Posted by Eric Starkman Thursday, September 6, 2007
Like a writer who keeps random plot line ideas and bits of dialogue scribbled in a notebook kept by the side of the bed, I've kept the Daily News' infamous "Ford to City" headline in the back of my head, just waiting for the right opportunity to rip it off. Thanks to Apple CEO Steve Jobs latest orchestrations, the moment finally arrived.
The technology impresario announced yesterday that Apple would slash the price of its iPhone by some 33%, but denied that lower-than-expected sales were the reason. As he told the New York Times: "It's very clear we have a breakthrough product on our hands, but it's also clear that many can afford it, some can't. We'd like to make it affordable to even more folks going into this holiday season."
So exactly when did Apple become a philanthropic organization for the tech gadget-deprived?
I don't know about you, but if I was one of the Apple diehards who camped out overnight a mere 10 weeks ago just for the privilege of coughing up $600 the next morning to get their mitts on an iPhone, I'd be pretty ticked off right now. And I'd go into orbit after reading Jobs' dismissive comment to USA Today about the brand-worshipping customers who paid full price: "That's technology. If they bought it this morning, they should go back to where they bought it and talk to them. If they bought it a month ago, well, that's what happens in technology."
Can you imagine the fallout if, let's say, BMW suddenly slashed the cost of its highly popular 3-Series cars by more than 30% just weeks after they were introduced? Or if Rolex slashed the prices of its watches by 30%? The brands would be forever damaged. But the traditional rules of branding and PR don't seem to apply to Steve Jobs, and his fire sale discounting of the iPhone is only the latest example.
On Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 7:41 AM, Ronn Torossian, President and CEO of 5WPR, emphatically promised that he was going to sue us. No real reason, he was just irritated by our teasing him about getting in bed with pornographer Joe Francis. Anyway, Ronn gave his obscenity-laced word that we'd see the complaint in 72 hours. It's now late by
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