Apple has begun shipping its new AirPort Extreme Base Station and is selling Airport Extreme 802.11n Enabler software for £1.25 (including VAT).

Apple's decision to sell the software for a small charge was apparently forced by the company's need to stay on the right side of US accountancy regulations. 

"The nominal distribution fee for the 802.11n software is required in order for Apple to comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for revenue recognition, which generally require that we charge for significant feature enhancements, such as 802.11n, when added to previously purchased products," the company said.

Apple recently introduced its new AirPort Extreme Base Station that is based on 802.11n wireless technology and is compatible with 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g wireless networks. During the past several months, Apple has shipped some Macs with the hardware needed for 802.11n.
Customers who buy the new AirPort Extreme Base Station will receive the software that enables 802.11n functionality on these computers at no extra charge. For customers with compatible computers who wish to enable 802.11n functionality, but do not wish to buy the new AirPort Extreme Base Station, Apple is making the enabler software available for download from the Apple Store online for £1.25.

The following Macs are compatible with 802.11n:

- MacBook Pro with Core 2 Duo
- MacBook with Core 2 Duo
- Mac Pro with Xeon and AirPort Extreme option
- iMac with Core 2 Duo (except iMac 17-inch, 1.83GHz)