Apple to offer early iPhone buyers $100 store credit

After a day of outraged comments from early iPhone buyers who are upset about Apple’s decision to drop the iPhone’s price $200 to $399, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has posted an open letter on the Apple Web site and said that Apple will offer a $100 store credit.

Jobs stands by Apple’s decision to lower the price. “It benefits both Apple and every iPhone user to get as many new customers as possible in the iPhone ‘tent’. We strongly believe the $399 price will help us do just that this holiday season,” said Jobs.

“Second, being in technology for 30+ years I can attest to the fact that the technology road is bumpy,” Jobs continued. He said that there’s always a risk when you buy a technology product that there will be a new product with better features for less money.

“The good news is that if you buy products from companies that support them well, like Apple tries to do, you will receive years of useful and satisfying service from them even as newer models are introduced,” he added.

Apple does offer price protection for its products. Customers who have taken delivery of an iPhone within 10 days of the price drop are able to request a refund for the difference.

But Jobs noted that Apple needs “to do a better job taking care of our early iPhone customers” as aggressively as the new ones they’re courting with the lower-priced iPhone.

“Therefore, we have decided to offer every iPhone customer who purchased an iPhone from either Apple or AT&T, and who is not receiving a rebate or any other consideration, a $100 store credit towards the purchase of any product at an Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store,” he said.

Details are being worked out, Jobs added. He said to look on Apple’s Web site next week for details about the program.

“We want to do the right thing for our valued iPhone customers. We apologize for disappointing some of you, and we are doing our best to live up to your high expectations of Apple,” Jobs concluded.

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