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Apple still not off the hook for $1.99 fee


We really thought this whole 802.11n Apple fee dealio was behind us, but it looks like we'll need to put on our accountant hats one more time. A few trouble makers are taking issue with Apple blaming the $2 fee on generally accepted accounting practices, or GAAP. "GAAP doesn't require you to charge squat," says Lynn Turner, former chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission. "You charge whatever you want. GAAP doesn't even remotely address whether or not you charge for a significant functionality change. GAAP establishes what the proper accounting is, based on what you did or didn't charge for it." It's pretty much a semantics argument at this point, and at $1.99 for the update, we're not going to get too terribly hung up on it, but you know how GAAP fanboys can be. Edward Trott, a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board agrees with Lynn: "No, GAAP doesn't tell you to do anything. You need to work out your transaction with your customer, and GAAP will tell you how to reflect your transaction with that customer." Sounds like Apple had no exact compulsion to charge the fee to stay within GAAP, but they could've been up for some serious deferred revenue, possibly impacting all of their computers sales. Seems to be six one way, half-dozen the other, but we suppose Apple should've been a bit more clear on this all from the start.

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