The immaturity of consumers (or “I want a refund!”)

“Apple screwed us!”

“Apple screwed early adopters!”

“Apple screwed recent switchers!”

“Sure prices drop, but this is far too much far too early”

The list goes on and on and on. Some of these comments were found on what I thought were reputable blogs, some by people I respect on IRC. One site even suggested writing the California department of consumer affairs.

Grow. Up. Now.

Apple released the iPhone on June 29. The iPhone was the most hyped product launch, ever. The 8gb model sold for $599. Today, Apple dropped the price an unprecedented $200.

Did people expect Apple to sell it on normal or thin margins? If they did, they are a fools.

Did people line up for hours like I did? If they are complaining, then maybe they did. Would they have paid $899 for the same phone? Probably.

We wanted an iPhone. Bad. We paid for it.

Now some feel burned. I have a theory as to why.

One person on IRC said “I don’t have a ton of cash to burn, I could have used that $200.” Well apparently he did have the cash to burn and burn it he did. He gave it to Apple. Willingly. They didn’t twist his arm. They asked a price, and he paid it.

But now the self esteem kicks in. He’s no longer joe cool on the block. In fact, any schmuck with $200 less can buy one and laugh at him.

That is why people are upset. Being laughed at, poked fun it. It was all good as long as they had the phone that others could not afford. Now more people can and those early adopters are less special.

As Ling would say, “Weee oh weee oh weee oh weee!”

I’m sorry that Billy gets an iPhone for less allowance than others paid, but really, my iPhone works just as well as it did at 9:59am PST today.

I see it in a different light. More people can now afford iPhones. More iPhones should sell. The more phones that sell, the more people we have complaining about the crappy speaker, so maybe it will get fixed in the next model. The more iPhone users, the more software Apple will make for it to drive more revenue. The more people I can call with my mobile to mobile minutes.

If people would leave their self esteems out of business decisions, they would not only be happier about their purchases, they might even smarter about them.

Enjoy your iPhone!


  1. Your hypothesis that customers were ticked because others could afford our cool phone is, well, utter nonsense. I frankly do not give a darn about what other people think of the iPhone. It meets a need, and does it well – I am happy with my purchase.

    I was somewhat annoyed by the price drop announcement because the price drop was uncharacteristically large, and happened uncharacteristically soon. A 1/3 price drop should normally take about 9-10 months in this industry, based on the usual factor of two every 14 months. To have it happen in two was, to say the least, surprising.

    There are ways to communicate that you are charging a premium – only providing the version of the product with a ‘bundle’ is popular. Customers who paid extra for a PS3 are well aware of that, and aware that they are paying above MSRP. They takes their chances. Classically, though, Apple does not adjust prices this much and this fast, so customers did not see it the same as someone who lined up for a PS3 and paid a premium.

    Large, rapid price drops discourage early adopters for all your products. Had Apple not acted, the people who bought early would wait just a bit longer, and these are people with serious pennies to drop.

    Sending early adopters a store credit makes us more likely to adopt early again, because many of us will feel well treated. I do. (I had suggested a $200 ITMS credit, on the grounds that it would cost Apple less than a cash rebate, but straight credit is cool.)

    I am quite happy with my iPhone, but I do act rationally. If Apple protects customers, then those customers are more likely to purchase if they are on the balance. If Apple does not protect customers, then the customers are more likely to wait. Apple acted wisely to protect that brand loyalty.


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