Motley Fool contributor Daniel Sparks notes that first iWork was free on iCloud, now it’s free on iOS, too, but what about free iWork on new Macs? Sparks notes that Apple’s iWork productuvuty suite, consisting of Pages, Keynote, and Numbers — the equivalent of Microsoft’s Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, respectively, currently retails for a total of $60 on Apple’s Mac App Store. However he contends that with the suite now free on both iCloud and iOS, there’s little reason for Apple to continue selling it for a profit. Much better to bolster the Mac user experience and add value to Mac hardware purchases by bundling iWork with new Macs for free, similarly to the way Apple used to bundle ClarisWorks/AppleWorks, beloved of many Mac users, with Macs back in the ’90s.
With iWork software contributing only a minuscule proportion to Apple’s balance sheet, Sparks contends that a decision to bundle iWork on Macs could provide an outsized gain in hardware revenue despite a loss in first-party software revenue, and concurrently apply a bit more pressure on Google and especially Microsoft at the same time.
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