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Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak Saturday blasted his old buddy Steve Jobs' decision to drop the price of the iPhone by $200 only 68 days after the big launch and even took his old friend to task for how refunds have been handled for the popular device.
"Nobody expects a product to drop that much in price in such a short time," said Wozniak, the driving force behind the original Apple I and II computers. "Steve Jobs and everyone expects technology to drop in price. The first adopters always pay a premium. I am one of them. I am used to that. But that one was too soon, too harsh."
Wozniak, or Woz, as he is known by geeks and admirers made the comments in a question and answer session with reporters following an address before 600 solution providers at the ConnectWise Partner Summit in Tampa, Fla.
Jobs, Apple's CEO, sparked a firestorm of protest when he lowered the price of the iPhone on September 5 by $200 from $599 to $399 only 68 days after the launch of the eagerly awaited device that Apple fans waited in long lines and snapped up by as soon as it hit the market. The pricing decision upset a lot of early iPhone purchasers.
Jobs, who cofounded Apple with Wozniak, responded with a public letter of apology to those early iPhone buyers and and offered a "$100 store credit towards the purchase of any product at an Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store."
But Wozniak complained that he has bought some iPhones that he is saving as gifts for people which he can't get a refund on right now. Only when an account is opened can that person who received the phone get the discount, he said. "If I bought it and gave it as a gift they get the discount," he said of the Apple $100 credit policy for early iPhone buyers. "Why don't you just take my receipt and give me the money back? And of course it always comes back to Apple Store credit. So instead of getting $100 back you are getting $50 back sort of. It is very optimal to the company. I feel badly about the situation for everyone. I don't think Apple should have even done it. Maybe a very much more gradual price reduction, $50 at first or find ways to bundle it into a savings on your account."
Wozniak says he probably purchased about 20 iPhones for himself and his friends and has not gotten a single refund back on his own although some of his friends have gotten their refunds. "I haven't had the time to," he said. "I will. I only have one iPhone that I am using. I figured at first I would use three for myself. But one is enough."