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News   - 09/08/2007

Apple CEO apologizes for iPhone price cut, early users see it philosophically

Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs apologized and offered $100 credits Thursday to people who shelled out up to $599 for an iPhone this summer and were burned when the company chopped $200 from the expensive model's price.

In a letter on the company's Web site, Jobs acknowledged that Apple disappointed some of its customers by cutting the price of the iPhone's 8-gigabyte model and said he has received hundreds of e-mails complaining about the price cut.

Jobs added that "the technology road is bumpy," and there will always be people who pay top dollar for the latest electronics but get angry later when the price drops.

"This is life in the technology lane," Jobs said in the letter Thursday.

And for many of the iPhone's early adopters, money is not and never was an issue. They were after the gratification of knowing they were among the first owners of something that was cool, even revolutionary.

"If they told me at the outset the iPhone would be $200 cheaper the next day, I would have thought about it for a second - and still bought it," said Andrew Brin, a 47-year-old addiction therapist in Los Angeles. "It was $600 and that was the price I was willing to pay for it."

Jobs said Apple will hand out $100 credits for Apple's retail and online stores to any iPhone owners who aren't eligible for a rebate under the company's refund policy. The policy covers those who bought their phones within 14 days of the price cut.

An Apple spokeswoman said the company did not have an estimate of how much the credits would cost Apple.

Enjoying that period of being among the first - before the price drops and the product reaches the masses - is part of the pleasure, Brin and others say. And in much of the tech world, the usual expectation is that six months will pass before there's a major price cut and a year before a next generation of the product - usually an improved version - appears.

The looks of envy and attraction are an elixir.

"It's better than a dog, if you want to meet people," Brin said of his iPhone.

Jack Shamama of San Francisco, who was among the thousands nationwide who lined up for iPhones on the day they first went on sale, said he got some smug text messages and phone calls from friends on Wednesday after Apple announced the price cut.

But Shamama is taking the price cut in stride, saying such cuts are the wages of being an early adopter.

Source: WTVG-TV Toledo    
 
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