A USA TODAY article from yesterday, July, 31st, brings some interesting information regarding the revamped price points of the iPhone.
The general consensus of people polled for this article – me, me, and me – thought that given Steve Jobs' hands on approach – ya know, him taking his personal jet everywhere that has a tarmac for it to land on and then billing Apple – was in an attempt to get the iPhone into as many countries as possible. This seems to be working for Cupertino, and it would also stand to reason that the lower price point would've been his idea, or at least someone in Cupertino. They do have to meet that one percent of the market in about 18 months deadline they set for themselves last year. Consensus smashed however,
"Stephenson, who became AT&T's chairman and CEO a year ago, championed the idea of paying Apple (AAPL) about $300 per device, analysts estimate, to help hold down the retail cost."
Stephenson had ideas when he stepped up to CEO, he knew that the iPhone was different, "[The iPhone] changes what you see and how people interact, socialize and communicate." He knew, and according to the article, and common sense, Jobs probably did too, that for the iPhone to really take hold and get to its new demographic, to no longer be the phone of yuppies and fanboys or the uber rich, but everyone, they would have to get the phone into consumers hands for much less. "The $199 price point is where demand leaps," he says. This holds true for much of the technology market, think PS3, XBOX, Blu-ray players, et cetera.
I, personally, have always thought Apple dropping the cost of the iPhone so drastically, while a good thing for me and a lot of other people, was not really their style. We could pull out several different products from Jobs and Co. that were priced high and stayed high until their discontinuation – Lisa, NeXTcube, 20th Anniversary Mac, and one could even argue the iPod Hi-Fi. So, I supose it isn't sooooooo surprising that someone else had to, in all likelihood, stand his ground with Steve and fight to get things to change. Perhaps, though, Apple realized that they were not going to hit that one percent and just needed a shove in the direction of cheaper to make it happen. Maybe they've learned from past mistakes of pricing and are realizing that they are no longer a niche product, they are mainstream – the third largest computer hardware manufacturer in the business – and that to continue to put the fire of God in Redmond they need to continue to drive sales in any way possible.
Things also change as far exclusivity is concerned. The contract AT&T has with Apple has been extended into 2010 acording to the article. Check our own post on the issue here.
[USA TODAY via MacRumors]