Apple has decided to open up its apps to everybody: MacRumors reports that the Pages, Numbers, Keynote, GarageBand, and iMovie apps are now free to all users. Previously you were eligible to download the apps for free when you purchased a new Mac or iOS device. Otherwise, the Mac versions of the iWork apps were $20 apiece and the iOS versions were $10 each; iMovie and GarageBand were both $5 for iOS and GarageBand was $5 on the Mac while iMovie was $15.
This definitely helps simplify what was otherwise kind of a confusing policy based on the dates when you got a new device. Given that the apps themselves bring a lot of functionality to Apple’s devices—not only basic productivity usage like word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations, but also creative uses—they’re more like overall selling points for the hardware. It seems doubtful that they were particularly big revenue generators, especially since most Mac/iOS buyers probably bought more than one device.
While the company has not yet confirmed the price and policy change, a quick stroll through the webpages for the App Store and Mac App Store pages for the apps confirms that they’re now marked as Free.