September 7th, 2007

EitP Blivit

Poked In The i

Eugene Robinson's column in today's Washington Post has what I think is an insightful take on the reaction to Apple's latest price-cut announcements (about which thatcrazycajun and scruffycritter commented):

Poked in the i
If I were an iPhone owner, I'd be hopping mad. I'd be iRate.....

But when chief executive Steve Jobs announced Wednesday that Apple was slashing the iPhone's price by a third -- meaning that owning a slice of the future now sets you back only $399 -- the iPhone Internet forums lit up with buyers who felt they'd been taken for chumps....

Occasionally, there's a real breakthrough. But mostly what we're getting from the purveyors of electronic devices are incremental advances and improved packaging. Jobs was quick to realize that you have to sell image along with the gizmo.

This time, though, he has failed to live up to one clause in his implied contract with iPhone buyers. The sky-high price was supposed to guarantee a decent period of exclusivity. For a time, if you bought an iPhone, you were supposed to be the envy of your friends. The ability to show off all the neat things it could do was your compensation for the fact that the iPhone didn't really change your life.

Eventually, you understood, everybody would have one -- as happened with the iPod. But after spending $599 for a cellphone, the aura of supercool should have lasted longer than a couple of months.

Sorry if you feel cheated. As the man said, that's technology.

I think that nails the underlying cause of much of the early-purchaser irritation.