Analysis of iPhone Price Drop PR

Brian Solis has again posted an insightful examination of crisis communication. This time he has taken a look at the iPhone price drop, the customer outrage, and Steve Jobs’ brilliant open letter response. This is particularly timely because Apple today announced the details of the $100 store credit for early purchasers of the iPhone.

Brian’s article doesn’t cover the one question that I’ve wondered about since Steve’s open letter—would Apple have been better off having the store credit ready when announcing the iPhone price drop or not?

Most of the coverage has pointed out that Apple dropped the ball when the iPhone price cut was announced by not having a plan in place for early adopters. Yet after the uproar and subsequent Apple response, Apple is seen as a company that listens and responds to its consumers. And as Brian points out, the letter “turned a negative into a business and vision discussion about how the iPhone is going to capture significant market share.”

So my question to you (and particularly to Brian) is would Apple have been better off addressing this ahead of time or has their brand and corporate image improved more by responding successfully to the upset customers? If you were at Apple and you could turn back the clock and do it over, would you?

It’s a Mobile Web. We Just Don’t Realize It.

After Apple’s iPod and iPhone announcements, Dave Winer wrote of Steve Jobs, “It’s Steve’s world, we just live in it.”

I think Dave has very interesting take on Apple’s announcement. I encourage you to go read it. When I read Dave’s short summary on Twitter, a variation on his turn of phrase came to mind:

It’s a Mobile Web. We Just Don’t Realize It.

I’m astonished that the press coverage so far has focused almost exclusively on the iPhone price drops and the upset customers. When the coverage extends past the price drop, people seem content to handicap whether or not the iPod Touch will sell enough to meet Apple’s forecast.

No one seems to be talking about the fact that we now have another major platform for the mobile web. Additional news such as the likely Google and Yahoo phones, Microsoft’s recent comments about a Zune phone, and Nokia venturing into mobile web services have me convinced that the tipping point for the mobile web in the U.S. is right around the corner.

2008 is shaping up to be the year of the mobile web. The year when companies finally get serious about their mobile strategy.

With 2.7 billion mobile devices in the world and so many new mobile web devices hitting the market, the mobile web has arrived, but most of us just don’t realize it.

2.7 Billion Served: Mobile Phone Usage Dwarves Everything Else

Cameron Moll’s new book on Mobile Web Design points to an enlightening article by Alan Moore in which he compares mobile phone adoption to other technologies. The key paragraph:

Now we have context. 800 million cars, 850 million personal computers, 1.3 B fixed landline phones, 1.4 billion credit cards, 1.5 billion TV sets. How many mobile phones in use today? In use today, yes, 2.7 billion (technically 2.7 billion in January, not December). They sold 950 million phones last year and the total worldwide mobile subscriber base grew from 2.1 billion to 2.7 billion. Three times as many mobile phones as automobiles or personal computers. About twice as many mobile phone owners as those of fixed landline phones or credit cards. And almost twice as many mobile phones in use as TV sets.

2.7 billion. That’s a staggering statistic. Add to that the buzz around the iPhone and rumors of both a Google and possibly a Yahoo phone, and it isn’t possible to ignore the mobile web any longer.

I’m excited. So much opportunity for new discovery, new applications, and ways to make people’s lives better.