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How Could You Overpay for an iPhone?
Ed Kohler

I've been in Canada the past couple days, so it's quite possible that I've lost touch with the nuances of the American retail system.

For example, all I could do was scratch my head when I read this quote about the iPhone price reduction in the NY Times:

IPhone Owners Crying Foul Over Price Cut

The rebate, at least, was enough to mollify some early iPhone customers like Kevin Tofel, a blogger in Telford, Pa., who writes about mobile phones at a blog called jkOnTheRun. Mr. Tofel was so annoyed with the surprising iPhone price drop that he was planning to make T-shirts that read, “I was a $200 iPhone beta tester for Apple.”

“I just felt so used as a consumer,” he said. “They hyped up the iPhone for six months and built up our expectations, and then they grabbed our extra $200 and ran.”

Huh? Help me understand this. Did Mr. Tofel pay more than he was willing to pay for his iPhone? Absolutely not. In fact, based on the 80 iPhone related posts he's written for his blog, the iPhone seems to have been a valuable asset that's inspired his writing.

80 posts? He shouldn't feel used. His iPhone should.

People like this should have hoped for a $200 price bump to $799 since it would have generated some exclusivity for their iPhone related blog posts. Now everyone's going to be able to write iPhone blog posts, thus diluting the value of iPhone blog posts from the $599 suckers buyers.

People like this could learn a thing or two from Technology Evangelist's in-house gadget geek, Ben. He has an innate ability to pay full retail for technology products, somehow beating the clock on even the most obvious retail discounts that will be just around the corner.

If you've ever wondered who the guy is who's selling all the like-new barely-used gadgets on Ebay, that's Ben.

But Ben's not complaining. He's acknowledged his problem and is comfortable with his over exuberance for full priced shiny things.

To those who feel duped, why are you blaming Apple for lowering the price on something you talked yourself into buying at the higher price?


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1. Posted by: Cariann on September 7, 2007 9:19 AM:

Hey, if anything I am *thanking* Apple for even extending the offer. Who *hasn't* bought something one day to only see it go on sale the next? And if you are like some people who waited to make a very informed decision about their purchase, they are being "refunded" for the full price difference. (iPhones purchased with in the last 14 days leading up to the announcement on Sep. 5th)
So, no. I am not upset by being a so called "beta tester". That clearly was my choice. My choice to stand in line for over 6 hours, to be one of the first 30 to have one in my time zone, and to be among the very first to have one within my circle of friends.
In fact, if you ask me, the "cool factor" alone is worth the $200... and now I gat $100 of that back.
Thank you Apple!

2. Posted by: Raheel on September 7, 2007 10:17 AM:

Look... if any technology user expects the price of their shiny new gadget to NOT go down is a moron. Maybe this person should not be using technology in the first place.

When car prices go down, do they go crying to the dealership each time?

Why arent these people crying over intel processor prices that are lowered significantly within months of release?

This is a competitive world... the process of technology becoming obsolete starts as soon as its launched!

Get used to it - or do not be an early adopter - simple.

3. Posted by: Brad V. on September 7, 2007 1:48 PM:

I knew this was going to happen and even wrote about it in my own blog. As far as the price reduction is concerned, this is exactly why I haven't purchased an iPhone yet. I'm waiting for further price reductions, and maybe an upgrade in memory would be nice as well.

The commenter Raheel above is correct - this is the nature of the beast. Technology is a competetive field and prices go up and down all the time. It's just something you have to get used to!

4. Posted by: Jeremy Elfering on September 8, 2007 11:03 AM:

Does it feel bad to have a gadget you just bought a few months ago go down in price, yes. But you have to live with those decisions. If you were one of the people who bought an iPhone right away, you knew that the price was going to go down. And if you didn't you are hiding your head in the sand. Electronics go down in price, that is the nature of them. You bought your iPhone and were able to flaunt it to all of your friends for months and now you will not bed the only kid with the new toy. That is the complaint I think he really has, not that he overpaid for the iPhone, but he is not the only kid on the block who will be able to have one.

5. Posted by: Raheel on September 10, 2007 11:44 AM:

Jeremy... there is a typo (or not!! - ;) ) in your post:

"and now you will not bed the only kid with the new toy."

Say... are you a michael jackson fan?

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