From Sucker to Millionaire?

Dennis Faas's picture

Just how much do you think early iPhone buyers deserve in the wake of Apple's decision to drop its price $200 so soon after launch? $100? $200? How about a million buckaroos?

That's exactly what one early iPhone buyer seems to believe she's owed, seeing as she is currently suing Apple for the rather Regis-like amount.

What makes this woman think she's owed so much?

Dongmei Li, a New York resident, says she waited four long hours on a hot July day to purchase the 4GB iPhone. She did so just three days after launch, meaning she got the PS3-like price ($599) and not the Xbox 360-like ($399) savings. An incensed Li is ripping Apple for "price discrimination, underselling, discrimination in rebates, deceptive actions and other wrongdoings," according to her attorney, Jean Wang. (Source:

For those who missed it and the controversy, Apple cut the cost of its mega-popular iPhone by a whopping $200 only two months after it initially launched. Although the company promised a $100 company voucher to those who bought the device in its early moments, CEO Steve Jobs has maintained that customers should be aware of the price fluidity in electronics. (Source:

Does Li have a case?

Probably not. Although she and her lawyer contend that "market conditions did not require Apple to change its prices, the precedent for frequent price change has been set by other companies before. For example, Sony recently dropped the price of its PlayStation 3 less than a year after launch, and there's been no public grumbles about that move.

Jobs probably had it all right when he said this on the Apple website: "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."

But, a million bucks? Dream on, lady.

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