Steve Jobs’ Open Letter and Why Rumor Sites Exist

Steve Jobs wrote an open letter to iPhone users about the dramatic price drop on the iPhone ($200) announced on Wednesday.

Second, being in technology for 30+ years I can attest to the fact that the technology road is bumpy. There is always change and improvement, and there is always someone who bought a product before a particular cutoff date and misses the new price or the new operating system or the new whatever. This is life in the technology lane. If you always wait for the next price cut or to buy the new improved model, you’ll never buy any technology product because there is always something better and less expensive on the horizon.

What’s interesting is that for a large part of it, this is why rumor sites exist. Sure, part of it is a natural voyeuristic desire to see things you aren’t supposed to… but from a practical standpoint, if you’re an Apple customer it makes financial sense to pay attention to what’s coming down the pipe.

This is true from an individual standpoint as well as a company standpoint. No one wants to buy at the end of a product cycle. People want to get most value for their money.

The biggest problem with the iPhone price drop is that no one saw it coming. You don’t see anyone complaining that they just bought an iPod Nano or regular iPod a week ago and now Apple’s cut the prices on them. That’s because anyone who has been paying attention knew that new iPods were coming. Whether based on the rumors or the natural product cycle — iPods were due for an update.

What’s interesting to me is that the iPhone price drop may actually have been better received if the rumor sites had had knowledge of it. If rumors had been swirling for weeks that Apple was going to provide major price cuts to the iPhone, would there have been such an outcry?

This is also the reason that the Buyers Guide exists on MacRumors. Tracking historical refresh rates provides the best way to predict when a new product is coming.

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One Response to Steve Jobs’ Open Letter and Why Rumor Sites Exist

  1. johnmeister says:

    Even if people saw the price drop coming, there would have been complaints. Apple rarely drops a price for a SUCCESSFUL product 10 weeks after its premiere. The last time it did it was for Aperture. They issue a store credit there as well.

    Look at apple’s pricing history, it is typically 6 months to a year before a product update, in terms of pricing and specs. The iPhone price change was in less that half that time.

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