for free anyway from cableTV, which is collecting money from people for what they COULD have watched, but didn’t — THAT market is seriously broken).

    1. Absolutely right 3monkies. People who think $20 is too much, should keep using that POS called Windows. Oh wait, Windows costs $100 so I guess the abacus is the cheapest alternative.

    1. Why? Not arguing, and I think that they’ll continue the $19.99 price point for Mavericks…but as pointed out in the article, Apple doesn’t charge for iOS upgrades. So I’m not clear as to why OS X could/would be any different.

    2. Are you sure about that? I remember having to pay a small amount for major iOS upgrades on my old iPod touch for this very reason, but then that went away and the upgrade to iOS 5 was free. I figured Apple got that issue cleared up.


      1. Good point, at the begining the charged the iPod users for iOS like they charged people for iLife suite when it came out (now bundled with every Mac). But it doesn’t mean that Mavericks update should stay that way. For 10.8 users it should cost $0.99, for 10.7 users it should be $9.99, and for 10.6 users it should be priced at $19.99.

  1. Great little article. I have been wondering the same thing for a while. And, had the same hunch. That it will not be free, but will remain super cheap (like 20 or 30 dollars).
    However, a free OS X upgrade does not seem like a bad idea. It looks cool, but I don’t see any must-have features (yet) that would appeal to someone with a slightly older Mac.

  2. I don’t see why paying 30 bucks for a feature rich upgrade is a big deal… I’d be more than willing to do that. The install base with that price tag has more than proven that people are willing to do it.

    On a side not, I love that Apple doesn’t make you put in a serial number for the OS, WindBlows is such a shitty thing… Apple at least trusts you with their lower cost software to do the right thing, even just that is a reason to buy it 😉

    1. Totally agree. Apple has long been of the “don’t force people” but rather “make people want” mindset.
      As in campaigning against DRM on music. Not serial-locking software. Pushing the 99 cent song policy.
      It is a good thing.

  3. Only Mac OS X 10.1 Puma was a ‘free upgrade,’ and even then it came with a $19.95 shipping and handling fee.
    Nitpick: It was 100% free if you drove to the store and picked up a copy. I got mine for nothing at the local Comp USA (since closed down).


  4. considering the premium product offerings from Apple with the Macs. i think it is fair on the mac owners that they are given a free OS upgrade along with the other Apple software products. The free Apple software will only make the Macs more attractive for first time buyers as well as Mac owners…. well what do I know anyways.. 🙂

  5. Charging nothing would be a good way to put micro suck and it’s awful OEMS out of business.

    PC makers: come buy poorly made crap! Then Install an operating system that can’t even stay booted for a day without a reboot. Endless updates, spyware, malware, viruses, poor performance with a stolen GUI, then spend 200 dollars upgrading it, not that your machine will last long enough to be upgraded.

    Apple: well that sounds great! Or you could buy a Mac, that will last and be reliable for years to come! With free OS updates!

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