September 07, 2007

A Fool And His Money

You've seen the lines of people waiting for hours, and hours and hours to be among the first to buy the new Apple IPhone. It cost $599.00 and required a lengthy contract with AT&T. Now, most of these folks, if not perhaps all of them had a cell phone, many had a camera on it and many had access to the internet. I would imagine more than a few had high-end Blackberrys or Treo 700's or better. So, why shell out more than $600.00 for a new gadget? Simple, because a fool and his money are soon parted, but they had to have the latest gizmo to show how cool they were, how with it, how modern, how foolish?

Then, Jobs and his crew look to take in MORE money with holiday spending so they drop the prices some $200.00 and those that spent $599.00 were LIVID. Now, any one who buys electronics knows about price drops, a very basic 66 hertz computer from Hewlett Packard cost almost $2000.00 in 1994 and now you can get one a "zillion" times faster, far more powerful, with a relative HUGE amount of memory and hard drives in the terrabit range for less than $1500.00 Ram that used to cost hundreds of dollars for a 256 bit chip now costs less than $100.00 for a gigabyte chip.

So, why are these folks griping because Apple dropped it's price? All they had to do was wait a little bit befor buying. But noooooooooooo! And now they want some money back. Give me a break!

Posted by GM Roper at September 7, 2007 08:25 PM | TrackBack

This was good marketing, but Apple made the change too fast, so many people will be hesitant to jump in first for their next innovation.

I wonder how some of those people feel after buying a house and then finding that the prices went UP after a few months. They probably wanted to give the builder some more money or a coupon--to make it fair, of course.

Poloroid did it best with their Instamatic (a camera that develops the picture within a minute!). The price was high at first, over $1,000 as I remember. After they had saturated the high income market layer, Poloroid dropped the price for the next income level and so on until the camera was $19.95--my level.

Posted by Woody at September 8, 2007 08:41 AM

Woody - that would be The Swinger. It's more than a camera, it's almost alive, etc.

As to the price drop, I'm still annoyed that I can't buy Microsoft stock in 1976. Or that I didn't warn Bill Lee to stop pitching junk to Perez in 1975.

It's called real life. People should get a grip.

Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at September 8, 2007 05:12 PM

I learned my lesson in 1976. That's when I bought my frist Betamax. It cost about $1300 and each one hour tape (the max at that time) was $16.

I taped Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda in the delightful film "Yours Mine and Ours." For the cost, I could have rented a theater and a limo and taken all my friends to see it instead.

After I realized how expensive that mistake was, I stopped being an early adapter. I'm still waiting for cell phone service to drop the cost before I get my first one.

I'll still buy the fastest computer, but I won't buy it the first day, or month, or quarter it comes on the market and I won't buy a new one for at least three years.

Posted by Mike's America at September 8, 2007 05:20 PM

Isn't the ultimate in low functioning expensive crap the Mercedes Benz line of cars? Everyone in my office either drives one or aspires to. Too bad they are always in for repairs. A girl in my office just paid $800.00 to have the passenger side mirror replaced on her car.

Posted by earl west at September 9, 2007 06:49 AM

I don't think it's so much the price drop as it is the fact that having an iPhone won't be so "cool" because more people will have them. In other words, it's the status, not the price they paid for it.

Posted by Oyster at September 10, 2007 05:35 AM

Serious security flaws in I-Phones were discovered right off the bat. That said,

Being one of those folks who misses the era of the rotary dial phone and the busy signal, I have always been a mega-late purchaser. Beta Max was a distant memory before I owned my first VHS deck, I was probably the last person on earth to buy my first CD player and the only reason I went to DVD was that Virgin and fellow travellers stopped selling films in VHS. As long as my 2+ year old Dell Inspiron notebook functions, it will not be replaced, breath-taking new technology notwithstanding.

It's an interesting, though to me inexplicable, trait of human nature that so many idiots feel they have to be the first-in-line to possess "the latest technology", as though if they don't get it "now", it will go away.

As far back as the advents of hand calculators, digital and liquid crystal watches, people were rushing out to pay four digits for stuff that would, in short order, be available for less than fifty bucks.

"Free digital watch with a test drive..."

Given the uniformity of all precedents, if they're stupid enough to buy new tech products the second they emerge, they need to pay the stupid tax.

Posted by Seth at September 10, 2007 07:03 AM

The reason iphone buyers are so upset is that Apple has traditionally waited at least 6-8 months before lower prices. So those consumers who needed to have the cool new gadget were under the impression that you wouldn't get a better price just by waiting until the holiday season.

Apple courts these gadget-heads and offers them an informal deal about prices. They broke with custom and customers felt betrayed. That's what this is about.

Posted by Mavis Beacon at September 10, 2007 11:16 AM

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