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07 September 2007 @ 09:35 am
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.
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Current Mood: pensivepensive
The Cajun Gypsythatcrazycajun on September 7th, 2007 01:54 pm (UTC)
I think the irritation is far more for loss of over $200 worth of money that they didn't really have to demand for the thing than for loss of cachet or cool from "exclusivity." The writer assumes way too much shallowness of character on the part of buyers and way too little simple financial common sense. A price drop by this much, this quick, on ANY product, after the original price was so steep to begin with, is quite naturally going to make those who paid the higher price feel ripped off.
Steve Brinich: Mobius Surfacestevemb on September 7th, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC)
I disagree, because I think that people who were more concerned with "simple financial common sense" than with the "cachet" of iWhatzits generally didn't buy the iPhone at the original price in the first place.
Joe of Planet Midtown: Animalscruffycritter on September 7th, 2007 09:23 pm (UTC)
Apple will refund the difference for people who bought in the last 14 days.

The people who should feel ripped off are the ones who bought it three weeks ago. I think the window should be six weeks.

The people who camped out? They got exactly what they wanted for a price they were willing to pay. The price doesn't get dropped if sales were strong. What's Steve supposed to do? Let sales flounder? The Apple Cultists ran to the store, and nobody else did.

With loyal customers like these, it's no wonder Apple has so little of the PC market. It's impossible to make both them AND everyone else happy.