The guys at 9to5Mac are reporting news from a tipster that we will be seeing price cuts for both the iPod Touch and the iPhone at the upcoming (also rumored) Apple special event in late Feb. Normally, I’m pretty skeptical when ANY site claims to have the inside scoop these days, but the 9to5 guys did successfully predict the 3rd generation iPod Nanos long before they actually came out, so I have to give them the benefit of the doubt for now.
The new prices are expected to be:
8Gb iPod Touch $199 8Gb iPhone – $299
16Gb iPod Touch $299 16Gb iPhone – $399
32Gb iPod Touch $399
Of course, almost immediately when this article was posted (and quickly spread throughout the web) complaints about price drops, and then speculation about rebates began to surface in comments in a variety of places.
The question “will Apple issue $100 rebates again?” is a good one, IF this price drop is real. Why?
Well, the first uproar about the iPhone price drop came when the initial price of the device was dropped by $200 two months after its initial launch. That rubbed quite a few early adopters the wrong way, and Apple responded with a $100 credit.
If Apple does this again, this time, within less than 30 days of the release of the product, they will surely see the same backlash from customers who purchased their new iPhones and or iPod Touches when they were released on Feb. 5th.
Price drops are great – they really are – and I am glad that the price of the iPhone is continuing to become more and more affordable for people, to get more of the devices into the hands of consumers…especially with these concerns of recession and lower sales. It makes sense to make the device cheaper to that it is easier for people on tighter budgets to be able to afford it – HOWEVER – there is a problem with dropping the price too much, too quickly, without taking care of those new customers you just acquired.
If this trend of the price dropping on the iPhone continues, it could have a serious effect on sales – in a negative way. People being to get gun shy when prices start falling. Not only with Apple’s stock most likely take a further hit (as it did when the previous price drop was announced), but customers who have been recently considering the purchase, may decide to wait and see if another price drop is only a few months away.
Issuing a credit or rebate of some kind for people that purchased their iPhones within 30 days of the price drop would be a nice gesture, and a good way to stem those fears. Also, $100 in Apple store credit hardly costs Apple $100 retail dollars – in fact, every single person I know that got the initial credit ended up spending MORE money with Apple because what they purchased went over the initial $100 price.
So, for Apple a credit not only can, potentially, generate more revenue (which, in turn, will even out or soften the blow of the financial hit of issuing the credit), but it also serves as a great way to get people new to Apple to either go into an Apple store, or visit the Apple online store.
Now, there are those that will argue that if you constantly wait to buy new technology, then you will NEVER buy anything, and that price drops are just pat of the tech industry – and those people are right. That doesn’t change the fact that is pisses consumers off. I happen to agree that price drops are part of the game – but I can also understand where someone that bought a product on Feb. 5th, might get a little hacked off if that same product that was JUST introduced was also dropped in price a few days after the company’s price protection plan expired.
I don’t think anyone can reasonably argue that it is a common occurrence that a new product price drop of $100 in less than 30 days after release.
Still, this is only a rumor at this point, but – like I said earlier – the source has some credibility, and it does make sense for Apple to make this move…I just think that if they do go this route, that they should have waited to release the larger capacity devices until this announcement was ready to be in effect.