$200 iPhone price-cut?! I expected that next year

UPDATE 09/06: Steve Jobs posts an open letter confirming that early iPhone adopters will receive a $100 voucher to be used at the Apple Store.

September 5th, Apple announces new iPod hardware – which iPod are you? Not surprising considering early rumors spoke of such updates weeks ago. What was not expected was the significant price-drop for the hottest selling smartphone last month [July 2007], the Apple iPhone. How significant of a price-drop? $200. As an early [iPhone] adopter, I was a little flustered with the news.

A few thoughts that came to mind after reading the news:

  • As Apple’s hottest selling device, the iPod has never had as significant of a price-drop in a period less than 2 years, let alone 2 months.
  • News of software / hardware SIM unlocking (confirmed by CNN) surely made at&t unhappy. Apple obviously does not "technically" condone such activities. However, 3rd party iPhone unlocking only translates into more money coming Apple’s way.
  • Check here for the 4GB iPhone ($299) while supplies last. Otherwise, look for $299 [refurbished] Phone’s in the Apple Refurb store. Trust me, they’ll hit the refurb store within the new few weeks (or sooner). Check daily because as soon as they go up, they’ll all be spoken for by the end of the day.
  • Umm, two months equals twice the storage – 8GB to 16GB? Come on Apple, admit it! These were ready at the end of June but the idea of making an extra $200 off of early adopters for an 8GB iPhone was too hard to resist.
  • That iPhone Touch looks quite empty with 7 applications on the SpringBoard and 4 in the dock. *cough*. Better hurry up and get those 99 cent downloads to load Dashboard widgets on to the iPod Touch / iPhones.
  • Speaking of 99 cent downloads… I can understand charging 99 cents for custom ringtones, but doing so for customers who have already purchased the song?! $1.98 + tax to purchase the complete song and have the matching ringtone? Psh, Ambrosia’s iToner is only $15 (alternatives below).
  • Want to sell more of these handsets Apple? Hurry up and get Mobile iChat with support for AIM + Google Talk.

As difficult as it is to stomach the $200 price change, I’ll forgive you Apple. As long as you hurry up and bring MacBook Pro revisions with a model to replace the classic 12" PowerBook – give us a MacBook Pro Mini. If such hardware is released, I promise to be an early adopter again.

* Maybe send early iPhone adopters a free Bluetooth headset voucher eh?
** iPhone and soon to be iPod Touch users should check out some of the following alternatives to personalize their devices: Installer.app Beta, iFuntastic, and Shaun Inman’s An Easy SSH / SFTP iPhone Installer.

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Discuss - 14 Comments

  1. Agreed Derek, a $200 price drop in 2 months can only be considered an “early adopter tax”. I’m glad I waited to drive down to Seattle to pick one of these guys up, the price drop can pay for gas! :)

    What do you think about the decision to include Safari on the iPod touch? It’s sure to bring the platform into consideration when developing new websites and apps. With a worldwide market it could bring a lot of potential new mobile web users. iPod enabled interfaces are going to become all the rage.. ;)

  2. Derek says:

    What do you think about the decision to include Safari on the iPod touch? It’s sure to bring the platform into consideration when developing new websites and apps. With a worldwide market it could bring a lot of potential new mobile web users. iPod enabled interfaces are going to become all the rage.. ;)

    Like the iPod which has received adopters and companies creating "iPod-friendly" advertising / marketing campaigns to sell products, I think we’ll see an increase in web services offering mobile Safari ready websites & applications. The iPod Touch is another opportunity to 1) get Safari (mobile) into more users hands – WebKit, 2) create relationships with online giants (Yahoo push email + special Google portals?), and 3) a profitable widgets community. I’m sure we’ll also see an increase in iPod Touch / iPhone friendly video formats and content delivery methods. The iPod Touch will definitely make competing with Apple in the portable music / video player market a little more difficult.

    I’d like to see Apple continue to push development regarding syncing their mobile devices with their desktop operating systems. iPod Touch / iPhone personal data syncing via .Mac or iSync whenever devices are on the same network would be great.

  3. Frank Cantu says:

    Even though I always knew that at $600 I was paying premium for the iPhone, a sudden $200 drop made me drop my jaw to the floor. So now those $200 served as payment for two months’ worth of bliss? Not good enough, Apple! $200 is still $200 these days! I hope they’re preparing a good crowd control initiative for angry early adopters.

  4. beth says:

    Honestly, I can’t even see the appeal of buying the iPod Touch with the iPhone price drop. Basically you’d be paying about $400 for a crappy, functionally crippled, un-upgradeable laptop. Makes no sense to me.

  5. Tom says:

    @Beth: I understand, but some people, like a co-worker of mine and his wife, don’t really want the phone capability to begin with and don’t even fill up their nanos. Odd, I know! But I see this lineup as a testbed for what Apple is going to do next. At present, they’re using these areas where one product is bleeding over to the other to see what people really, really want. We won’t see a variety like this in a year or two, I’m sure, because Apple isn’t prone to diluting a brand (at least not for long). They’re more prone to just throwing it out there and killing it (even if it is a success, like the mini). Too bad they took TOO long with the Hifi.

    I still think the fatNanoVideo is the strangest friggin’ thing out there…

  6. Paul says:

    I sort of agree with Beth. I feel that the iPod Touch and the iPhone seem like they should be one product. They even look like the same product. It seems like they’re just making money off of the Apple brand, then when sales slow down, they’ll merge the two technologies, give it a fancy new iName, and people will buy it again no matter the cost. That’s business I guess.

    Oh, and the new Nano looks like ass.

  7. Looks like you’re getting a $100 apple voucher as it turns out, Steve came through in the end!

    http://www.apple.com/hotnews/openiphoneletter/

  8. Derek says:

    Great news indeed Andy. And sorry, I had to edit the link to Engadget. Don’t feel right leaving a link for added traffic from here.

  9. Ah, fair enough. The link back to Apple is much more informative in any case.

  10. Sorry to hear that you got “ripped” by apple. What happen to apple’s simplicity? I thought apple was all about one price for everything. They mocked Windows Vista for having so much edition, but look at their ipod line now. They have almost the same number of versions as window vista.

  11. modemlooper says:

    The new nano is ugly. love the touch! Apple will not let you chat because att wants to charge for texting.

  12. Brad says:

    Big props to Apple for the $100 rebate. Not only is it a classy move but it only took them 24 hours to realize that the price drop had offended their most loyal customers. Any other company would have taken weeks to do something like that if they had done it at all.

  13. Ben Bleikamp says:

    Found this link on Digg, couldn’t help but think of this post (and dozens of others) and the comments:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/08/AR2007090800148.html?referrer=digg

    Not to say that you guys are all whining, but seriously – if Apple had raised the price to $800, would have all sent Steve a $100 check for giving you such a great price? No, you wouldn’t.

  14. Dave says:

    I never had much of a stomach for being an early adopter. I like my gadgets inexpensive and bug free. I think you hit the nail on the head with ‘at&t can’t be happy.’ Big carriers are used to calling the shots. I bet it’s a real clash of egos working with Apple. I’d love to be a fly on the wall to some of their meetings. Also (and I say this as a happy Mac user) the $100 may create all kinds of warm fuzzies for many people, but it’s kind of a joke: “We charged you, our most loyal customers, too much for an over-valued device, so here’s $100 that you can go spend on more of our stuff.”

    And nice site, btw.