New Yorker Dongmei Li is suing Apple for one million dollars (cue Dr Evil impressions) for daring to cut the price of their own product, the iPhone.
She alleges that Apple had no reason to drop the price and that the decision harmed customers, despite the fact that this is what every single electronic device in history has done.
The suit also alleges that the price drop “injured” buyers who intended to resell their iPhones for profit, apparently ignorant of the fact that everyone who was prepared to pay over the odds for a handset was beside them in the queue on launch day. Everybody else waited for the inevitable price drop, because everyone else has basic pattern recognition.
The claim alleges that the price drop was unnecessary because Apples stock price was continuing to rise at the time, giving a glimpse of a fascinating mindset where people are not required to take action until major warning signs are already clearly visible. The claim does not indicate was Ms Li’s occupation is, but one would hope it doesn’t involve children or anything flammable.
The charges, according to the Times Online, include “price discrimination, underselling, discrimination in rebates, deceptive actions and other wrongdoings”, a list which makes it clear that this lady and her lawyer just went through a law book and threw in everything that could even remotely apply.
To call this an utterly transparent attempt to muscle money out of a company would be an insult to useful transparent things like windows. When you buy a hyped product on launch day, you pay extra for the glamour of having it. It’s like having trouble parking in the city because you own a Hummer: the problem can’t be separated from the alleged benefit. Despite this the concerted whining of early adopters (who were so proud to boast online for the first week or two) forced a $100 store credit for everyone who bought an iPhone before the new prices came into effect.
On announcing this credit on the Apple website, Steve Jobs wrote “Even though we are making the right decision to lower the price of iPhone, and even though the technology road is bumpy, we need to do a better job taking care of our early iPhone customers as we aggressively go after new ones with a lower price.” Which is about as close as an image-conscious company as Apple can come to saying “We did the right thing and you knew we’d do it, so just take the money and please be quiet.”