It was heralded at a press conference months before its arrival, this thing, this gadget that would surely change the world. The Wizard of Apple, Steve Jobs, appeared before a giant media screen in a setting Hollywood might use to satirize a super-chic, self-important company and foretold of this gadget’s wonders. Oh, the capability you’ll have: the hours of Internet surfing, video games, movies, music and the ability to receive emails in the middle of cocktail parties and dinners with friends. And just think of the texting possibilities! It was coming he told us, so be prepared. It was coming and the dawn of a new day was upon us. And then, before God and all humanity, he revealed to us the future: the iPhone.
The months of anticipation that followed were heady times indeed. There was a constant buzz heard round water coolers across America; endless speculation of how lives would change, battles would be won and strides for the good of all humanity would be made. But alas, this thing, this iPhone, came with a price. And how to pay for it? Sacrifices would have to be made, credit cards maxed out, lattes rationed for emergencies only and hopes for little Billy’s college education dashed. After all, revolution doesn't come cheap. Advancements for humanity cannot be found rummaging through bins in bargain basements. When the countdown for the new arrival reached single digits, the most staunch followers of Apple, the ones who learned to compute on a Macintosh, stood by it through the dark days of PC domination, saw the light at the end of the tunnel with the introduction of the iMac with its retro design, were among the first to own an iPod and with no apparent job security to worry about, began camping out on street corners outside Apple stores, well stocked with provisions and lawn chairs to brave the elements and be among the first recipients of this gift from the future, this iPhone.
When it finally arrived, there was much joy in the land! Except for those who waited in ques and still went home empty handed, and some who did manage to get their hands on one of the precious gizmos ended up selling them on Ebay for twice the price. Oh, and didn't we tell you that the $600 price tag doesn't include any kind of service agreement. Yeah, so, if you want to actually use your iPhone, it’s going to cost you extra, not to mention the fees you’ll probably have to pay for canceling your old service agreement. Sorry about that. So, many friends I know and Apple die-hards postponed their purchase of the iPhone until their cell service runs out or until the price comes down a little or they start making more money.
And then, in the worst marketing decision since New Coke, Apple reduced the price of their precious iPhone by $200 just months after introducing the product prompting thousands of angry emails and customer outrage from those who paid full price. It adversely affected the company’s stock and cost them thousands in refunds and rebates and an apology from the man himself, Steve Jobs. Also, with this stunt they may have sacrificed one of Apple’s most bankable assets: customer loyalty. If the iPhone had been priced correctly to begin with instead of so out of line with other PDAs, they might not be in this mess now. Also, aren't we tired of being jerked around by this kind of "gotta have it" marketing with new generations of a product planned out ahead of with the goal of rendering the original device obsolete with a year or two? Come on. Aren't we smarter than this?