Yeah, my friend Spike said he's OK with the rebate and still loves ya'. But I'm not as forgiving. Maybe it's because I've been a loyal Mac addict since owning my first //e in the 80's. Maybe it's because I tell everyone to buy your stuff, the design rocks and your products "just work". But you really, really, really screwed us -- and I'm not ready to let it go.
A few weeks ago I said that the #1 question I got from people was "Do you like your iPhone?". That question, when dissected, was essentially "For the price of $600, is it worth the money?". And in their tone I could sense a semi-jealous, inquisitive tone -- which in my mind means you're on your way to increasing sales. Make the kick-ass product, get people to talk about how great it is, take care of the customer and the rest will take care of itself. Well, I learned from the first battery lawsuit on the iPod that you're not really interested in taking care of the customer. The "underdog", Microsoft vs. the world role can only take you so far, and the evangelism of your brand stops. This is also known as "Stopped Drinking The Kool-Aid". I'm not about to toss my MacBook Pro, however you've really crossed a line. I expect more of you, Apple, than to act like the rest of the cellphone industry. That's what makes you "Different", as your mantra states.
The question I get now is "Are you pissed?". That's what it's come down to, a matter of blindly saying "YES, I LOVE APPLE AND STEVE AND WHATEVER THEY SAY IS SCRIPTURE", which is just ignorant, or "You know, I'm really not thrilled. I'm hesitant to drop another $100 in 'credit' at the Apple Store after that screw job. Apple's way has never been about price cuts or acting like the rest of any industry, let alone the cellphone industry -- it's been about great products that get people talking, and after this move I'm feeling chapped in the arse", which is the point at which I realize that if another company hired great designers and made a solid product and took care of the customer, they'd trump Apple.
So answering the daily question -- yeah, I'm still pissed. No one likes feeling ripped off. And the whole "HOLY SHIT - THAT IS THE COOLEST THING I'VE EVER SEEN" conversation isn't about that anymore, but instead is "Wow, you got fucked". And as a consumer, that's the last place I want to be when I think about your brand.