Is the “free re-download to iPhone” gravy train over? - Macenstein

Is the “free re-download to iPhone” gravy train over?

While beta testing the iPhone’s 3.0 software, Michael over at iAPPetite noticed that Apple seems to not be as generous with its bandwidth as it was with the version 2 software.

Currently, when you delete an app from your iPhone, and then find you’d like to have it back while you’re out and about, you can redownload it to your iPhone again for free – no computer required. However, when trying this with the new firmware, Michael got the following message:

“You’ve already purchased this. You can redownload it for free on your computer, or tap Buy to buy it again.

We’ll have to wait until the offical release to see if this new “feature” makes the cut to the iPhone 3 firmware, but it looks like Apple (or more likely AT&T) is trying to trim their iPhone-related bandwidth needs. Somehow I feel like those “direct to iPhone movie downloads” are going to be a Wi-Fi only deal.

[via iAPPetite]

5 Responses to “Is the “free re-download to iPhone” gravy train over?”
  1. Jonro says:

    MacRumors covered this issue earlier this evening. They concluded that it was done in order to avoid people sharing apps under the same iTunes account using different devices. It sounds like a reasonable explanation, although it may be overkill to avoid something that wouldn’t happen very often.

  2. Jason says:

    I do this on my wife’s device all the time. We share an account. I can see how it would be a problem for nefarious app thiefs, but in the same family? Meh. Whatever.

  3. Dave-O says:

    Obviously it’s not AT&T, Doc; that phone is connected via wifi. It’s not an Apple bandwidth issue because the bandwidth usage would be the same on your computer as your phone.

    Jonro’s theory is more logically sound. But the damage to legitimate users is much greater than the damage it prevents.

    Perhaps it’s an issue with a prerelease OS (one that users aren’t supposed to be talking about unless they like corresponding with Apple legal).

  4. Good Point Dave-O,
    and yes, apparently it is a new Apple policy, NOT AT&T having to do with the multiple iTunes accounts in version 3 of the software. This really does seem like a feature that will be beneficial to 5% of iPhone users, and hurt 95%.

    Including me. I often download a game to my iPhone, and if I like it, I download it to my kids’ iPod touches directly. Seems like that might not work anymore now, whch will suck on vacations away from my home syncing computer.

    – The Doc

  5. TaylorJ says:

    First of all, this is plainly stupid and not well thought out.

    If i download a free app, we can download it via 3G over and over and over again no matter how many times we choose to do so, lagging out their connection and such, but for the apps we actually pay for, we can only download them once on the iPhone, and after that are forced to sync to iTunes!? With a CABLE?!?!

    Jesus CHRIST, its 2009. They are kicking us back 3 years with usability.

    If you cant figure out a way to stop people from “sharing” apps (either legally with one account or illegally via jailbreak) than dont implement a username switch on the phone whence not needed, nor requested heavily (if at all).

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