Early iPhone buyers should stop whining

In the beginning of the summer, every other commercial on TV was for that awesome new iPhone that could go on the Web, give you directions, hold your music, tell you the weather and .oh yeah, call people at the touch of a finger. Before its June 29 release, thousands of people sat outside Apple stores for hours to be the first to get the high-tech phone. But just two months after the debut, Apple slashed prices of the 8-gigabyte model by $200 for the upcoming holiday season. Too bad for the people that just couldn’t wait.

Apple recieved an onslaught of angry e-mails about the price change for the 8-GB iPhone from $599 to $399 and the phase-out of the 4-GB iPhone. After this, Apple CEO Steve Jobs wrote an online statement to the buyers explaining the decision. In the statement he called this slash in price the “correct decision” and said “now is the right time to do it.” He also said “the technology road is bumpy” and “there is always someone who bought a product before a particular cutoff date and misses the new price.”

However, after these tough love statements, he offered the buyers of the iPhone a $100 rebate in the form of credit to any retail or online Apple store. He also offered customers who bought their iPhone within 14 days of the price cut the full $200 back if they still had their receipt.

Jobs said the credit is to take care of his loyal Apple customers.

He should have stuck with his first statements and told the early buyers “Oh well.” What entitles the iPhone purchasers to special treatment? I bought the first generation of the iPod nano and a year later, they introduced new models that held twice as many songs but cost less. That is just the way technology works. The people who want everything first are going to pay more. They know if they wait the price will go down, but they pay for the novelty of the item as well as all the features it comes with.

Consider the Motorola RAZR. In the beginning it was almost $500 with a plan, but now companies like Verizon give you three free ones with the purchase of one for $40 and a phone plan.

It is understandable that the early buyers would be angered by the $200 price cut after only two months but they should not expect a handout just because they are loyal to Apple. Apple should not have conceded and given the early buyers store credit; if something similar happens in the future Apple will have to repeat the process and give everyone credit.

What is really the most mind boggling thing is why anyone would pay almost $600 for a phone in the first place, and then complain about the $200 price cut. In some cases customers who did not subscribe to AT&T, the only service that carries the phone at the moment, would have to break their contracts and buy the new AT&T plans that range anywhere from $60 to $80 a month, in addition to the cost of the actual phone. Apple consumers should just suck it up and realize Apple can charge whatever it wants to for the products it sells because it is the only one who makes them. There are people out there superficial and frivolous enough to pay.

This is my advice to all you Apple consumers out there: next time a product comes out, and you just cannot live without it, wait six months and get it for a fraction of the price. After all, the early bird gets the worm, but the late bird gets it half off.

Information from – Jordan Robertson and May Wong of AP, apple.com, verizonwireless.com