6 Sep

Apple 2.0

by Brian Solis

I guess those Youtube videos of the new Nokia and HTC iphone clones shook Steve Jobs. Obviously it was enough to make a rash decision to gun for market share by lowering the price of the 8GB iPhone by $200 – after only two months.

Well to that, iWas going to say F#*k you very much…

The fools early adopters who bought a phone at the time of the launch for $599, including myself, held nothing back in their response to this really business savvy, but customer-slapping move.

Steve Jobs responded with an open letter to iphone customers.
Jobs wrote, “I have received hundreds of emails from iPhone customers who are upset about Apple dropping the price of iPhone by $200 two months after it went on sale. After reading every one of these emails, I have some observations and conclusions…Therefore, we have decided to offer every iPhone customer who purchased an iPhone from either Apple or AT&T, and who is not receiving a rebate or any other consideration, a $100 store credit towards the purchase of any product at an Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store.”

He continued, “We want to do the right thing for our valued iPhone customers. We apologize for disappointing some of you, and we are doing our best to live up to your high expectations of Apple.”

Is it $200? No!

Did Apple get $200 per activation from AT&T? Yes.

Is $100 credit sufficient?

Hmmmm…I’ll take it. But, honestly it’s only been two months and this deal required an expensive, in my opinion, two-year contract with AT&T that nets somewhere around 10 percent, every month, per user to Apple’s bottom line.

Listen Mr. Jobs, it’s less about the money than it is the fact that this move is eerily representative of an all new, mass market focused Apple, Inc.

I mean, you are “going for it” this holiday season right?

We’re talking about customer service and investor relations here, and any hit that Apple takes right now isn’t going to help future iphone sales, the upcoming Leopard launch or its stock.

After all, isn’t this the religion of Apple? Isn’t Apple driven by the church of early adopters?

It is the early adopters who, if anyone, should be rewarded for their ability to spark adoption of new Apple products.

Yes this is the new Apple. It’s been spoiled by the success of the iPod and it WANTS MORE! This is a company that is starting to lick mass consumer adoption across all of its product lines – currently enjoying Macbook sales as they soar, accounting for 1 and 6 of all laptop sales.

Jobs did the right thing here and his public mea culpa will eventually set things straight, but, it comes at a price. A price? That is difficult to assess. But it is also the realization that this isn’t the same Apple of before. This is and isn’t 1984 redux at the same time.

Get used to it.

Oh, and this post was written on a Macbook with my iphone sitting nearby.

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About the Author:

Brian Solis

Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm. Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture. His current book, Engage, is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to build and measure success in the social web.

Visit Brian's page at http://www.briansolis.com
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