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Jobs: no apology, no refunds; Beatles coming

updated 02:20 pm EDT, Thu September 6, 2007

Jobs: no iPhone refunds

Apple's Steve Jobs says Apple won't give users refunds for purchasing one of the early iPhones at $599 and that the price drop won't really hurt Apple's bottom line. Less than 10 weeks after the iPhone launch, the 33 percent price cut is one of the most dramatic seen by Apple fans, but is common in the world of technology, according to the CEO. Jobs quickly stepped past offering any apology in an interview with USA Today and didn't touch upon the apparent lack of consistency in stories that both Apple and AT&T are offering different customers: some customers are having luck getting refunds, credits, or other compensation, while others are even being treated rudely. "That's technology," Jobs said when asked what he would tell his early adopter customers -- many of whom are irate. "If they bought it this morning, they should go back to where they bought it and talk to them. If they bought it a month ago, well, that's what happens in technology."

Jobs went on to say that the upcoming holiday season was a large reason for the price drop and that its ramped manufacturing processes will help it sustain its margins.

"We're in high-volume manufacturing, and we're pretty good on the costs side," he continued. "We're also willing to be more aggressive. We think we have a real winner, and customers love the iPhone. The product's been extremely well accepted; we want to put the pedal to the metal. A holiday season is approaching; we'd have to wait another year for another one."

While price drops are generally good for consumers, Apple may have made a few mistakes in its price drop, according to Wired News. The company says that Apple's early adopters were "forecasted, quantified, and exploited for maximum profit" -- a very normal part of the technology world, but the lack of tact in the announcement may cost the company some customers.

"It's not unfair that Apple views its most loyal customers in the same fashion, but it's incredibly tacky that the company made that fact so palpable with its price drop," Terrence Russell wrote. "Seeing the evolution of the iPod is great, but it's not going to cause us to forget the $200 price difference."

Russell also noted that the price drop may be premature for the holiday season, and that Apple may have over-estimated the effect of its "stupid" tax with the price drop.

"It's no secret that electronics drop in price over time, but such a deep and hasty discount makes trying to quantify the realistic retail value of the hardware confusing," Russell wrote. "A mistake of this nature just encourages pricing paranoia."

Beatles Coming

In his USA Today interview, Jobs said that Apple was ready and waiting for the Beatles to deliver their music via iTunes.

"We'd love to have the Beatles. It will happen -- I hope by the first half of next year. As soon as they're ready, we're ready," Jobs said.

Following agreements with several Beatles members to bring their music to iTunes, many hoped that Apple would use Wednesday's iPod/iTunes event to announce a full distribution deal for all of the Beatles' music on iTunes.

by MacNN Staff




  1. scottnichol

    Joined: Dec 1969


    no different

    the price drop is no different than just about any other high-profile cell phone i've ever seen introduced. they all start out at a premium (moto razors for $399 anyone?) then drop over time (they're practically giving away razors at this point).

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    already customers

    ...if you've already bought an iPhone you're already an Apple customer and the price drop will only entice rather than discourage new customers. How can they "lose" customers over this?

  1. growlf

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why apologize?

    I waited in line at an AT&T store at launch... had a blast. I paid full price for iPhones for myself and my fiancÚ.

    I'm perfectly happy with them, AND I made a commitment to the cost when I decided to make the purchase. I don't understand why I should be upset? I could have waited six months for the next revision or a price drop, but I didn't want to.

    Those who bought their phones on Monday were willing to pay $599. Now, because of an announcement that has no bearing on the functionality of the device, they're suddenly unhappy with the purchase? I understand what they're *feeling*, but it's pretty damned illogical.

    Personally, I'm amazingly happy to see the price drop! I think this bodes well for the platform as a whole, which I'd like to see grow!

  1. uucp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    why this could hurt them

    "Feathers" is right that the sharp price drop will increase iPhone unit sales. What s/he misses is the potential damage to the initial sales of future Apple products, as previously reliable fans of the company wait a few months before buying, in hopes of similar price drops.

    That said, as somebody who actually, once upon a time, paid money for an OpenDoc application, I have no sympathy for any of these folks. The iPhone still works, and is still worth a lot of money. Apple used to walk away from product lines entirely; I think it has been years since the company has stiffed any users that way.

  1. legacyb4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not to mention

    their phones will be updated shortly with the new iPod touch store features so there won't be any feature parity that the 1st gen folks will lose out on

  1. Rezzz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPhone nano

    well, there ya go.. ya got your iphone nano. look at how much smaller it is. that price is a much slimmer form factor. save the greenbacks!

    shoot, i may even pick one up this christmas! oh wait.. not until my current cell plan ends. well then, ipod touch it is.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    what has been said...

    is so true... and to add to that, how did they know it would sell well? This just confirms that it is selling great and that they are able to step up production and get cheaper costs.. if it had been a failure, the price would have remained i'm sure.

  1. FastAMX79

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I don't think he should have to apologize. If he did, then I would want one from every other company out there that has ever sold anything. There have been many times I've bought something that just came out, only to find the price drop within a few months. That is the price you pay to be the first kid on the block with a new toy. No one put a gun to your head and said 'buy this item now'. That was the choice YOU made. Just like the new iPod touch... I think it is great, but i'll wait till a price drop or a new version. It is not a need, it is a want.

    Besides, America has bigger problems to worry about than a price drop on a phone.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Half-eaten candybar...

    I only had half the damn candybar and then they reduced the price in half. I want my money back. Hershey's had to display a mouth-watering candybar and I just had to have it. I should have waited until they reduced the price but my hunger was overwhelming. Of course, I'm only five-years-old and did know any better. I broke my piggybank for that .50 candybar. Mom-meeee. I'm gonna cry. Waahhh. ------------------------- Stevie says: Hey, you adults. Suck it up and move on. I've got shiny new gadgets for you to play with. Wanna try 'em. Haaaaha.

  1. psdenno

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I think.......

    ...the people who should be upset are those who bought 1,000 shares of Apple stock for about $145 late Tuesday only to watch it drop to just above $135 today. That's a bit more substantial than the $200 iPhone price change. and who are "several Beatles members to bring their music to iTunes"? Only two members left that I know of.

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