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Apple drops price of iPhone by $200, gives cookies to the losers

Thu, 09/06/2007 - 17:32 -- rprice

I heard about this yesterday when Apple announced their new line of iPods, including a device that does almost everything the iPhone does except make calls, dubbed "iPod Touch". Today, Steve Jobs wrote an open letter to everyone who's already bought an iPhone that says "tough crap, I'll give you $100 gift card, go away, you bother me." Obviously, the tech bloggers have something to say about this.

Here's my response to Jeremy Harrington's Thoughts on iPhone Price Drop:

My personal opinion is that they lowered the price of the iPhone so they would sell FEWER Touch units... if they are the same price, but one makes calls and the other is a portable hard drive, which one is of more value to you? I bought a Sony Mylo a few weeks before the original iPhone announcement because it makes Skype calls, and it came with a free year of T-Mobile HotSpot... as far as I know, yesterday's announcements didn't mention anything about free access at Starbuck's. For that reason alone, the Mylo was worth it and continues to be a superior device, because I can make VOIP calls with it. I'm sure the next rev of Mylo will have touch and lots of the things that make the iPhone so great right now. I waited on iPhone, and now I'll wait for a touch/wifi device with a camera (does Touch have that?) that can make VOIP calls, and there will be another giveaway like a free year of wifi because they'll have to keep up with Apple.

Granted, there are a lot of benefits with buying an iProduct. The synching, the media, the iTunes store, the podcasts... still, I will call attention to my post of a few days past about Miro and Songbird. If you don't like to, how you say, "pay for media", you'll like that Miro and Songbird can do everything iTunes can with the same ease of use and the same download price... free. On top of that, you'll know that if you want a new feature, you can send a message to the guys and girls that design the software and be heard.

Jeremy said it pretty well:

Apple has become a consumer product business, and the exemplary customer satisfaction they tout in their marketing and interviews took a hit yesterday. If they keep this up they will be a big consumer electronics business like they wish to be, the kind everyone hates.

I hope this doesn't happen, but it looks like the way things are going.


Commenting on this Blog post is closed.


Ryan, I can certainly follow your conclusions, and I think the fallout from this is yet to be seen. I think my last quote is a little tarnished now that they have decided to do this post-mortem rebate. I think Miro is a great app, it needs more attention to breakthrough and for people to 'get' what it is and why and matters.

Songbird on the otherhand, I can't stand it. I have to completely disagree with the note that it's '[has the] same ease of use [as iTunes]', I don't believe this is the case whatsoever. It's a frankenstein of UI conventions, piecemealed on-top of a goofy platform. In all my time as usability person, one thing remains true - performance = usability. By that alone Songbird doesn't make the cut. Feature-wise it's very cool, the whole grabbing via music blogs, etc. is a cool idea but the media player isn't there yet.

Hey Jeremy, I certainly don't think Songbird is the best it could possibly be. At the same time, I do so much with audio podcasting, and I can only direct people at iTunes for their download needs. Just about any other software I know of costs money or hasn't had an update in years, whereas songbird is under active development.

Back when Flock was still a 0.4 or 0.5, I had no clue what to think of it, but I got excited because the team was making a conscious effort to provide a better alternative to the industry standard. For me, iTunes replaced Winamp, which was like replacing a manual transmission with automatic. Songbird is trying to do something else entirely, and I want it to succeed.

And like I said in the post, the open feedback channel is a huge selling point for me in the case of both apps, as well as the Win/Mac/Linux ability, the basis on open-source tools, and the customizability. None of which you get from iTunes' "black box". For video editing software, a black box is fine. For a music player, I want the experience to be personal and portable.