Steve Jobs has posted an open letter on the Apple website, apologising to the ‘hundreds’ of iPhone customers who have emailed him to express their outrage at the $200 price cut in the iPhone. By way of consolation, he has offered "a $100 store credit towards the purchase of any product at an Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store."
He doesn’t go so far as to admit he was wrong, however, saying "I am sure that we are making the correct decision…we have the chance to ‘go for it’ this holiday season…It benefits both Apple and every iPhone user to get as many new customers as possible in the iPhone ‘tent’."
While this may be true (although he doesn’t explain why existing users benefit from new additions to said ‘tent’), it doesn’t explain why the iPhone had to be so expensive in the first place.
Either: a) He always intended to cut the price by $200 two months after launch, in which case he knowingly overcharged for the first two months, or b) The price cut was a reaction to unanticipated commercial circumstances, such as the phone not selling as much as he hoped or maybe even the Nokia announcements.
Either way, Jobs deserves credit for responding to the furore of his making by offering a concession to those who stumped up the big bucks. And it’s also fair enough that the full $200 isn’t being offered, as early adopters expect to pay a premium – just not a 50 per cent one. However, the fact that the $100 is only redeemable on Apple products does tarnish the gesture a tad.