I want my iPhone rebate

I want my iPhone rebate. I do not actually have an iPhone, but I want the rebate anyway... on something, long-distance service maybe. This Editor's Corner is my call to action to all of the other non-iPhone owners out there in the great global social network of the Internet who feel they are being cheated by not receiving a rebate for a phone they do not own.

It doesn't matter that we don't own iPhones. What matters is how loudly we complain. What matters is the power of the great global social network of the Internet, and its ability to amplify and multiply the complaints of the few into a massive Potemkin village of protest. What matters is that Steve Jobs cried "Uncle!"

What must Apple's partner AT&T think of all this? AT&T comes from the old school: Customers get what you give them, when you want, at the price you decide. Though, it's not really that way anymore, of course. AT&T and other telcos have learned a lot in recent years about being more customer-centric and responsive.

But, this business of Apple giving early iPhone buyers money back after Apple just decided, more than two months after launch, to slash the price on the iPhone? Telcos should be concerned. The message at the iPhone's launch on June 29 was "sacrifice hours of your life to sleep outside the Apple store, and then pay top dollar, and you'll get your iPhone." It wasn't a forced march; no, purely voluntary.

Now, the message is "complaining equals cash back," and if it works for the iPhone, why shouldn't it work for any telecom device or service? It no longer matters that consumer electronic devices--or many products and services--routinely lower in price the longer they are on the market.

So, I want my iPhone rebate. For what, I'm not sure yet, but I'll get back to you. -Dan

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