Steve Jobs on iPhone price drop

UPDATE: It appears the store credit page is up and running here. The process, like most of Apple’s offerings seems simple and straight forward. Kudos to Jobs for stepping up.

Well it looks like the masses have spoken and Steve listened. An open letter on Apple’s website from Steve shows that occasionally something does happen if you speak out. Now it isn’t the ideal solution for the consumer, but these things rarely are. At least it shows that some companies listen and make at least a minimal effort to quell the tide of discontent that so often happens in the technology world amidst a sweeping change.

Although he did not offer a full $200 refund to the early adopters, he did express his interest in make some amends to those masses that are less than pleased at the original announcement of the price drop. Instead, Apple will offer a $100 credit for use at Apple stores (including the online store). I’m sure there are many who will still be completely discontent with this offer. They can get over it.

As Mr. Jobs stated in his letter:

If you always wait for the next price cut or to buy the new improved model, you’ll never buy any technology product because there is always something better and less expensive on the horizon.

I think that pretty much sums up life in the world of tech. No matter how careful you are, sooner or later you will be caught like those that bought the iPhone at release. You have to accept that being on the bleeding edge means that you will pay a premium that others won’t when said tech isn’t bleeding edge anymore.

On the other hand, you also have to look at the company. Many of them would make changes like the price drop and tell the early adopters to stuff it … just with a little more eloquence than that. I could probably count the ones that truly listen to their customers on one hand. And it appears Apple is one of them.

Again, straight from Jobs’ letter:

…even though we are making the right decision to lower the price of iPhone, and even though the technology road is bumpy, we need to do a better job taking care of our early iPhone customers as we aggressively go after new ones with a lower price. Our early customers trusted us, and we must live up to that trust with our actions in moments like these.

So while it may not be as good as a $200 check from the boys over at Apple, at least it is something by way of an apology and an attempt to make things right. Of course, anyone that truly thought the mass discontent would result in such a refund is probably woefully out of touch with reality. That’s not how capitalism works.

iPod Updates

And so Mr. Steve Jobs has once again graced the stage to usher in a new generation of sleek Apple tech goodies. The new iPods are here and they look good. Lots of minor adjustments, like available colors of the Shuffle. But there are also some bigger changes and announcements…

First off, the Nano has been redesigned to look like a midget (read: squished) iPod Classic. It has nearly the same beautiful color screen as the Classic (2″ instead of 2.5″) and can play video. The sizes are 4GB for $149 and 8GB for $199. Very reasonable considering I paid $250 for my 4GB Mini back when it was new.

Next up is the Classic. It has a size bump and is now available as either 80GB for $249 or 160GB for $349. That should take a bit longer to fill up. Oh, and it only comes in two colors, black and grey.

The big star, though, is the iPod Touch. Think iPhone without the phone part. The case is a near twin to the iPhone. It uses the same 3.5″ multitouch screen and has built in WiFi. Yes, you heard right. The iPod Touch has WiFi. Apple inked a deal with Starbucks. Now if you take your iPod Touch in range of their WiFi hotspot, you can access the iTunes Music Store for free. And yes, this works for the Mac and the iPhone as well. WiFi isn’t limited to iTunes. The Touch comes with the Safari browser and works just like the iPhone. Full page rendering and zooming with just a few flicks of the finger. Life can be sweet. So what’s the price for the goodness? 8GB for $299 and 16GB for $399.

If that isn’t enough, Apple decided to drop the 4GB iPhone. The 8GB is the only model and the price is … $399. Let me say that again … $399. According to AT&T‘s site, the 4GB model will sell for $299 while supplies last. I like the sound of that. I’d like it more if they had 3G. This price drop, however, puts the phone in range of a LOT more people. I expect AT&T will be getting a nice little boost in customers (probably followed quickly by a drop in customer satisfaction if the trend continues). So that’s it. There’s a whole lotta goodness packed into the new lineup and Steve is sure to push the envelope even further next refresh. But until then…enjoy the goodies.