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Technology (Apple) Businesses Technology

Apple Gives $100 Store Credit To iPhone Customers 452

MooRogue writes "In an open letter to all iPhone customers, Steve Jobs responds to hundreds of emails from upset iPhone customers. Apple will be giving early adopters who are not receiving rebates or any other consideration $100 store credit at the Apple store. Details will be posted on the Apple website next week"
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Apple Gives $100 Store Credit To iPhone Customers

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  • Woohoo! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cajun Hell ( 725246 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @06:15PM (#20500235) Homepage Journal
    I just found 1300 iPhones in a dumpster. That's $130,000!
  • by Tibor the Hun ( 143056 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @06:16PM (#20500245)
    Say what you will, but what other company figurehead in recent memory has came out and apologized for other people's willingness to spend their money?

    Maybe it was all planned out from the day one though, and if that's the case, I wish Steve would run for the next presidential election. Talk about planing for every contingency...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 06, 2007 @06:31PM (#20500449)
      I'm pretty sure it was planned. There no way Steve and his entire management didn't expect that it would upset a lot of the early adopters. Now they sacrifice a bit of their $200 early adopter tax, but the benefits are numerous. The much more affordable $399 price tag gets in the news not one but twice. The $100 credit still remains in the company, and probably gets spent on even more Apple products, or on accessories which costs them almost nothing. After venting their rage for a day, many of the upset early adopters become even more loyal to the company than before. They get a lot of good PR for listening to their customers. People will be less wary of being an early adopter for Apple products in the future. And they after all this, the _still_ get to keep $100 of the early adopter tax.

      This was brilliant marketing through and through. Bravo.
      • by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Thursday September 06, 2007 @07:21PM (#20501043) Homepage Journal

        After venting their rage for a day, many of the upset early adopters become even more loyal to the company than before. They get a lot of good PR for listening to their customers.

        Good point. I recall reading somewhere that people are more impressed by a company resolving a bad experience to their satisfaction than they are simply by good experience. (This is, of course, self-limiting. If every initial experience is bad, most people will stop slogging through repeated bad experiences to get to the good ones. Well, software .0 versions notwithstanding.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Riquez ( 917372 )

      but what other company figurehead in recent memory
      Are you implying that Steve Jobs is a figurehead? or is that you just don"t know what the word means?

      figurehead a nominal leader or head without real power
    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @07:03PM (#20500823)
      Think about it - if this had really been planned, the best timing would be to announce the credit a week or two AFTER the new iPods go on sale. That way a lot of customers buy new iPods, then head back to the Apple store for accessories after they get the rebate. If Apple was as devious as people claim, issuing an announcement about a rebate ahead of the actual rebate is a terrible non-profix-maximizing idea.

      Like everything else in life, the reality is probably between the two extremes - Apple probably thought recently about deep price cuts, and held in reserve the strategy of a rebate if complaints about the price drop from current owners were loud enough (which they were). Apple is a company yes, but Jobs is not a Ferengi (or Mother Teresa in a turtleneck).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 06, 2007 @06:17PM (#20500253)
    wtf is wrong with these early adopters who complain about paying more? they knew from the beginning that apple will drop prices. whiney bunch of pussies
  • > Details will be posted on the Apple website next week

    "Please provide apple with your phone number, address, receipt from the place of purchase, original UPC..."

    *slaps forehead*

    • by Bomarc ( 306716 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @06:27PM (#20500393) Homepage
      ... and send the request to Vastech, located on Bonaventura Drive in San Jose. []
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @06:18PM (#20500283) Homepage Journal

    The dumpster hungers.

  • Funny (Score:2, Insightful)

    by EaglemanBSA ( 950534 )
    Funny how that's vastly different from refunding $100, or even the $200 the phone users are out -- Apple will simply lose the production costs of the items sold under that store credit (not to mention gaining profits from any accessories bought as a result beyond the $100 credit). It's not to say such hardware prices wouldn't normally fluctuate, but a month or two is a bit quick for something that's seemingly so successful. I wonder where to draw the line between truly normal price decreases, and jacking th
    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @07:08PM (#20500883)
      It doesn't matter to me what Apple's costs are, it's still something $100 cheaper to me. I plan to use it on Leopard which I was going to buy anyway, as I'm sure a lot of people will - how is that not a direct and pure loss for Apple since every dollar of purchase went to paying off R&D on the new OS?

      Some things might go for things Apple paid less for, but I just call that Win-Win. Since Apple didn't have to do anything, something is way better than nothing.
  • by Nymz ( 905908 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @06:21PM (#20500309) Journal
    If everyone that purchased an iPhone, goes out and purchases an iTouch for $100 less, how will Apple ever make any money?
    • by JordanL ( 886154 )
      Why would anyone who bought an iPhone go get an iPod touch? It's not like it has that much more storage...
  • Damn you apple! Now I have no more excuse to not buy that 160GB iPod classic... Somehow I feel like they will actually get a net profit from this move.
  • ....but you've probably seen lately?
  • by gearloos ( 816828 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @06:28PM (#20500413)
    No one has mentioned it but it is a great move by Jobs, $100.00 "Apple Store Credit" probably costs them $40.00 and in addition it is that incentive mentioned earlier. So,in no way does it cost Apple 100.00 to look like they are meeting Joe "early adopter" halfway.
    • by truesaer ( 135079 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @06:52PM (#20500687) Homepage
      $40, except half the people wont claim it at all. And of those that do, how many will buy something that costs a hell of a lot more than $100? I bet apple profits off this.

      Steve Jobs can't even fucking give away money without making money.

    • Meet Joe Whiner (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @07:08PM (#20500877) Homepage Journal

      So,in no way does it cost Apple 100.00 to look like they are meeting Joe "early adopter" halfway.
      What I don't understand is why they have to meet him at all. He waited out in front of the store all night, he bought something he knew would soon be subject to steep discounts, and he did it just because he had to have this new toy 5 minutes before everybody else. And now he's screaming that he got ripped of because Apple only waited a couple months before cutting the SRP? A price nobody pays anyway?

      Me, I'm against Global Warming and Global Whining.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by mr_zorg ( 259994 )
        Clearly spoken by someone who is not an Apple customer. While what you say is true for many markets, it is historically NOT true for Apple. Their products never really drop in price. They introduce new models and slide everything else down, yes (consistently every 6, 9 or 12 months), but their overall price lineup remains more or less constant. Their products NEVER go on sale. It is this historical trust that has been violated here. They did not introduce a new model iPhone that slid ours down the scale, an
  • Apple's open letter (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Experiment 626 ( 698257 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @06:30PM (#20500431)

    Really? Steve sat down and personally read hundreds of emails that all boiled down to "I paid $200 more than I could have so you suck."? Really? You don't think that after 35 or so he'd have gotten the idea?

    (My GF's response when I showed her the article)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ivan256 ( 17499 )

      "I paid $200 more than I could have so you suck."

      Really, I can understand being upset, but anybody who thinks/says that has the wrong person in mind when they're thinking of who sucks.
  • Whiners (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pinky3 ( 22411 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @06:30PM (#20500433) Homepage
    Years ago, when the HP LaserJet 4 first came out, I bought one at Fry's for $1600. Three weeks later, they were selling it for $1200. I didn't whine.

    Who hasn't bought a computer, a flat screen tv, or a car where there wasn't a discount or price reduction a few months later? Why would anyone expect the iPhone to be exempt from economics?

    Clearly, Apple is doing the right thing as far a public relations are concerned, but the idea that you are entitled to a refund for something you bought two months ago is ridiculous.
  • by chriss ( 26574 ) * <> on Thursday September 06, 2007 @06:31PM (#20500453) Homepage
    1. Sell him something
    2. Kick him in the balls
    3. Wait till he complains and declares to hate you
    4. Give him a band aid and a lollipop
    5. He now loves the big brother again

    I'm myself bordering the state of Apple fan boy, but this is scary. People crying fool yesterday now praise the company for being responsive. I'm not into conspiracy theories, but if Apple had had this planed, this would be pure genius. Lowering the price and then getting the people who payed more to cheer you. Just scary how perfectly they play their crowd.

    I don't think this was planed. But I think Apple knows that we now live in an attention society and that people highly regard companies who admit errors and change. In fact people overvalue this since they do not expect it (yet. Microsoft will obviously copy it someday). They did it with "greener Apple", they do it again with credits for iPhones which will generate more money for them due to people buying stuff in the Apple store.

    • by artg ( 24127 )
      It works for W Gates. Even though he misses out step 4.
    • by Trojan35 ( 910785 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @07:56PM (#20501403)
      The price cut was planned but not for the reasons analysts are speculating.

      The price cut was to compete with its own product, the iPod. The goal is to convert iPod users into iPhone users. And really, at that price why not? People are used to paying $200-$300 for their iPod, so the iPhone now looks like a very good bargain.

      With that, apple adds revenue streams from ATT, even better integration with the iTMS, and the opportunity for even more revenue streams through new WiFi/Edge services (Starbucks, Ringtones, etc). Freakin' Brilliant.
  • by bl8n8r ( 649187 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @06:39PM (#20500521)
    Certainly not the normal "Please piss off, and have a nice day." response of:

    "We're sorry to hear of your disappointment with our product.
      Unfortunately, we have a very large volume of customers who
      are very satisfied with our products, at the the prices
      we offer. We do our best to please every customer"

  • ... what they charge in other countries. If it looks like the price is going to drop dramatically after a couple of months, who's going to buy? On the other hand, if they don't charge so much and don't drop the price, people will complain that they were expecting a refund.
  • Bad Move (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aldheorte ( 162967 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @07:12PM (#20500925)
    This just encourages whiners and the worst kind of whiners. The people up in arms about this are not the people who were unwilling to pay $200 more. Clearly, they bought the phone at that price. What they are up in arms about is that a cheaper phone may mean that other people will be able to afford them, therefore their status symbol is not as exclusive and their feeling of superiority is diminished. The rebate doesn't solve this problem at all and will not please them anyway.

    Psychology aside, from a business perspective, there's absolutely no justification for Apple to give a retroactive discount past the return period (see below). When you buy something, you buy it for a price at a particular point in time. If you want to wait and see if the price will go down, you may do so. If it's worth it at the set price at that time and you buy it, short of manufacturing defect, you have absolutely no claim that you should later get it at a lower price. It violates the social contract to demand otherwise. Would if Apple said you should pay them $200 more for the phone you already bought?

    The only reason that some merchants have retroactive prices is that the product is still within its return period and it's not worth processing all the returns as people re-buy the product. This is the only case where it makes any business sense to retroactively price a product like this.
  • by grondak ( 80002 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @07:23PM (#20501063) Homepage
    So they bought their phone on eBay, 'cause they were all out, or 'cause they got it for $559 ("cheapest price on the Internet!"). Now they have no recourse to "their $100" and just to rub salt in the wound, the guy who bought it at the store gets another $100.

    Or, the guys all trying to sell the iPhones for $559 just had "their market" bottom out. To sell, they have to get price-competitive. There's a $100 pantsing they have to suffer.

    Whoops! Speculation has its price!
  • American Express... (Score:4, Informative)

    by zoomnmd ( 163172 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @07:59PM (#20501443)
    I bought my iPhone on my American Express Card.
    I called their dispute claim number at 1-800-297-8019.
    They said they would process the claim for my 200 bucks.
    No guarantees, but they will let me know if I get a refund through them.

    Worth a try if you bought on a credit card.
  • by bgspence ( 155914 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @08:40PM (#20501821)
    Hey Steve,

    I'm pissed. I didn't buy an iPhone because I was waiting for the price to drop. And, now your'e refunding a big part of the price cut.

      I missed out on all the ohs and ahs of showing one off. You owe me big time.
  • by CPE1704TKS ( 995414 ) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @10:04PM (#20502485)
    They must be worried about the iPhone in order to do something as crazy as that. Dropping the price of the phone 2 months after it's released by 33%? It's bad for several reasons but mainly because it pisses off the early adopters big time as evidenced by the emails/rebate. The $100 will appease them, however, they will be extremely gunshy to jump on the boat again, that's for sure. One of my friends who bought the iPhone said exactly that, he will wait a few months now and won't be fooled by Apple a second time.

    And they know all this because they are savvy business people at Apple. Compare the iPhone to the PS3. More people bought the iPhone than did PS3 at the same price, yet it took Sony 1 year to get a $100 price drop as opposed to Apple's price drop.

    So the only reason to me is that it's desperation. I'm guessing that report about how only 136k people actually signed up must have them pretty worried and they need to reach a critical level sooner.

    Me personally, I smell blood in the water. I'm waiting for the price to drop even further before I begin to consider buying it. It would be interesting to see how many people feel the same way and if that will actually curtail pickup of the iPhone until closer to Christmas.
  • by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Friday September 07, 2007 @02:51AM (#20504391) Journal
    Why should people expect rebates if they willingly buy some stuff that's overpriced and it gets cheaper a few months later?

    If it was faulty or you got less than what was advertised then sure.

    WRT rebates for punishing companies, I personally don't think fines/rebates are that effective. Bosses being sent to prison is definitely more effective...
  • by Swift2001 ( 874553 ) on Friday September 07, 2007 @06:57AM (#20505525)
    I think they realized that they had set the opening price a little too high. If the top end had sold for $499, they would have sold more at the opening, and then nobody would have objected to $100 price cut. What do the early adopters think, they bought real estate instead of a rapidly-devaluating piece of personal electronics? A $200 drop, so soon, made the upper classes feel ripped off, instead of bravely paying off the development costs for the rest of us. Show a little damn noblesse oblige, iPhone nobility. Keep paying the premium price for your phones, so they can lower the price to $299, at which point, I bite. The lower classes will thank you brave price pioneers. Scratch me behind the ear and I will tug my forelock for you. No, it doesn't mean that. The forelock is the little tuft of hair in the front of your head that the serfs would tug at to show obeisance.
  • This was clever (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sheldon ( 2322 ) on Friday September 07, 2007 @09:31AM (#20506793)
    Instead of the story being "Apple lowers price, because of dismal sales", the story is about how people who paid too much are pissed and are getting a rebate.

    Maybe when it hits $200 and works with t-mobile out of the box, I'll consider buying one.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"