Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fools and their money quickly parted

Take a good look at these people. Any one of them could be the first person to go after Steve Jobs with a meat cleaver. Note to Capital Region police agencies: keep this photo on file, just in case Jobs’ lifeless body is found bobbing down the Hudson.

For those who haven’t heard, Jobs pulled perhaps the largest fast one on the general public since David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear more than two decades ago. With a smiling face and a new parade of iToys, Apple’s founder extended his middle finger to all the crazed people that bought his iPhone in June, and then announced his company would knock $200 off the sticker price.

This has got to be a frustrating development for the droves of rubes that spent hours waiting on long lines to pay nearly $600 for the cell phone on steroids. Yes, Jobs pulled a fast one alright. Sure, everyone expects new technology to drop $100 or so within their first year on the market. But $200 in just two months is virtually unheard of, especially for a company like Apple.

On a curious side note, it’s possible the Times Union may have fallen into this trap. The paper recently did a baby boomer versus Generation Xer review of the new technology using a pair of feature reporters. The video is a humorous watch, especially when the elder writer is described as someone who “only recently became comfortable using a touch-tone phone.” Although there’s a good chance the paper received the phones as a free trial through Apple, it would be interesting to know that the Hearst Corporation got bilked by Jobs, just like the rest of the poor schmucks that bought into this huckster’s song and dance.

Undoubtedly, Apple scored the lottery jackpot with their ruse. They pumped the market full of hot air for more than six months and then unleashed a product they probably produce for about $50 and sells for 12 times its value. Consumers, with particular regard to those in the United States, are instant gratification fanatics. Increasingly, they’re not happy with waiting unless it’s on a long line for days to purchase the aforementioned product. The more fervor a corporation can whip into the public, the more freaks that will turnout for the grand release.

With the help of Jobs, the craze that started with Cabbage Patch dolls in the 80s, moved onto Tickle-Me-Elmo toys in the 90s and more recently materialized in the Sony PlayStation 3 madness last year has now made the jump to consumer electronics. Despite looking foolish and spending more money than most people make in a week, the American consumer is all the willing to play the fool when it comes to these marketing gimmicks.

But Jobs might have pushed his toe over the line with this gig. People are pissed; real pissed. The uber-chic, who for two months toted their iPhones as a quasi status symbol, can now look forward to seeing common folk with this status symbol. Apple’s stock prices tumbled with Wednesday’s announcement, as hundreds of wealthy stock brokers realized their new, sleek-looking iPhones aren’t likely to get them laid anymore out at the bars.


Blogger Scoop said...

You hit it all, better then anyone else who reported on it.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool your heels old dude--

Thursday, 6 September 2007, 20:29 GMT 21:29 UK

Apple in iPhone price cut apology
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs has offered compensation to customers who have already bought an iPhone - after the firm cut $200 (£100) off the price.

The company slashed the cost of the eight-gigabyte version of the phone - only available in the US - to $399.

But this earned the wrath of some customers who have paid full price since its launch two months ago.

Mr Jobs said the price cut was the right move - but offered those who had already bought it a $100 voucher.

"We want to do the right thing for our valued iPhone customers. We apologise for disappointing some of you, and we are doing our best to live up to your high expectations Mr Jobs said.

For many the price cut slipped by unnoticed as the company unveiled a slew of new gadgets, including adding a touch-screen iPod to Apple's popular line of portable music players.

At the press conference, the firm also revealed that the four-gigabyte model of the iPhone was being dropped.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't buy first generation products. In case anyone missed that, allow me to restate: don't buy first generation products.

Actually, let me put that another way: don't buy first generation products.

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And look at this:

6:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is interesting to note that the local and national media giving copius amounts of airtime to Jobs everytime he hickups. Wonder what they get out of it?

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, that'd be "uber-chic," Horatio. The "uber-sheik" is the one still giving us the middle finger from his room in Pervez Musharraf's basement.

4:26 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

I must admit my folly here and with a smile as well. Great post. I will point out in my extremely limited defense –chic was the word I was looking for but somehow missed amid my oft blurry morning eyes –that the word ‘sheik’ can mean an extremely attractive man. The American Heritage dictionary lists the word as slang for “A romantically alluring man.”

But alas, the words are indeed two separate one, chic coming from the Frankish term, Schick, meaning skill, fitness, and elegance in Middle High German. Sheik, on the other hand, became debonair to use after the 1921 movie “The Sheikh,”which starred a strapping Rudolph Valentino and gave the term meaning as a “strong, romantic lover.”

This time, I will concede.

7:16 AM  

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