Apple rewards iPhone beta testers with $200 early buyer penalty

As Dan pointed out the iPod Touch will be available soon for US$299 and US$399, which is great news for those who want an iPhone experience without the AT&T service. I was actually thinking of selling my iPhone and cancelling AT&T when a few minutes later in the keynote Steve Jobs slapped all of us suckers who bought an iPhone the last two months with the announcement that the 8GB iPhone is now immediately available for US$399 (versus the US$599 price it was yesterday). Wow, I can understand a price drop after a few months, but just two months after the launch and after it is too late for us to return our iPhones. Hmm, I don't know if I am angrier at myself for being a sucker or at Apple for rewarding all of us beta testers. Apple should seriously consider giving us $50, $100 or $200 in iTunes credit or something to try to ease the pain and thank all of us for the success of the iPhone.

As Dan pointed out the iPod Touch will be available soon for US$299 and US$399, which is great news for those who want an iPhone experience without the AT&T service. I was actually thinking of selling my iPhone and cancelling AT&T when a few minutes later in the keynote Steve Jobs slapped all of us suckers who bought an iPhone the last two months with the announcement that the 8GB iPhone is now immediately available for US$399 (versus the US$599 price it was yesterday). Wow, I can understand a price drop after a few months, but just two months after the launch and after it is too late for us to return our iPhones. Hmm, I don't know if I am angrier at myself for being a sucker or at Apple for rewarding all of us beta testers. Apple should seriously consider giving us $50, $100 or $200 in iTunes credit or something to try to ease the pain and thank all of us for the success of the iPhone.

$399 iPhone

Credit: Engadget.com

I'll have to run the numbers, but I may still cancel my AT&T contract and stick with friendly T-Mobile and my other more powerful mobile devices. I may just keep the iPhone as an iPod Touch, especially now that the bottom just fell out on the iPhone resale market. Thanks Steve. I wonder how many lawsuits will pop up over this stunt? I can understand dropping it US$50 or US$100 after 6 months or so, but this is bigger than anything they have ever done with an iPod and I think Steve just lost a huge number of early adopters, like myself, who won't be so quick to make a purchase from Apple again.

UPDATE: A buddy just bought an iPhone a week ago and just confirmed that the Apple store will give you a US$200 refund if you bought within the last 14 days if you take in your receipt. This is good news since those who just bought them shouldn't be penalized by the price drop. Another buddy told me to check into my credit card pricing protection plan that may help out too.

UPDATE 2: As others have posted already, Steve Jobs issued an open letter stating that each iPhone customer will get a US$100 Apple store credit if they purchased an iPhone at the original price. I understand Jobs didn't have to do anything, but to help keep enthusiasts and early adopters coming back next time I think this is the right move. Tons of people have commented about whining and moaning, but I still have to disagree with them. I always take a hit when it comes to being the first to buy a mobile device, but I have NEVER seen a 33% price drop in 2 months. Also, take a look at the iPod track record for the last several years and this drop could not have been predicted. Maybe US$100 after 6 months or just in time for Christmas, but not US$200 in 2 months.

I do feel that the iPhone was worth the $599 ($650 with taxes) that I paid back in June, but what about all of those people I convinced to buy an iPhone that just made their first Apple purchase. I don't think they appreciated the drop and I may have lost some credibility with them. This wasn't just some imported Nokia or Windows Mobile device that was on the cutting edge that 1,000 people purchased, but a U.S. only product purchased by something like 900,000 people and that is a HUGE difference IMHO.