Free. It’s a word that brings joy to the ears of consumers and fear to the strategy rooms of competitors. Apple’s announcement yesterday is likely sending fear to more places, but Microsoft is the biggest.
Apple products are usually seen as expensive if not out of reach for average consumers; rarely are they associated with being free. But today the company took a big step toward changing that perception at a splashy event in Cupertino. “For the last several years, we’ve been on a mission,” Apple SVP Craig Federighi said on stage, “[and] today we’re going to revolutionize pricing.”