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Scott Kuhl Warning: I may have no idea what I am talking about!

Cringely has the best summation of this week's iPhone fiasco I have seen yet.

It wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t a thoughtless mistake. It was a calculated and tightly scripted exercise in marketing and ego gratification.

So why did he do it? Why did he cut the price? I have no inside information here, but it seems pretty obvious to me: Apple introduced the iPhone at $599 to milk the early adopters and somewhat limit demand then dropped the price to $399 (the REAL price) to stimulate demand now that the product is a critical success and relatively bug-free.

So Steve slapped his customers around a bit and what happened? Apple got free publicity worth tens of millions and the iPhone, which was already the top-selling smartphone in the world, will now sell two million units by the end of the year, up from an estimated one million. And Steve, having deliberately alienated his best customers, now gets a chance to woo them back.

Here is something very important to remember about Steve Jobs (and probably the only part of this column that will bother him in the least): most of his business moves are still in reaction to having been fired by Apple back in 1985.

In the 22 years since that humiliation, Jobs has devoted himself to proving: 1) that he can deliver the numbers (and does he — Apple is the best-managed computer company on Earth), and; 2) that he is a better marketer than Sculley, the supposed marketing genius.

The Puppet Master: Love Steve Jobs or hate him, just don't ignore him.

Posted on Friday, September 7, 2007 2:24 AM Apple | Back to top


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