category: consumer issues, category: tech

Why Amazon Has Honest Pricing And Apple Does Not

Want to see a quick example of how Amazon and Jeff Bezos care about customers? How Amazon has fair, honest, direct pricing and Apple hopes you’ll spend more than you need to?

As we all proceed to cut cable, and instead buy the episodes of shows we actually care to support, buying an episode hours after it airs — on Amazon or on iTunes — has become increasingly common. But where are you more likely to get ripped off? iTunes.

Check out these photos.

When you buy an episode on Amazon (for instance, the latest “Walking Dead” episode), this is what you see:


It’s all clearly laid out. Simple, straightforward. In fact, it couldn’t be clearer. You could buy the episode in Standard Definition for $1.99, in High Definition for $2.99, or buy the series season pass (and it shows the cost per episode if you choose to buy the season).

Now, let’s compare to the iTunes store (same series, same episode). This is what you’ll see:


You’ll see an option to buy the episode for $2.99 in High Definition (“HD”).

Right now, an Apple fan-boy is protesting: “But AJ — ok, I’ll admit it’s kind of crappy that the first option iTunes throws out there (the default) is the more expensive “HD” one, especially when folks often don’t care to watch an episode in HD on their computers or device, but, surely, if you click on the drop-down arrow in that box, it’ll show you the Standard Defintion, $1.99 option!”

NOPE! INCORRECTO!!! Here’s what you see if you click on the arrow.



So where IS the option if you’re looking to buy the regular SD version of an episode on iTunes, which will save you a whopping 33% vs. the HD option?

One would have to scrollΒ all the way back up to the top of the series season listings and look to the left of the screen. There you’ll find this:


Hmm, this is just for the Season Pass, though. “I’m just trying to buy a darn episode!!!! How hard does Apple have to make this?!”

Pretty darn hard. You see, only if you click on the “SD” option under “Season Pass” (HD is already pre-selected for you — how nice!), can you then scroll all the way back down the list to the episode you want and then you will finally see the “SD” price of $1.99 for the episode.

Give me a break.

One huge upside I failed to mention is: When you buy (or rent) an episode or movie through iTunes, it downloads to your iTunes. Yup, that means taking up more space on your hard drive (which we all know slows down the speed of our computer, just to name one of the many downsides). On Amazon, it doesn’t. You merely stream it. No downloading (though you do have that option!) onto your hard drive, or even a Cloud (you have that option, too, though) — it’s just on your Amazon account. So you can own hundreds of episodes or films without it taking up any space on your device — and it’s easily accessible from anywhere that you log into your Amazon account.

Use Amazon — forget iTunes.

All hail, Jeff Bezos.


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