I’m Just a Loyal User, So Ignore Me

05 September 2007

Infatuation is a scary thing. It can drive passion, but it can also impair judgement. In the case of Apple, Inc., it’s clear they’ve become more infatuated with their products and business plan than with their users.

To be clear, I’m writing this in an admitted state of frustration and confusion at Apple’s recent decision to drop the price of the iPhone. It’s not the price-drop itself that I’m frustrated with, it’s the timing. It’s easy for some early adopters to justify the $200 premium we paid, most got theirs on day-one. For those of us who waited a month to six weeks to make the plunge, we just paid an extra 30% for 30 days of iPhone ownership.

If the AT&T rep had told me on July 30th – the day I got my iPhone – I could pay $399 on September 4th, or pay an extra $5.50 per day for the next 36 days to have it then, I wouldn’t have blinked before saying I’d wait. It’s not that I don’t think the iPhone is worth $599 (and thanks, John, for the reminder of how supply and demand works), it’s that Apple doesn’t think it is; they just told us so today.

So was the iPhone priced too high to begin with? Sure, maybe. But almost half a million people didn’t think so, and bought the thing despite having never used (or even touched) one. In doing so, those brave people validated all the hype that led up to the iPhone launch; which, ironically, has now enabled Apple to more aggressively price it.

What Apple should do is reward the early adopters. It wouldn’t take much; something as simple as an iPhone software update that includes the top 5 requests they’ve received. Heck, I would’ve even taken a shout out at the media event today. It would’ve been nice to hear: “Thank you, by the way, to those who purchased the iPhone prior to today. It’s because of you that we’re able to offer it to the rest of the world for this price.”

Who knows. Maybe Apple does have some plan to make it up to us. I hope they don’t think the ability to buy music over WiFi is it.

Update: A day later, and Steve’s made amends. Told you it wouldn’t take much.