It’s not just anybody who can take the most successful product release in years and figure out a way to turn it into a total PR disaster. Not for nothing is the man lauded as an innovator.
For reasons that no one quite understands, yesterday Apple cut the price of the Jesus Phone by $200. While Mr. Jobs’ explanation was that this was to increase sales during the holidays some found this about as believable as the latest rationale for start of the George W. Bush Desert Classic.
Some analysts weren’t as convinced of Apple’s stated reason for the price cut. “It’s an extreme move. It speaks to some desperation,” said Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies, a Wayland, Mass.-based technology research firm.
Yeah, I didn’t understand it either. If it’s selling well at $600 why cut the price? The other rational explanation besides desperation is Mr. J senses a downturn in the economy but if the economy hits the skids who really will be dropping four bills on a phone? (Note well: I WANT ONE! Two friends of mine have them and I am losing my mind with envy.)
But that little question of why the price drop has of course now been totally eclipsed by angry iPhone buyers who are asking why they had to pay the full fare on the darn thing.
Mr J. released a statement yesterday apologizing to them:
“(We) need to do a better job taking care of our early iPhone customers as we aggressively go after new ones with a lower price,” he said. “Our early customers trusted us, and we must live up to that trust with our actions in moments like these.”
That would be more touching if Apple had ANY track record of actually engaging in customer service. My theory about Apple has always been that they make their products so user-friendly because they never want to deal with the customers again. (And I speak as a mostly content iPod owner.)
They’ve taken out ads on Google that suggest users check out Nokia’s new Mosh mobile social network. The ads, which appear for searches on “iphone price drop,” say “Sorry, Early Adopters” and suggests they salvage their iPhone experience by checking out Mosh.
BTW, check out Matt Dickman’s post about Nokia’s response at his excellent blog Techno//Marketer. Unlike mine, it is actually informative.