One day after announcing a 33 percent price cut on the two-month-old iPhone, Apple’s CEO did a quick back pedal and disclosed plans for a store credit for early adopters stuck with a $599 bill.
As part of a huge iPod overhaul, Jobs said the 8GB, $599 iPhone would be slashed to $399, while the $499, 4GB unit would be discontinued and sold for $299. The audience applauded and cheered, but half of the audience was Apple
employees anyway, so that was hardly surprising.
The reaction outside of the Moscone Center in San Francisco, however, was a little different. Apple’s stock was creamed, dropping nearly $10 in one day and down $1.75 for Thursday. For some people, there was humor in it. FARK.com reported the price cut under the headline “That Great Disturbance in the Force you heard? 1 Million Apple Fanboys being bilked out of $200,000,000 for being first.”
Others were not so amused. Gizmodo and Engadget, the two popular gadget and consumer electronics blogs, were full of reactions; some sanguine, many furious, and a few unprintable here.
“Wow. I actually feel like a dope. Ok, that happens every day, but this makes me feel awful. I’m really disappointed.” — MRBADTZMARU
“suck it up, you wanted to be the coolest kid on the block and you were for a few weeks. isn’t that worth at least $200?” — KHAMEL
“Steve, I’m really pissed… I am a faithful early adopter, and THIS is how you repay me?!” — AIDO2002
“I was there with my $599 in hand on June 30th and I have no regrets. Being an early adopter means watching newer, better, cheaper versions of your toy come out. Come to think of it, being a late adopter means the same thing.” — DIGGETS
“Damn… not even Bonnie and Clyde could pull of a heist that fast and get away with it! You go Steve!” – Xzavier
In response, Jobs posted an open letter on the Apple Web site with the offer of a $100 break for purchases of Apple products. The letter is about as close as Jobs will ever come to admitting he made a mistake, then concludes with:
“Therefore, we have decided to offer every iPhone customer who purchased an iPhone from either Apple or AT&T, and who is not receiving a rebate or any other consideration, a $100 store credit towards the purchase of any product at an Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store. Details are still being worked out and will be posted on Apple’s website next week. Stay tuned.”
Apple’s return policy will allow anyone who purchased an iPhone within the past 14 days to get a full refund, so long as they have receipt and haven’t opened the box. If they have opened it, they can get a refund of the price difference but not a full refund.
Fareena Sultan, digital marketing professor at the College of Business Administration at Northeastern University, said in the end, the price cut will benefit the iPhone.
“This is good news for many consumers who were waiting for the price drop. For many who bought early, it was a purchase based not on price but on being the first to own the coolest and most anticipated consumer electronic device,” she wrote in a statement to internetnews.com.
“While some of those consumers may regret their early purchase, the majority still had the pleasure of being perceived as innovators and ‘cool,’ just like their iPhone for these few months since the initial launch.”
So as Khamel said on Gizmodo, suck it up.