Rubbing up the wrong way
Yesterday was the Apple ‘Beat goes on’ event.Mainly focusing on the new iPod range, a few tidbits were dropped about the iPhone. Namely the HUGE PRICE DROP by 200 dollars of the 8GB version, and the complete obsolescence of the 4GB model.Wow. Now I *know* I am getting an iPhone when they launch here in Germany. So with this price drop, this was excellent news, surely praised universally on the intarnetz?Nope.Instead, a vitriolic torrent of anger has been unleashed by *some* current iPhone owners. You see, they think that this price drop just over 2 months after the initial launch is an absolute kick-in-the-balls from Apple. Well…GET OVER IT. What most of the rabid haters don’t seem to understand is this is common practice in Europe’s mobile phone market.You see, in Europe when a hot new phone is launched, say the Nokia N95, the price for this is basically A LOT. Demand is high, so the mobile dealers basically can charge what they like (normally the full manufacturers listed price). People buy them anyway (the early adopters, mobile junkies…ME!) then accept that in a couple of months the price will nose-dive (sometimes more than half the original value). That is the way the rabid mobile market works, because the turnover of new models is so high. What Apple had probably realised is these few points:1) They ARE now in a different market than they are used to, and have to play by these rules to have a chance of success.2) Over the last few weeks a few other manufacturers are trying to copy/emulate the iPhones styling and touchscreen. These manufacturers know that if they can get their phones out before Christmas, AND price them much cheaper than the original price of the iPhone, then mobile consumers are fickle, and will buy their models instead.3) Apple normally keeps its prices mostly on ‘visual parity’ between the US and the EU (euros) i.e. a Macbook is say, $1200, and so in euros would be €1200. Apple’s prices only fluctuate slightly with the exchange rates. So Apple knew that a $599 iPhone just could not be a €599 iPhone. It’s too much money here, and what with the competition….so the iPhone becomes $399 which translates to a much more reasonable €399. Bingo! Apple’s in for the Win!So there is my view on the pricing subject. In a nutshell, Apple dropped the price because of the imminent European launch, and wants to have visual pricing parity between the US and the EU (forget the UK, it will probably still be 500 quid – oh Rip Off Britain…I miss you so ;-)The Yanks have to realise that Apple is a global company, and that it also is now in an industry unlike it has experienced ever before. Therefore new rules have to be applied. And this is how it is now going to be. When I get my iPhone for €399, and 2 month later they are going for 99cents…I will not cry, or complain, that’s just the industry and the way it is.