Apple's iPhone Price Cut Wounds Early Adopters, Wreaks Havoc on my Wallet


Angry words and heated accusations were being flung at a certain well known product maker today, and I'm not talking about Mattel's recall of lead-painted toys for tots. Early adopters who patiently stood in long lines on June 29 (including yours truly), eager to be first on the block to own iPhones, are being rewarded with the sudden devaluation of their investments. Today Apple dropped the price of its most popular iPhone model (8GB) by $200, just two months after launch. What cost six Ben Franklins yesterday now costs only $399.

This sudden deflation in price has many incumbent iPhone users feeling cheated. Some are posting angry letters on Apple's support forums, expressing frustration, agitation, degradation, and other words that end in ion. My inbox is flooding with angry comments, I feel like a rape crisis hotline. Many are asking for some type of reasonable compensation or token for this punch to the stomach, or wallet as it were. A two hundred dollar cashback reward perhaps? Not going to happen. How about a voucher for a truckload worth of free iTunes downloads? Nope. The best solution I can come up with is for Apple to offer early adopters a coupon or discount redeemable at any Apple Store, good towards the purchase of any Apple product. Of course, the illogic of that is inescapable - I already paid too much for an iPhone, now I'm going to go further in debt by buying more Apple products?

So what is your solution to the problem? What should Apple do to compensate its loyal users? Speaking as someone who operates one of the most popular iPhone enthusiast sites on the entire bloody internet I feel that Apple needs to take care of its audience, no matter what the outcome. We helped lay the foundation for a new community, and help build the product's success. I certainly did anyway. How about it Steve? Throw us a bone.

[update] Just wanted to clarify a point - if you recently purchased an iPhone within the last 14 days you can request a refund on the $200 price difference by calling or returning to the origin of purchase. If your iPhone was purchased prior to that are screwed. Sorry.

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Reader comments

Apple's iPhone Price Cut Wounds Early Adopters, Wreaks Havoc on my Wallet


This is not right.. The loyal customers who worked overtime, saved allowance, saved money,, are now given the finger. Steve jobs you seriously f*+ked us loyal apple fans. The 3million people who feel violated will now join the dark side and flame the worthless iPhone. The negative vibe will transfer andyur new 160gb iPod will not sell for months.. Because Yur dumb ass just made the zealous fans turn away...
I hope apple compensates the loyal fans who stood in line. It will help their image. Now that it lost trust on the millions people.

FYI- I purchased 2 iPhones on 8/25th from the Apple Store online. I just called them and, after waiting on hold for about 15 minutes, the person on the other end quickly and painlessly credited my credit card $400 + tax. I believe as long as you purchased them within the past 14 days, they will do this for you.

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"devaluation of their investments."
If you considered your iPhone an investment, you have bigger financial problems the price decrease.

Hey, I bought a 4GB because I don't have that much music anyway. Think about how I feel! I got discontinued, apparently. But seriously, I really don't feel grumpy. I'm a positive person. Tho' if you force me to make a suggestion, how about a free ringtone?

Wait, Jeff. Are you saying that investing all my money in an iPhone mutual fund was a bad investment? That's the last time I hire Peter Oppenheimer as my financial adviser.

Seems like a bad business move to me. Who is going to line up next time? Apple has redefined "early adopted" as "sucker".

thanks! i got my iPhone refund a while ago. i bought my phone last August 23. :D

If Apple doesn't compensate the loyal customers who purchase at the lauch, I will never buy another apple product again. I hope someone at Apple reads this blog and makes the right business decision.

I love the Apple "experience"... but wow ...tucking it to your best customers... your evangelist... makes no sense.

I bought a refurbished 4gb Iphone 2 weeks and 2 days ago. I was just wondering though, isn't AT&T required to return phones if you dislike them within 30 days? Would it therefore be possible to return a phone, maybe get a 9.99 one for two weeks or so and then go back and buy another Iphone at the newer rate. I'm prety upset about this whole deal, especially since my gut told me to wait until after this keynote. I just couldn't wait.

This 30 day return policy myth about ATT and iphones is driving me crazy! When I bought my 8 gig 19 days ago (that's right, I'm fucked) the salesman must have told me 5 different times the return period is 14 days and then NO RETURNS. And that goes for rebates on the price, too. Sorry!

Here's a great marketing idea. Let's penalize our loyal customers, who helped us launch our new product. This has happened before with Apeture software pricing and Apple made good,
but I think they're not going to come to their senses on this one.
I think Apple will regret this when the next product comes out and they can't count on their base to launch the product.

I will now deny my inner Mac fiend, and make it wait until the his Stevieness (aka-The Digital Dark Lord) comes to terms with how he treats his early adopters. We will probably wind up eating this one kiddies.

How much of an idiot do you have to be, to be upset about being an early adopter and seeing a price drop that freaks you out? Don't you understand the mathematics of Apple's goals to sell 10 million iPhones? There was no way they were going to meet that quota with the current price in the time they wanted to. You accepted the inevitable fact that you were going to pay more than later adopters when you bought it when it came out so what does it matter to you that it was so soon? Had it been 6 months from June 29th it would have made it so much better? You still paid $200 more than those people. You got the product you wanted and you love it and you love the company. Go work some overtime.

Hey Norman, I bought my iphone 28 days ago. Now I can buy the exact same thing for 34% less. That's not an early adopter fee, that's a rip-off. You sound like a PR guy from Apple.

Norman -- yes, it does matter to me that it was only 2 months. I think I would feel a little better if it was a longer period. Also, $200 is a huge drop. It's a pretty crappy way to treat the loyal early-adopters. But you're right - I wanted the iPhone, couldn't wait for the next development so I have to accept it. I also think you're right about Apple dropping the price to meet their rather lofty goal.

This is what you get for deciding that you had to have an iPhone the day it came out. Anything that new and heavily hyped would either a) have issues and b) drop in price. All those people who stood in line to buy an XBOX 360 or a PS3 aren't demanding their money back because the price dropped.
I have to wonder if the people who are angry are questioning the value of their precious phone. You paid for the privilege of having your phone FIRST on DAY ONE before everyone else. This is the price for insisting on being FIRST. The people who were patient, or who were on the fence because of price, are now getting an additional incentive to buy.
If you regret your purchase that much that a price drops makes you feel insecure, next time try harder to resist that urge to be FIRST on your block. It's a phone, not a status symbol.

It's the size of the price drop that's annoying. They are NOT going to sell another 9 million of these things at a loss just to meet their 10 mil goal. That means they were overcharging on the first ones. I wasn't an "early adopter", bought the thing a month ago when I was finally sick of my treo, but as an Apple loyalist (my first computer was the 512K almost original Mac), this does piss me off.
Some way to treat your loyal customers without whom Apple would be nowhere.

bobrsta, it could also mean that they found a better way (more affordable way) to produce the iPhone. Maybe parts are cheaper for them now or they cut a deal with the manufacturer that allows them to do so. Now that it's been shown that iPhone can deliver, and competition is close behind, big price cuts help the consumer overall. Yeah, you paid more, but next time you might be paying even less than $400 for an iPhone that's better than what's out right now.

As I said in an earlier comment, this news doesn't alarm or astonish me, other than its unexpected timing.
I look at this way...the consumer electronics industry is based on planned obsolescence. It is a marked for disposable technology, and nobody obsoletes products at a faster burn rate than Apple. I knew going in that my iPhone was a first generation product destined for devaluation and eBay listing, just months from purchase. I don't exactly relish the thought, but its reality.
When Apple announces a second generation iPhone product, I'll be right there in line waiting for my next fix like the techno-crackhead that I am. C’est la vie.

Ok I know I was not so smart as to buy an item so early on, but Apple almost never drops prices that dramatically. Do I think it stinks? YES. Do I expect my money back? Not really. Am I allowed to be upset? I think so. What makes me more angry is the way Steve Jobs is so arrogant about it. And then to shove it in our faces by flipping us the bird! How rude! We are his biggest supporters and he has zero respect for us. Do you think I’ll support him again? Probably not.

I think the 100-dollar credit is fair enough. I bought 2 of those things on June 29. ;)
Honestly, I expected a price drop before the holidays. Did I expect a 200-dollar price drop? Nah. I expected something like 100 dollars, really.
I half wonder if maybe this whole 'we dropped it 200 bucks, so what?' followed quickly by 'oh! you're such loyal fans, here's a store credit' isn't really just a PR stunt.
Apple is notorious for stuff like that.
Truth is, the die-hard Apple core (no pun intended) would get over this, and would STILL be early adopters.
But giving this credit, it makes Steve Jobs look like a prince. Very clever.
Not that that will stop me from nabbing my 200 bucks in credits. :)
Those of you who feel REALLY violated: welcome to the world of Early Adoption, Apple-style.