Why the iPhone is like a razor

Yeah, the inevitable has happened - Apple has dropped the price of the iPhone by a whopping $200, or caused AT & T to step in with a subsidy. I felt a malicious glee in imagining the faces of all the suckers who bought the iPhone last year. The shiny new 3G iPhone was now within the reach of even this mostly starving, Ramen-eating grad student.

Shaving this morning (I occasionally make time for this activity) I realised, as P.T. Barnum once said, I was almost about to be the sucker of the minute. It's the razor blades thing all over again. The price of the razor is subsidized by the blades. Even the printer-makers like HP and gang figured this out long time ago. No wonder that printer is ridiculously cheap at $60. It's the paper and ink that's gonna get yer wallet.

So, AT & T are selling their razor blades at $69.99. Without taxes and surcharges that is $840. Add another $200 for the hardware (trust Apple to make it obsolete in a year's time). So you are paying about $1040 for the year, or about $2.85 per day. If you factor in taxes, etc. it is about $3 a day. Which is about the price of a small cup of coffee, or 5 packets of Ramen. So, if I give up eating and drinking, I can afford it. I may be hungry and naked but at least I won't get lost with the GPS and I can always check my email, ANYWHERE!

Take your pick!

3 comments:

Hirak said...

As has been suggested, you are not paying for the utility of the thing, but for the 'artistic' value. For $200 you can buy it and put it on your mantelpiece. That's affordable.

Ashutosh said...

I am planning to ditch the whole iPhone idea and just switch to a Blackberry with a Verizon plan. The problem with getting good AT & T signals seems to be well-recognized now even among iPhone fanlets

Hirak said...

Yes, everyone agrees that Verizon has the best coverage. But, now that there is no revenue sharing between Apple and AT&T, I don't see what could be holding Apple from selling other carriers the iPhone.

The other idea is to switch to a different device. But, the experience with the iPod has been that no one has come up with an acceptable or better knock-off. All the other players looked clunky, or with too many features.