Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The new tech company PR defense for dramatic price cuts

Somebody once said the greatest job in the world is doing public relations for Apple. Reporters come to you. Most of the time, you don't say anything. Everything is a big secret until it's revealed. I would have to think most of the job is plugging leaks and not talking to the media.

Apple's cool has made them basically Teflon in the eyes of the media. So when Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed the latest version of the iPhone would be an astounding $199, nobody questioned him about the possible backlash of customers who paid $599 for each of their original iPhones when it came out almost exactly one year ago.

Less than three months after the original iPhone appeared, the price dropped to $399, angering many of those first timers. Apple quickly offered them $100 store credit to calm them down.

How is the cheaper, more technology revved-up iPhone going to appease all those customers who forked over anywhere from $399 to $599 in less than a year?

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Jobs flicked it away like a tennis ball: "This is the way technology markets work."

It's been a few days since that announcement and I have yet to hear a peep from those original customers.

Credit Steve Jobs for creating the new tech company excuse to the media on customers foolish enough to pay big bucks for version 1.0 of any product -- blame it on the way technology markets work. The public is now supposed to know, understand and assume that what you paid $600 for last week may be a fraction of that price in a matter of months and there's nothing you can do about it.

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