Apple announces new gear; Screws early adopters - Macenstein

Apple announces new gear; Screws early adopters

Posted by Dr. Macenstein

[UPDATE: It looks like it never hurts to bitch. Thank you Apple!]

There is no way to write this post without sounding like I’m whining, so prepare to be whined…

Ok, I’ll make this short and sweet.

First things first. Hooray for Apple. They updated their whole iPod line with cool new stuff at great prices. Read another Mac site for full details.

Now, on to the REAL issue.

As one of the idiots loyal Apple fans who supported Apple and bought an iPhone on day 1 (well, day 2, actually), I am well and thoroughly pissed. Just 2 months after launching the iPhone, Apple today announced they are slashing the price by a full THIRD, knocking $200 off the price of the 8GB iPhone model. And to rub salt in our wounds, they decided to do it on the day they announced the Wi-Fi touchscreen iPod (with more storage) that most of us bought the iPhone for in the first place.

This type of price reduction is unheard of, especially on a device selling as (allegedly) well as the iPhone, and even MORE so from a company named Apple, who traditionally has never discounted any product within 18 months of its introduction, let alone TWO!

Above: (Click to enlarge) Apple’s own discussion forums went down briefly, but half an hour after coming up, there were over 1000 angry comments and growing. Apple is allegedly now deleting these threads.

This behavior is so uncharacteristic of Apple, I feel all iPhone users have a right to be outraged. I was even contacted by an Apple Store employee who got a free iPhone and he’s pissed at Apple. THAT’S how major this slight is. I do not begrudge Apple their right to lower prices (in fact, $399 is about what I think the iPhone is worth, and I LOVE IT), but they really pissed in the mouth of some of their most avid fans here (sorry for the visual).

drater“, a poster on the Macrumors forums summed up what most of feel when he wrote: “I feel like a $200 whore”.

To that end, I am calling for Apple to step up, and do the right thing. Offer a $100 gift card to the iTunes store for all current iPhone customers. It really is the least you can do. This is a LOT Of money you got us to plunk down for your gadget, and its early success and hype was very important to you. Dropping the price by as much as your new video iPod nano is a real slap in the face. In the past, when you launched OS X and tried to make the beta testers pay full price, you were guilted into being a “bigger man” of a company, and eventually did the right thing. I certainly hope you do the right thing now.

Fanboys, you may now commence defending Apple.

51 Responses to “Apple announces new gear; Screws early adopters”
  1. Rowlings says:

    Wow that sucks! I guess it could have been worse. It could have been $399 AND 3G!

  2. blinX says:

    What did you expect? You should be grateful they didn’t release a better version of the phone (3G and 16GB).


  3. Peter says:

    I’m a Mac Fanboy, and I am not going to defend Apple on this. I figured December for a $100 price drop on the iPhone. this is really bad. I mean, good for everyone who didn’t get one yet, but really makes you wonder why Apple priced the damn thing so high to begin with.

  4. Owain says:

    Look on the bright side – when the iPhone eventually launches in the UK, if Apple stay true to form we’ll be expected to pay AT LEAST the original $599, if not more.

  5. one of them says:

    Here’s the conspiracy theory…….. they’re further along in development of the next model than they thought they’d be and now need to get rid of these “old” models before releasing the new one (which will inevitably be the true beginning of world phone domination).

    And the new ipods look AWESOME – why the h-e-double-hockey-sticks would anyone buy anything but?!?!??!

    ….. until the google phone comes along!

  6. Way Cool Jr. says:

    That beta-testing analogy is actually spot on, as in effect we were all beta testing the iPhone, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPhone, but I definitely feel I overpaid for it now.

  7. RGT says:

    I can completely understand how you feel, but doesn’t this happen with ALL new technology? PS2, PS3, X-Box, X-Box360 etc etc all started out expensive and got cheaper. Granted maybe not this quickly but don’t tell me you expected the iPhone to stay this expensive when every other handset on the market is available at a subsidised rate.

    Also, this is a standard technique. The early-adopters cover a lot of the development cost, then you have to do something to attract the mass market. What better than a price cut?

    As it’s not even released in my country yet I’d like to say a big, and genuine, thanks to all you guys who’ve bought one already. You guys have helped it become hugely popular, widely covered in the media, and possibly a little cheaper for the rest of us if/when it arrives.

  8. coder says:

    click your memory button and recall that they did a similar thing with Aperture. Adobe jumped into the thick of things with a lower price and a free beta. I’d expect Apple to cough up a $200 gift certificate for use in an apple store or the online apple store. Maybe it’s just a way to get the other 1/8th AT&T iPhone shoppers shopping at the Apple Store. lol

  9. Matt says:

    And now we really are the dicks who overpayed for a cell phone that everyone said we were. What bugs me is that in the same breath as mentioning they’d sold almost million iPhones, Steve says they’re dropping the price by a third. Way to piss off your million best customers, shitheads! That’s a bold PR move if I’ve ever seen it.

  10. Steve says:

    Well, the original price point didn’t bother you enough not to buy it.

    And now you guys are saying the price was dropped TOO MUCH?

    As a consumer, I’m glad it dropped ’cause now more people can afford one — maybe even me.

    Welcome to being an early adopter.
    I don’t cry about the $400 I paid for a gen 1 DVD player…
    or my $6000 NeXT computer that has less processing power than my current Timex.

    This is capitalism. If you feel you paid too much, then you shouldn’t have bought it.

  11. Steve says:

    Here are some suggestions for those who feel shafted…

  12. Mo says:

    Guys !!

    it is not like someone forced us to buy the phone but I am wondering how would the people who would buy the phone for $400 feel when in another 8 weeks read an ad :

    buy an iMac and get iPhone for free


    we want to be more aggressive and we are offering the same iphone for $199 !!!

    I believe that apple should do something, a gift card, a family .mac account, or partial refund. Apple, buy doing this, they dont only get back their loyal customers but turns this ‘glitch’ to their side.

    I ran to buy the iphone only because I saw how they price their product (the iMac) and that they go through a cycle not in less than 2 months !!!

  13. Duggers says:

    Oh waaaahhh–call the Wambulance!

    Skimming the cream is the normal pricing strategy for any new product. Where have you been? The extra $ you paid was for the benefit of being first (or in the first wave at least). Nobody else can buy that now. Hope you flashed the iPhone lots in public. Time to move onto the next new thing.

    If you still feel ripped off, maybe you need to rethink your early-adopter image. Maybe you’re really an old fart at heart. Maybe you don’t really need to eat the smart pills in the woods to get smarter.

  14. Paul says:

    When the phone was released you got the ‘first owner group’ coolness that people love to have. You got that ‘latest gadget’ feeling, knowing you’re on the cutting edge. A reduced price is good news for everyone. Sure you paid $200 more (or whatever) but really for that money you got it ahead of the game. You could’ve taken the chance and waited – plenty of people are holding out to get a PS3 once they come down in price a bit more.

    Yes it is frustrating when a product you get goes down in price so soon (especially a ground-breaking new one) but it’s hardly a kick in the teeth.

  15. John Brine says:

    well, them’s the breaks, I guess. Like some early adopters, I plunked down a wad o’ cash to get my G5 with 24″ widescreen Apple Monitor. Great, right? Hold on there ! Apple went all intel on us
    leaving me with a slighly obsolete machine (no real way to run windows stuff) . Let’s all say the early adopters mantra, shall we?
    ” I should have waited”
    ” I should have waited”
    it’s a good machine, but it’s been in the shop twice for two catastrophic repairs
    as an Apple user (not necessarily a fanboy) I was shocked…Apple Products failing?
    oh yeah…like any other PC, Apple’s stuff does fail, thus the existence of AppleCare.

  16. Dave M. says:

    Getting out the old crystal ball… I see something in the fog… Ahh, a new class action lawsuit by the 350,000 folks that bought an iPhone on day 1-2 as well as quite a few other folks that paid premium priced for a phone that is now 2/5’s cheaper than before.

    I’m right there with you Mr. Macenstein. Apple pulled a fast one on us this time. As you said, the iPhone is “supposedly” selling really well. So what does Apple do? It’s “LOWERS” the price of the phone? That is not the actions of a company that has a “Hit” product on their hands. That is the action of a company that needs to sell phones faster than they are currently.

    My only other annoyance with the announcements today. 99¢ for a 30 second clip of a song that I already paid 99¢ for the full song? Apple just made Ambrosia Software’s day. iToner is going to sell like crazy now. Wow.

  17. Josh says:

    If they give me Leopard for free, I’ll call it even.

  18. Cam says:

    I don’t see what the problem is.

    Clearly there is a 16GB model in the pipes that will eat up that $200. Apple dumped down the price so that the phone will remain competetive with the iPod Touch.

    When the new Euro iPhone is announced you’ll see the new top end model here.

    If you didn’t think that this was going to all happen very quickly, then you need to take off your fanboy glasses.

  19. Ellen says:

    In a capitalist economy, you don’t have the right to complain about being “ripped off” when a product suddently gets cheaper after you bought it. You bought that iphone on release day of your own free will, and paid the price that you believed it was worth AT THAT TIME.

    his is a basic premise of market economy: you buy something because you agree with the seller that the price is fair in the current context. Your buying the iphone for $599 only demonstrated that it was priced perfectly.

    You always had the power to NOT buy the iphone. NOT buying an iphone at a high price puts pressure on the market to drive the price down.

    This is why arguments like “what if tomorrow you saw an ad offering ‘buy an iMac and get iPhone for free'” make no sense. First, that offer is not TODAY, it wouldn’t play into how you value the current offer. Second, it’s not the same offer! Buying an iMac and gettng the free phone doesn’t change the value of the iPhone itself.

  20. I expected this slash as a result of the HACKING, as I expect another slash before the Christmas shopping season begins in November!

  21. Michael says:

    I can’t believe there’s people posting things like “that’s what you get”, or “what did you expect?”. These are obviously people who did NOT spend $600 for a phone and have its price reduced by $200 two months later. As for myself, I just bought it one month ago – and it was a pretty tough deciding to spend that kind of money on a phone.

    At the very least, Apple just made it’s most loyal customers out to be fools to their friends and family who we enthusiastically showed off Apple’s newest product to. Everyone’s going to be saying “damn, I heard you got ganked by Apple”.

  22. Webomatica says:

    I wonder if the amount of hype that preceded the iPhone inspired that particular price point? Apple knew a fairly large portion of people would buy it immediately no matter what the price.

  23. Quantumfog says:

    Another view: the iPhone sells more than Apple Marketing expects, they make their margin on the introduction of a new product faster than planned. Now, they have an opportunity to hit the competition in the solar plexus.

    Yah, its a pisser. Steve does it all the time.

  24. The Geek says:

    Well I feel like a little kid again. I am so amazed by what happened today. The only thing that could have topped it would have been if Steve would have said “the iPhone is no longer locked down to the mothership, take it to sprint, verizon, tmobile”. Great write up by the way. Always great posts, and great sources!

  25. f1sh3r says:

    such is the life of early adopters. you say in the article that you think the iphone is worth about 399, yet you paid 599 for it. um…WHAT?

    this is the world of consumer electronics, especially cell phones. the razr you paid 400 bucks for a month ago is free with a new contract now.

  26. TheByrdMan says:

    Whine, Whine, Whine!!! you are whining about a price drop!!! Christ! grow up people, Apple does not make business decisions based around you! They are trying to sell phones!

    early adopters should expect this and take it like a man (so-to-speak) as part of the business or not be an early adopter!

    The number of people whining about this is truly amazing!!


  27. jimbo says:

    I am a huge Apple fan and purchased my iPhone on day 1, just like my MacBook and Nano. I figured they would drop the price by mid-October or so, but …. wow. I feel really stupid. Any new high technology has a steep depreciation curve, but holy shit! This is unprecedented in the annals of commerce. I feel burned and will not be making any early adopter purchases from Apple again.

  28. mobile phone business says:

    c-mon, this type of price cut is everyday business in all electronics. Actually, mobile phone market is maybe the worst (after PC…) : what you pay today you can get 5% cheaper next week…

    If this is first time Apple does this price cut it only means they have stepped into so competing market that they haven’t been before. Look forward to see more price cuts and new versions of the fancy iPhone(s) that make your current phone to be more like expensive paperweight.
    ..still waiting iPhone to come to Europe..

  29. nate says:

    I figure you can’t complain if you HAD to have an iPhone before everyone else you know. Suck it up as a loss, we’ve all made expensive mistakes.

  30. WilliamTravis says:

    Weeks before the iphone came out I was SURE it would -more than anything- be an overpriced status symbol. I mean ok, I think it’s legitimate to question whether or not this was a good pr move (seems like it wasn’t so far) but…it’s not as if anyone who bought the iphone on day one or two or whatever did any comparison shopping or decided it was the best buy for the money. And it seems to me they got EXACTLY what they wanted, as popular as it may (perhaps seem) to be only the people who could and would spend 600 dollars on a cellphone had one and they got to show it off to everyone who couldn’t at wouldn’t. Almost everyone who’s written about this has admitted they knew the price would drop soon anyway, and I think it’s petty and just as foolish to say you’d be comfortable having wasted 200 dollars if a little more time had passed and it wasn’t so obvious. I don’t see any ethical reason for conspicuous consumption to be subsidized when it doesn’t work out so well. And if you bought it out of Apple-loyalty, that’s just as dumb. Loyalty to Apple is as silly as loyalty to Nabisco or General Electric.

  31. “I was even contacted by an Apple Store employee who got a free iPhone and he’s pissed at Apple. THAT’S how major this slight is.”

    Bahahahahahahahahaha. Wait, wait. Not only are you complaining that the price was dropped $200, even though NO ONE FORCED YOU TO FRIGGIN’ PAY FOR IT, but you say someone who got an iPhone for FREE is pissed that Apple dropped the price $200?

    What? Was Apple supposed to give employees an iPhone AND $200?

    Given most of the content on this weblog, I’m inclined to think that this post was meant to be satire. Unfortunately, I can’t bring myself to believe that. But still, it’s just as hilarious.

  32. humanliberty says:

    $200 is too much, too soon.
    Yes, in a free world we make free choices and we thought it was worth it.
    However, based on past experience a price-drop would occur later.
    This makes us feel stupid and used.
    This is not a nice feeling for the smart and independent people we consider ourselves to be.

    In the future my perceived probability of apple dropping prices will be taken into account, and I will not rush out and buy new products like I did this time.
    In the meantime, Apple would do well to give us a coupon for apple stuff of $100. We would immediately feel very grateful to Apple again, continue to promote them to everyone, and won’t feel like an idiot every minute of our day we look at the small black device we carry around.
    For gods sake, I use the damn thing everywhere. This forces me to take a Xanax every-time I switch a song. Maybe we can sue Apple for emotional damage? 🙂

  33. Jake says:

    “I feel all iPhone users have a right to be outraged”

    Yesterday I bought a box of Cocoa Puffs for 4.99 and today the same supermarket is selling them for 2.99. Do you hear me crying about it? I mean, really, give everyone a fucking break with the self-pity. If you thought the iPhone was too expensive 2 months ago, you shouldn’t have bought it. For whatever business reason, Apple has now cut the price. If you can take it back and get a refund, then good for you. But stop the lame Apple-owes-me crap. Because Apple owes you shit. You’ve probably been enjoying and showing off your iPhone for 2 months and now suddenly you’re crying about it.

  34. Raven says:

    and only a couple of days ago there were ppl boasting about their new phone. what happened to u guys? not feeling cool anymore?

    this is pure & simple consumerism. i believe apple played its cards to perfection.

  35. Enrico says:

    Every now and then, people complain that Apple is overpricing or that price drops don’t arrive soon enough. We already had dramatic price drops on Apple products earlier. Think of the Newton (last gen) and the 20th Anniversary Mac. People always complaint that price drops came too late.
    With the new iPod line, they needed to re-adjust their pricings to stay competitive. They are definitely doing the right thing to adjust the prices, now.
    As for myself, I have never been an early adopter as I want my Apple stuff to be reliable.

    20th Anniversary Mac: Initially sold for about US$ 10k, later for about US$ 2k.

  36. spike1911 says:

    hi folks,

    don’t cry – that’s the way all gadgets go! what difference would i have made if the price droppen in october or november!?

    this is a cellular phone – they’re always expensive the first 2-3 months and then… after 12-18 months they’re usually overcome by the next newer model!

    Is the iPhone worth $599 – well if it had been available here in germany i already would have bought one!
    would i care about the pricedrop – no! I will use the device for 1 or 2 years and by that time a cellphone is almost worth nothing anymore!

  37. NotAWhiner says:

    Really Apple shouldn’t have cut the price!
    The should have raised it so that our lovely first adopters would be happy.

    Seriously Apple has no monopoly on the cell phone market so they had all rights to reduce the price of their products so STOP WHINING AND SUCK IT UP FFS!

  38. Anonymous says:

    “I feel like a $200 whore”
    “This makes us feel stupid and used.”

    I can just say: Yes, you are!
    If you really need to buy a nice catchy plaything at the very first day (or the 2nd) than do it. If you want to pay $600 for this thing: just do it.
    But what changes now? You paid $600 and you’ve choosen to do so. Are you afraid that you are not that cool and special anymore? Well… like Raven said: “this is pure & simple consumerism”. You get what you deserve.

    Enjoy you iPhone and stop crying!

  39. Anonymous says:

    Well absolutely no sorry for you. Mac Things are always more expensive then what they really are. You should know that…

  40. Anonymous says:

    Well, like they say: “iPod – iPhone – iDiot!”

  41. Martin says:

    Harharhar! If you were stupid enough to be an early adopter you hav to pay the price. Ever bought high end technology before? As if this isn’t anything normal happening – take a look at AMD’s processor pricing the last 68 days. Oh, and now you don’t know what AMD is 😉

    Welcome to life, baby!

  42. Fred says:

    I think all you deserve this. What else did you expect? That the price will stay the same? Come on! It was very clear that demand will initially be several times higher than supply. Economic reason then must by default be an increase in price. It is always the same with the same idiots – you called that yourself by the way – … You want something so badly and you want it first that you have to buy it at whatever price when it comes out. I bought my PSP, Playstation and WIFI 6 month after they were released and each time saved enought money – relatively – to easily finance my next gadget.
    Anyone who thought an iPhone was a sound investment and that the price would have remained stable truely deserves the term IDIOT

  43. Rowlings says:

    I wouldn’t mind the price cuts if they dropped the 4 GB and added a 16 GB model at the $599 price. But this is lame. Apple never does this. They usually come out with a slightly faster machine, slightly larger hard drives etc, and slide all the products down one rung, so last month’s best is this month’s mid-range. This basically is just them admitting they overcharged (and by a LOT) initially. I actually blame their marketing department (or whoever is in charge of figuring out what price point their stuff will sell at). I think those people should be getting reamed out at Apple.

  44. Cam says:

    Rowlings, who says there isn’t a 16GB model around right around the corner…

  45. Rowlings says:

    Well Cam, then drop the price when we get to that corner. They would have avoided pissing off a bunch of their fans. We understand “progress”. This just seems like “Whoops! We overcharged for this”.

  46. Hans says:

    Stop whining. Noone was forced to pay the original price. Thats capitalism and Steve Jobs is a businessman. Do you like the iPhone less because the price is dropping? A lot of people obviously where very happy paying a lot of money for a phone that looks sexy, but has less features than a lot of other phones.

  47. Cam says:

    So they should have held back the 16GB iPod Touch as well? Perhaps they should have nuked the entire iPod lineup just to play all nice-nice with 1st Gen iPhone owners…

    Sorry, you aren’t that special!

  48. Rowlings says:

    No, they should have released a 16GB iPhone at the current $599, then dropped the 8GB down to $399. It would have made this not hurt as much.

  49. Enrico says:

    As Steve Jobs declared in his open letter, every early adopter of the iPhone will receive a US$ 100 credit on Apple stores. You should be happy, now.

  50. jimbo says:

    Thank you Apple

    The $100 credit is the right move. Early adopters are the core of Apples business and should be treated with appreciation. Steve’s letter and the credit make me feel appreciated. I love Apple and its products and will continue to sing its praises.

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