Jobs to $599 iPhone buyers: that's tough. He's right, you know

Summary:In Thursday morning's USAToday, you'll find an interview with Steve Jobs.Steve essentially says that if you paid the full $599 price for an iPhone more than two weeks ago, and on or close to the June 29 craziness, well, then you should have known the price was going to be lowered.

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In Thursday morning's USAToday, you'll find an interview with Steve Jobs.

Steve essentially says that if you paid the full $599 price for an iPhone more than two weeks ago, and on or close to the June 29 craziness, well, then you should have known the price was going to be lowered.

And that it has, to $399.

A few questions posed by USAT tech reporters Ed Baig and Jefferson Graham caught my eye:

Q: What do you say to customers who just bought a new iPhone for $599? Sorry?

A: That's technology. If they bought it this morning, they should go back to where they bought it and talk to them. If they bought it a month ago, well, that's what happens in technology.

Q: To do this, are you taking a hit on costs? Or have prices really come down?

A: We're in high-volume manufacturing, and we're pretty good on the costs side. We're also willing to be more aggressive. We think we have a real winner, and customers love the iPhone. The product's been extremely well accepted; we want to put the pedal to the metal. A holiday season is approaching; we'd have to wait another year for another one.

Actually, Steve has a point. I get into this a little deeper on my BlackBerry blog.

I write:

One often applicable law of pricing for consumer devices:

When an anticipated device hits the market, charge lots.

Why? Anticipation brings out the Fanboys (and Fangrrls).

Then, after a few months, after the most eager customers have already dug into their wallets and pocketbooks, comes the time where the device needs to gain substantial inroads among mainstream users who sat out the first wave.

If you take a look at what happened today with Apple’s 8GB iPhone being down-priced from $599 to $399, you’ll see a trend line that also happened with the BlackBerry Pearl.

High price at the start to attract the most excited consumers, then discounting to cross the chasm to the mainstream.

And hey, this principle isn’t only applicable to handsets, or even to technology.

You see it in everything from Harry Potter books, to clothes, to movie theater prices.

Hype the debut and ring the ka-ching.

Then after a couple of months, draw down the $$ and market to the masses.

Do you feel "jobbed" by Jobs? You shouldn't. After all, We're seeing basic economic forces at work.

Topics: iPhone, IT Employment, Mobility

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