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Apple Legend Woz Blasts iPhone Price Drop 272

Stony Stevenson writes "Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak Saturday blasted Steve Jobs' decision to drop the price of the iPhone by $200 just two months after the product was launched. Said Woz: 'Everyone expects technology to drop in price. The first adopters always pay a premium. I am one of them. I am used to that. But that one was too soon, too harsh ... A lot of people from Apple, even a lot of people that worked on the Apple Lisa and Macintosh computers in the beginning now work at Google. The thinking over at Google is very much like early Apple days. The fact that they give people time off to work on their own ideas is exactly matches some of the things that made Apple great. I wish Apple did that.'" We just discussed the price drop last night.
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Apple Legend Woz Blasts iPhone Price Drop

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  • by not-quite-rite ( 232445 ) on Monday September 24, 2007 @02:30AM (#20725449) Homepage Journal
    This is probably going to get me in trouble, but I really don't know why people care about Woz so much.

    There are hundreds of engineers that have done amazing things, and are still doing them.

    Why do people still care what he thinks/does?
  • Re:Supply and Demand (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RonnyJ ( 651856 ) on Monday September 24, 2007 @02:53AM (#20725551)
    I don't think it's just the loss of $200 that bothers everyone, the price drop also makes the product seem a little less 'exclusive'.

    (I'm sure that's not the factor most people would be annoyed about, but I'm sure a fair few people bought it largely as a status symbol.)
  • by bgspence ( 155914 ) on Monday September 24, 2007 @03:03AM (#20725589)
    No one outside of a small circle in Apple and ATT know what the real deal is. Apple is getting something for the phone and something each month for the service. ATT signed up using a spreadsheet with one set of assumptions. Some suggest Apple gets $200 per phone plus a bit of the monthly service charge. ATT's calculations could never guess Apple would change the equation this big so soon. It's not Apple's normal thing to slash prices. ATT will sell more services, but Apple probably gets a huge iPhone subsidy. I bet Apple took ATT to the cleaners with the deal.
  • by shird ( 566377 ) on Monday September 24, 2007 @03:39AM (#20725765) Homepage Journal
    I don't get it. What does the price drop on the iPhone have to do with working at Google over Apple? Did the price drop affect the employees of Apple in some bad way, that Google didn't/wouldn't? Are they going to lose their job as a result? The two stories seem completely unrelated.
  • by aviators99 ( 895782 ) on Monday September 24, 2007 @03:47AM (#20725809) Homepage
    He's still relevant because the computer engineering ideas he came up with back then still hold up today, and some board designers could still learn lessons from what he did. His designs are still works of art.

    In addition, his philanthropy and dedication to children in need (both materially and intellectually) should be an example to us all.
  • by unitron ( 5733 ) on Monday September 24, 2007 @04:53AM (#20726115) Homepage Journal

    He's a clever geek, no doubt but he owes everything to the good fortune of meeting Steve Jobs. Without him Woz would still be a calculator engineer at HP.

    Are you sure it wasn't the other way around, that Jobs had the good fortune to be in the right place at the right time to exploit Woz's talents?

  • Re:Woz vs. Gates (Score:3, Interesting)

    by clickclickdrone ( 964164 ) on Monday September 24, 2007 @05:38AM (#20726303)
    Not /quite/ in the same league but Doug Neubauer wrote most of the seminal Atari 8bit game Star Raiders before the hardware existed. He worked from chip designs (one of which he helped design) and built a 3D game with sprites, multiple screens etc that fitted a single 8K cartridge back in 1979. Most impressively, he claims that the 80% done version pretty much compiled fine first time once he got real hardware to try it on.
  • Re:Supply and Demand (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dr. Slacker ( 31348 ) on Monday September 24, 2007 @05:54AM (#20726377)
    Give me a break. A low price and lack of inventory hasn't hurt the Wii.
  • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Monday September 24, 2007 @06:23AM (#20726497) Homepage
    "focusing on usability"

    Sorry , but many many more people at Xerox PARC did that much more and much earlier. Before you start regurgitating the Woz myth verbatim I suggest you go look up some of their achievments in GUIs and man-machine interaction before Apple was even a glint in Woz or Steves eye.
  • Vast difference (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday September 24, 2007 @10:44AM (#20728855)
    Rolex is a true luxury, there are any number of devices that can provide exactly the same functionality, in a less impressive package. You are wholly paying for the "time casing" and the name.

    In the case of the iPhone, there are no other phones that do what it does - period. Frankly I would have been happy to pay $1k for the phone, because I plan to use it for many many years and I like having a phone I don't hate. A phone is the one thing I have to carry every day. You wouldn't wear clothes you hate every day, that actually made you uncomfortable, so why should it be the same with a phone.

    Other people can be happy wiht other phones and that is great, but realize there are those of us (and they are most of us) that use an iPhone because of what it can do, not what other people think about it.
  • by Jahz ( 831343 ) on Monday September 24, 2007 @01:38PM (#20731473) Homepage Journal
    This thread has a level of trolling rarely seen. Way beyond the normal fanboy vs anti-fanboy crap. The iPhone is at least "good." Admit that and then criticize and nitpick if you want. Starting arguments by calling it a worthless piece of crap just shows people that you're a very angry troll and that your post is safe to skip. I have an iPhone... my sister doesn't want an iPhone but wants (for some reason) a smart phone. She said it was too hard to use. I gave it to her last weekend to play with and she figured out *almost* everything on her own. She still doesn't want one, but since we need to get her a phone regardless, I did the math for her:

    We're AT&T customers. She needs more text messages than 200 (around 400 would work). She also needs data.

    Including AT&T new customer / upgrade discounts, mail-in rebates, etc, the prices for the phones are:
    BlackBerry Pearl: $99.99
    BlackBerry 8700: $200
    Treo 750: $249
    BlackBerry 8800: $300
    iPhone 8GB: $399

    iPhone is the most expensive choice, right? Not so fast. Add in the annual data and text message charges, you get:

    All blackberry models:
    BB Internet Service Plan: $29.99
    200 text/unlim M2M: $9.99

    Text: $119.88 (200+unlim/mo)
    Data: $359.88
    TOTAL: $479.76/yr

    Treo 750:
    PDA Personal Plan MAX: $39.99 (inc 1500 text & web)

    Data/Text: $479.88
    TOTAL: $479.88 /yr

    iPhone 8GB
    200 text: free
    200 more texts: $4.99
    Data: $20

    Text: $71.88
    Data: $240
    TOTAL: $299.88 /yr

    Now multiply out the first year of costs, including phone purchase price, data and text:
    BB Pearl: $579.75
    BB 8700c: $679.76
    iPhone: $698.88
    Treo 750: $728.88
    BB 8800: $779.76

    Wow! Surprise, after the 1 year basic costs necessary to use the internet with your smart phone, iPhone is just average cost! But wait, contract length for some of these is 2 years. Even if it weren't, who spends $250 or $300 on a phone that they'll only use for a year? So lets add another year to the cost analysis:

    Two-year cost of phones, including purchase price, monthly data, monthly text:
    iPhone: $998.76
    BB Pearl: $1059.51
    BB 8700c: $1159.52
    Treo 750: $1208.76
    BB 8800: $1259.52

    Oh wow! Looks like in the long run, the iPhone is cheaper than other popular comparable options! If you don't text at all, you can remove the text message options, but it doesn't make a difference in the ordering.

    iPhone has high UP-FRONT cost, but reasonable and sometimes even CHEAP long-term costs because of it's inclusive plan!
  • Re:Supply and Demand (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2007 @03:59PM (#20733745)
    Common sense is not so common.

    Many less educated people think that any money they have access to is money they *should* spend. They have no idea that they should be saving money because they think the government is going to keep them fat and happy in retirement, when in reality all the gov't will do is allow them to subsist a bit of the poverty line (which I think is a perfectly sufficient level of support).

    Schools should at least offer electives in personal finance for high school students. My university had a seminar on the subject (it was either no credit or 1 credit pass/fail) that I think every student could have really benefited from.

    A more useful budgeting lesson would be as follows:

    You make 75k/year. The government will take about 30% of this away in various taxes, leaving you with $4000/month to take home.
    You should spend no more than 40% of your take home salary on living expenses- in this scenario that means you have $1600 for rent/mortgage (with a lesson explaining the tax benefits to owning a home, how mortgages work, etc.) You should have 6 months of living expenses in an emergency fund in case you lose your job, and be socking away 6-15% of your income for retirement... etc...

    The final (it could even be take home) would be giving a few different scenarios of income+ obligations and creating a budget plan for them- IE: You are 27, have 60k in student loan debt, need a new car, pay $750 a month in rent, and make $50k per year. How much can you afford?

    These are life lessons that are usually learned only after a fair deal of pain, the details and options are not necessarily obvious or easy to figure out on your own (There is a great deal of non obvious terminology around things like 401k's, IRA's, taxes, mortgages, etc).

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