I've got two things for you... one is a news article, and the other is WHY this stuff happens. I KNEW I didn't want one of these things yet (Aside from the HUGE lawsuit that's going to happen when the apple update bricks all those million phones... but I'll tell you about that one later.)
First, the article, cited from CNN:
SAN JOSE, California (AP) -- A New York woman is so angry at Apple Inc. for lopping $200 off the price of the iPhone that she's filed a lawsuit seeking $1 million in damages.
Apple lowered the iPhone's price on September 5 and also said it would stop selling the 4-gigabyte model.
Dongmei Li of Queens, New York, claimed the company violated price discrimination laws when it slashed the price of the 8-gigabyte iPhone by a third, from $599 to $399, within two months of the gadget's June debut.
Apple lowered the iPhone's price on September 5 and also said it would stop selling the $499 4-gigabyte model. Hundreds of early customers who paid full price didn't expect a reduction so soon and complained.
Apple issued an apology the next day. Under its return policy, Apple refunded the $200 difference for those who bought the phone within 14 days of the reduction. And in a move to make peace with those who purchased the higher-priced phone before that period, the company offered a $100 credit at Apple stores.
According to Li's lawsuit, filed on September 24 in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, the price reduction injured early purchasers like herself because they cannot resell the product for the same profit as those who bought the cell phone following the price cut.
Li purchased a 4GB iPhone for $499 and alleged that owners of the 4GB model were given less favorable terms than those who bought the 8GB model at the premium price, according to the lawsuit.
Apple spokeswoman Susan Lundgren declined to comment, citing the company's policy to not discuss pending litigation.
The lawsuit also named AT&T Inc., the exclusive carrier in the U.S. for the iPhone, and alleged the two companies' required two-year service contract for the iPhone constituted unfair business practices.
Mark Siegel, an AT&T spokesman, declined to comment, saying he had not yet seen the lawsuit.
Second, my response as to WHY this happens to people like me.. the gadget hungry consumer.
It happens because they CAN.. it's as simple as that. Do you think for one moment that Apple invented and release the first 4gb iPhone and then miraculously two months later they managed to invent a second model? Absolutely not. Most likely they have had the 8GB working model for just as long as the 4gb model, certainly much longer than the time that two models have actually been on the market. They do this becaue a small percentage of consumers, myself occasionally included, will ALWAYS want to be the first to own something new and cool. We're gadget-geeks, techno-weenies, etc. Companies release this stuff for extraordinarily high prices because they KNOW people like us will buy it.. and then turn around AGAIN and buy the newer version.
Personally, I think it's taking advantage of the consumer. Do I think they need to be sued over it? Not really, but personally I wish the lady suing them the best of luck. I DO think there needs to be some legislature out there regulating the sales of equipment that has ALREADY been outclassed by the SAME manufacturer.
I'm a blackjack user, the new cingular phone. Personally I LOVE my phone. It has completely replaced my PDA and my organizer and CAN replace my iPod, but I won't part with my iPod as long as I still draw breath. I bought the Blackjack for $400.00 a month after it came out, thinking it had given the phone sufficient time to come down in price from its whopping $600.00 price tag that it had on release.
Later that same week, I referred Tim, my partner, to the store. He too bought a blackjack, and then one for his wife as well. BOTH their phones combined cost less than mine... wow! Theirs were 150.00 each after rebate. Last month, after returning from Africa, I convinced April to purchase one as well. You know what the going price for a Samsumg Blackjack is right now? $50.00... fifty dollars.. that's it. Am I glad she got the discount? Sure. But I'm personally a little pissed that SHE was able to purchase insurance for her $50.00 phone and I am NOT able to purchase insurance for my $400.00 phone. I find this a little insulting. Not only am I a good customer, but I personally brought their company three more two-year contracts complete with new phone sales and I was the one who got screwed.
What's up with this methodology of taking advantage of consumers? Honestly, its our fault as consumers that we let it happen but I can't for the life of me figure out a way to force a change in the consumer market because the infection is too broad. It's infected every avenue of manufacure from home entertainment to televisions, automobiles, communications, personal computers, etc. The list of affected industries is endless. I guess in the end the only thing we can do is find something we like, wait for something better to come along, and then buy the original think we liked after its no longer cool and has been replaced by a newer model. Hmm...