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iWork, iPhoto, and iMovie Free with New iOS Devices

Along with the major announcements of the iPhone 5c and 5s during last week’s special event, Apple CEO Tim Cook threw in a brief bit of self-congratulatory praise for the company’s iWork suite for iOS — Pages, Keynote, and Numbers — along with the iOS versions of iPhoto and iMovie. And then he raised the bar significantly for competing apps by announcing that all five would be free for purchasers of new iOS devices from now on, with the option to download appearing during the initial device setup.

Oddly, GarageBand for iOS was not included in the announcement, even though the iLife suite of iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand is bundled with all new Macs.

Given that the iWork apps each cost $9.99 and iPhoto and iMovie are $4.99 each, Apple just added nearly $40 worth of software to every new iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch sold, a non-trivial bonus for relatively inexpensive devices. Presumably, those who currently own iOS devices but don’t yet own these apps must still buy them.

Since the announcement was focused entirely on iOS and iOS devices, it wasn’t surprising that Apple failed to say anything about iWork for the Mac, which has seen no significant updates for nearly five years while Apple focused on bringing the suite to iOS. Perhaps iWork for Mac will get some attention at the forthcoming release of OS X 10.9 Mavericks, although we’ve already happily switched from Pages to Nisus Writer Pro for Take Control.

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