updated 08:50 pm EDT, Sat September 8, 2007
iPhone rebate hypocrisy
Apple's decision to credit early iPhone buyers $100 toward the purchase of other Apple products in an attempt to alleviate anger triggered by the massive 33-40 percent price drop enacted just 10 weeks after the device's introduction represents an about-face in the company's stance on such rebates. In fact, in 2003, Apple argued a Microsoft settlement that "fewer than 25 percent of customers redeem these types of vouchers." That criticism concerned Microsoft's $1.1 billion antitrust settlement, which consisted of vouchers worth up to $29. Wired reports "The vouchers, which are still being paid off, could be converted to cash upon proof of purchase of most any computer device or software from any company. Details about Apple's rebate are expected soon. Will Apple issue its own 'vouchers?'"
Apple's concession came after thousands of emails and feedback from angry customers. Backtracking on his previous hard-line stance, CEO Steve Jobs acknowledged the role of early adopters in the evolution of a product, while emphasizing that price continues to decline over the life of any technology product. Customers, he said, could expect a $100 credit some time next week. In an open letter to customers, the CEO reiterated that the company was making the right decision with its price cut ahead of the holiday season, but noted that trust was an important factor in customer relationships.