Thursday, September 06, 2007

My favorite flop product

Apple has released many flop products earlier in its history (for e.g., newton).  But, I guess my favorite is going to be the first generation iphone.  I pity all the early adopters who have scurried to stores and waited weeks to get the first iphone.  I guess I will be quite happy buying the 5th generation iphone in 2010 that costs about 100 USD.

Apple announced yesterday that it is going to cut the price of iphone by over 200 USD and today Mr. Jobs announced that early adopters would get back 100 USD in rebate.  Mr. Jobs calls it rewarding the trust of Apple's early customers.  In my opinion, Apple committed many mistakes in its iphone launch - first and foremost being tying up the phone to a single provider.  Apple should have taken the bold step and made its phone compatible with at least the GSM service providers so that customers on the network of both AT&T and T-Mobile would have had an incentive to switch to the new device.  Moreover, such an open strategy would have also attracted users from CDMA carriers such as Sprint and Verizon. 

I cannot imagine why any wireless customer would spend over 500 USD for device that cannot be used with alternative service providers.  Did Mr. Jobs convince himself that customers would buy a newer iphone after the two year contract with AT&T expires?  For every product that Apple does well (read ipod, imac), it seems to goof up the next (read newton, iphone).