Point: A Day Late and a Dollar Short

After shafting 270,000 of his most loyal customers and sending his stock prices plummeting a whopping $7.60 – Steve Jobs makes a lame attempt to stop the slide by offering to compensate iPhone users with a lousy $100. Imagine, you stood on line all night to grasp the coveted iPhone, only to have your entire being taken over by gremlins and spending every waking moment demonstrating your new phone to everyone you meet. If you have been carrying an iPhone for any period of time, you kow what I am talking about. You might as well have three-headed triplets in a grocery store for how much time and energy you’ve spent selling Mr. Job’s newest gizmo to every idiot that happens to see you use it.

Forget the business meeting. Forget the groceries, forget everything. For the privilege of spending half your life selling Mr. Job’s product for him – you get to pay him a whopping $500 and deal with less-than-stellar service. So he starts to feel a little bad that he is now selling the iPhone at a steep discount to all those ripe prospects you’ve helped him win over, so he magnanimously offers to throw you $100. So now you are just out $200 more than those guys who didn’t wait on line and spend their summer vacations giving live demos on the beach.

Where’s the outrage on behalf of those loyal early-adopters? If you think about it, they are the ones that built our great technology industry. I respect their courage and panache in this “me-too” world that waits to find out what’s cool. In fact, the early adopters ARE the “pioneers of cool”.

Mr. Jobs’ basic problem is that he forgot that he isn’t particularly cool, his products are a little cool, but it’s his devoted customers that are WAY cool.

I think someone might be a little big for his ibritches.

-Alison Moore

Counter-Point: I want to be THAT guy

I suppose it is a bit unorthodox to prove (or attempt to prove) your Managing Director wrong, but what the heck – what’s one more ding in your yearly review right?

First of all, you’ve gotta pay to play the game.


No gadget buff will disagree, being an early adopter is expensive, and many find it a point of pride to make an investment in the latest technology. This is why I, for one, am amazed at the amount of backlash caused by this price cut (That means you Matt Lauer!). While, yes, it did come fairly quickly, no one can argue that a price drop wasn’t on the horizon. Early adopters should know better than anyone that there is probably no market with a faster price drop and turn-over rate than the cell phone industry. As CrunchGear put it,

“Take a look at the RAZR. When it first came out, you paid $500 for it and now they give them away with a Big Gulps at 7-Eleven.”


And the same goes for the iPhone. There is no way the device could stay at $600 forever.

Second, exclusivity is key.


Admit it, being THAT guy (or gal) is kind of fun. I hate to say it “feeds the ego”, but in a way it does. You become part of the club, in this case, possibly the most exclusive one to date, the iPhone club. You knew the service would stink, you knew you would have to wait in line, but still, you put up the $600 or more (if you broke your old cell phone contract) to buy the “Jesus Phone”.

Some buyers may be upset because their “exclusive” group is going to get a whole lot bigger.

Third, “pioneers of cool” are product evangelists.

True early adopters welcome the opportunity to provide off-the-cuff product reviews wherever they go, that’s part of the reason why they pay exorbant prices for newly released tech. They then become the authority to their circle of friends, and get satisfaction knowing they “spread the gospel of Jobs” throughout their network.

So, to the upset early iPhone customers, I say, ”Stop Whining!” Now everyone’s invited to the party – deal with it. You still have one more iPhone than this guy.

Oh, and one more thing….

 “If you always wait for the next price cut or to buy the new improved model, you’ll never buy any technology product because there is always something better and less expensive on the horizon.” — Steve Jobs from his iPhone open letter

…pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

— Posted by Andrew Soucy


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