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Apple Legend Woz Blasts iPhone Price Drop

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the cuz-the-price-is-crazy dept.

Media (Apple) 272

Stony Stevenson writes "Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak Saturday blasted Steve Jobs' decision to drop the price of the iPhone by $200 just two months after the product was launched. Said Woz: '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 ... A lot of people from Apple, even a lot of people that worked on the Apple Lisa and Macintosh computers in the beginning now work at Google. The thinking over at Google is very much like early Apple days. The fact that they give people time off to work on their own ideas is exactly matches some of the things that made Apple great. I wish Apple did that.'" We just discussed the price drop last night.

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Supply and Demand (5, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725389)

I work in the hardware business and I can tell you it is difficult enough to get enough inventory built for an ordinary product launch, but for what has been called the most successful CE launch _ever_... there is just no way they could have met demand without boosting the initial price significantly. And the problem with keeping the price high too long is that your momentum will dry up, and people won't even be paying attention any more by the time it does drop.

You can call it gouging if you want, but what if they'd instead just run out of stock immediately? Think "tickle me iPhone" - I don't think consumers would have been impressed by that.

Jobs did exactly the right thing. Price no lower than where you meet demand, and only once production has ramped up (which usually takes about two months - go figure) THEN price it at the sweet spot. Also consider seasonal factors which made it necessary to do this before the Xmas shopping season, which for the gadget industry begins right now.

I don't think that ANYONE, not one single person, who can afford a $600 phone and 2yr commitment to a $100+/mo plan, has a valid gripe about paying $200 extra up-front to be among the first to own it. If it was worth buying when you bought it, who cares what it sells for now? Were you hoping it would keep it's resale value or something?

Re:Supply and Demand (5, Insightful)

QMalcolm (1094433) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725411)

It's true. In the end, you were paying $600 for a phone. You can also get phones for $50. By paying WAY more, you either want to get it first or have the absolute best phone possible. Your phone still works. You got it first. If that $200 will actually harm you financially, you shouldn't have bought a $600 gadget in the first place.

It sucks, but there's nothing WRONG about it.

Re:Supply and Demand (3, Insightful)

W2k (540424) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725615)

The reason people are upset is probably that they are coming to realize they paid $600 for a shitty designer phone with an expensive lock-in contract, and by waiting two months, could have paid $200 less for the exact same deal. Still a rip-off, but maybe it'll be another couple hundred less in a year...

Re:Supply and Demand (5, Insightful)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725929)

A fool and his money are soon parted. Sure Apple accepted their money, but who wouldn't?

Woz makes 10 to 100 times what we do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20726069)

Woz makes 10 to 100 times what we do, so he's getting on his high horse for a drop of "20" or "2" dollars. Hardeharhar

Re:Supply and Demand (3, Insightful)

x1n933k (966581) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726853)

I absolutely agree, it isn't wrong. However in a lot of cases it is the people who cannot afford these items who do end up purchasing them. I use to place a lot of calls for clients to T-Mobile and AT&T who would purchase expensive phones (Sidekicks comes to mind), sign a contract and would be in poor financial shape a few months down the line because they paid $300 for the phone, then $80 data/phone plan with a credit card.

My point is that a lot of customers are lower-middle class who are spend happy on credit they can't support. This is a major problem is North America, and companies can't help but to take advantage of that.

[J]

Re:Supply and Demand (5, Insightful)

not-quite-rite (232445) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725479)

The pricing seemed quite a smart way of letting market forces apply feedback in the control loop for the sale of the iphone.

As much as people cry about the price, it means that those early adopters payed a premium for what they wanted(an iphone straight away gimme gimme gimme), and those slower to take it up, will also buy and feel better about it due to percieved value.

(I'm also happy because it means all the US early adopters took the brunt, while the rest of the world reaps the rewards :P)

Hey, libertarians! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20725495)

Guess what? Our government is itself a product of the market system. Cities like New York, London, and San Francisco are successful precisely *because* of their enormous governments--they compete for capital, talent, and prestige against cities with small, ineffectual governments that are unable to effectively lure and corral said capital, talent, and prestige. And as goes the city, so go city-states and nations: Somalia, being a libertarian paradise, is a rather unpleasant place to live for non-ideologues. Somalians, those who can, vote with their feet and leave.

Now go suckle Ayn Rand's rotten tits some more and leave the rest of us alone, you stupid fucking Paultards.

Re:Hey, libertarians! (-1, Flamebait)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725585)

Ah, some retarded offtopic trolling, nice.

Re:Supply and Demand (5, Interesting)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725551)

I don't think it's just the loss of $200 that bothers everyone, the price drop also makes the product seem a little less 'exclusive'.

(I'm sure that's not the factor most people would be annoyed about, but I'm sure a fair few people bought it largely as a status symbol.)

Re:Supply and Demand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20726837)

So fucking what......

Exclusive???? shit you are exclusive when one or two exist, millions have been sold, sorry man, if you wanted to be original, you should of thought to buy something else.

Re:Supply and Demand (3, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725573)

I didn't buy one and I thought it was a kick in the gut. Just about everyone knows that CE devices drop in price over time, but the duration and percentage of the price drop is a bit steep. If they are pricing it for exclusivity, then dropping the price is a bad idea. Still, I wouldn't be buying it to show off, I try not to flaunt any of my consumer electronics stuff.

I wanted one but just couldn't justify it. I'm glad I didn't and it doubly puts me off buying a launch product, I can wait a product generation if I have to, I renewed my contract elsewhere because I also wanted the product to mature before buying into it. It's not a good idea to buy a first revision product anyway. The adage has been well known in the Apple world, though it should apply to any brand product, wait a while to make sure there aren't any systematic flaws.

BTW: the basic 2yr commitment was for a $60/mo plan. It's not well known, but it can be used without a contract, just that the per-minute costs are higher.

Re:Supply and Demand (2, Informative)

tacocat (527354) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726343)

I think this is a variation of Block Pricing which is supposed to be illegal in the US most of the time. But for someone in the Business and not Geek community, it's a nice thing to be able to do. The idea is to adjust the prices offered based on the individual's demand for the product. Overly simplified examples would be to charge more for food in expensive suburbs than others, raising prices for people who come to your store in newer more expensive cars, increasing the cost of cable TV during the football season.

This isn't really block pricing since, as mentioned, it's more a management technique of supply/demand curve. I think this was a good idea. But I wonder if this was a price cut that was driven by other factors than just the Economics 101 Supply/Demand curve.

Re:Supply and Demand (1)

homer_s (799572) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727097)

I didn't buy one and I thought it was a kick in the gut. Just about everyone knows that CE devices drop in price over time, but the duration and percentage of the price drop is a bit steep.

So you would've been happier if the price *didn't* drop and the consumer paid more for a longer period?

This just shows that you and Wozniak do not understand the role price plays in regulating supply and demand. I bet you also complain about "price gougers" after a hurricane hits.

A higher price draws more supply in (either from the same producer or different producers) - when more supplies hit the market, the price drops due to competition (the single supplier or monopolist will drop prices to increase volumes).

If the initial price is set artificially low (by govt edict or other pressures), the additional supplies will not come in. This is the reason price controls always lead to longer lines and empty shelves. Just ask Robert Mugabe - the invisible hand just smacked his people hard.

Re:Supply and Demand (1)

bkr1_2k (237627) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727233)

Apple has never tried to "price for exclusivity". It's just not what they're in business to do. The market for "being different" but they are the exact opposite of "different" in the media player market and hope to achieve the same in the CE market.

People do buy things to show off. They do buy them to be "different" and they do buy things to be just like everyone else. The goal of being a "different" sheep is exactly the market Apple is shooting to hit with any of their products. That's the point of the "switch" campaign.

Most of us know that any first gen product is likely to have bugs and flaws that users will find and manufacturers will fix. That's why the bell curve for product sales always has early adopters at the fringe (right), while most people are in the bell, and late-comers are in the fringe (left).

Apple is no different than any other company in their pricing schemes. Early adopters always pay more, and they expect to, for whatever their reasons. Woz has no reason to be bitching.

Re:Supply and Demand (3, Funny)

Ripping Silk (582933) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725697)

I'm in New Zealand, and today I saw a local 'parallel importing' house advertise iphones modded to work with the local vodafone GSM network, for the princely sum of... wait for it... $NZ1199.. that, at todays conversion rate is $US892 !!! These I would suggest come with no warranty or official support as they have been modified outside Apple specs. You'd hafta be keen !

Re:Supply and Demand (5, Interesting)

Dr. Slacker (31348) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726377)

Give me a break. A low price and lack of inventory hasn't hurt the Wii.

Haha. (5, Funny)

kraemate (1065878) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725395)

This guy has reason to be miffed. Didn't he buy, what, 4 of those iphones on the first day or something?

Re:Haha. (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725437)

I haven't RTFAd, but the summary implies that Woz thought Apple should have gouged for a longer period. Is that a worthy thought for someone held in as high esteem as Woz? Sounds very accountantish.

Re:Haha. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20725461)

What I heard he bought 20 of them! If he bought with the same amount of money after the pricedrop he would have had 30 of them!

Re:Haha. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20725999)

Yeah, who is this asshat, anyway?

"Woz"? That's not even a real name, for chrissakes!

He should leave the tech stuff to us gurus.

I'm gonna be a fucking squillionaire when I leave college and start some tech company!

TIME OFF? What is Woz talking about?!? (2, Insightful)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726029)

>>The fact that they give people time off to work on their own ideas is exactly matches some of the things that made Apple great.

Wait one second here! Are we talking about the same Apple Computer company because the one I know about routinely worked its engineering teams (all the way from the Apple ][gs, Lisa, Macintosh up through Newton) to the point of complete exhaustion and then at various times, during the "Black Friday" purges, suddenly ended people's careers. Frantic system development and high stress was the norm. To attempt to cast it as anything else is pure spin.

Maybe Jobs' Reality Distortion Field is finally affecting The Woz. Or maybe this mythical "time off" applies only to Apple Fellows and the most senior employees.

Re:TIME OFF? What is Woz talking about?!? (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726567)

In fairness, when Apple was started, it was just three people, one of whom was Woz. Perhaps he's talking about the six months or so it was that?

Pffft (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725421)

Pffft iPhone thats so yesterday..

Didn't somebody... (1, Redundant)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725427)

... trade in a few hacked iPhone's for a Nissan 350Z a while back?

And what about the vasectomy guy? (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726763)

And what about the guy who went through vasectomy to get his iPhone? http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_6552323 [denverpost.com]

Will he get one of his balls back with his discount coupon?

Just did? (5, Funny)

biocute (936687) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725447)

We just discussed the price drop last night.

Then instead of starting a new story, why didn't Woz contribute to that discussion?

That is what makes Slashdot great. I wish he did that.

Why is Woz still relevant? (1, Interesting)

not-quite-rite (232445) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725449)

This is probably going to get me in trouble, but I really don't know why people care about Woz so much.

There are hundreds of engineers that have done amazing things, and are still doing them.

Why do people still care what he thinks/does?

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (4, Insightful)

Don Negro (1069) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725563)

He's still relevant because out of all the engineers who've ever done anything, Woz is very arguably in the top 10, period, of all time, end of story (which makes him one of the few, if any, who are still alive)

He's he first man who built modern computer hardware, then personally wrote the software that ran on top of it, all the while providing an extensible hardware and software system that other engineers could (and did, wildly) build upon. He literally built a huge chunk of this industry by himself, and another huge chunk was built on his shoulders.

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (0)

rs79 (71822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725609)

" He's he first man who built modern computer hardware, then personally wrote the software that ran on top of it, all the while providing an extensible hardware and software system that other engineers could (and did, wildly) build upon. He literally built a huge chunk of this industry by himself, and another huge chunk was built on his shoulders."

I hate to say this but you could say the same thing about Gates.

Woz is a legend because he's been there, and got out at a good time and hasn't had the chance to screw anything up for a while.

I had an S-100 system and just sneered at the apple frankly, then got an Amiga. Until OSX Apple was utterly irrelevent to me.

Woz is a celebrity because he's a celebrity and a decent guy. But lots of people did far more to get you an I where we are now.

His Steviness is indeed (from personal obervation at a meeting) a real prick, but current Apple users owe more to him than Woz.

I can't get too excited whether it's a $400 phone or a $600 phone. My phone was $50 and came with $50 of airtime. New stuff from Apple is always expensive.

I just don't see how this is news.

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725971)

I don't think Gates did the hardware and software, just the latter.

Woz vs. Gates (4, Informative)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726103)

Let me put this into perspective:

Woz designed the Apple ][ from scratch, invented the A][ hard drive controller, wrote the system monitor in machine code (without the aid of an assember, mind you!) as well as the Integer Basic interpreter and did this at least twice (he lost the source code) and it was several bytes smaller the second time, etc. etc. etc.

Gates, Davidoff and Allen as a team gave us a hacked version of someone else's basic interpreter. Gates gave us donkey.bas [codinghorror.com]

I rest my case.

Re:Woz vs. Gates (2, Interesting)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726303)

Not /quite/ in the same league but Doug Neubauer wrote most of the seminal Atari 8bit game Star Raiders before the hardware existed. He worked from chip designs (one of which he helped design) and built a 3D game with sprites, multiple screens etc that fitted a single 8K cartridge back in 1979. Most impressively, he claims that the 80% done version pretty much compiled fine first time once he got real hardware to try it on.

Re:Woz vs. Gates (5, Insightful)

rs79 (71822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726313)

You know, back in the day (70s) gates published code in dr. dobbs documenting undocumented Z-80 instructions. Woz just made $2500 computers that those of us with s-100 systems found rather irrelevant. Gates built his own machine but had no interest in selling hardware, just software, which I kinda wish Apple had done.

Point is, back then Gates seemed like a fellow hacked and woz was just one of 100 guys that started a computer company and did all the hardware design.

I can't say I'm real impressed at having written machine code or done a (very non-statndard) disk controller. We all did that back then.

The first x86 on the net was an S-100 system running Gates Xenix in LA (gryphon.com). I don't think an Apple II ever talked to the network.

Obviously I'm not talking about now. Woz is cool, Bill is not. But that's not how it looked back then. The Apple II was regarded by people that already HAD a computer as a toy not worthy of much of anything and never understood what the fuss was all about. I think the reverance of Woz was strictly by people whose first computer was an Apple.

In a world without Apple there were still lots of choices and I have a greater revernce for say, Jay Miner than Woz. But if Apple hed nevr existed I'm not sure the landscape now would have changed much. Again, much as I hate to say it, MS drove the market and was responsible for the advent of cheap usable computers even your grandmother could use.

Let me be clear, I loathe gates and ms. But if you strip the emotion away gates has done more to get us where we are then woz ever did.

You may now mod me down to "-5, asshole". But you know I'm right. And don't worry it pains me as much to write this as it does you to read it.

Re:Woz vs. Gates (1)

not-quite-rite (232445) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726359)

That is an awesome post. Good to see something so clearly written, and contains "non-mainstream" computer history.

Kudos

Re:Woz vs. Gates (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726713)

Hmmm, not so sure Gates was ever cool, even back then. His Dr Dobbs article early on where he argued people should *gasp* buy software went down like a lead balloon at the time. You're right though about the number of people doing really funky stuff with hard/software on their own.

Woz, Gates or neither of them? (2, Informative)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727409)

But if Apple hed nevr existed I'm not sure the landscape now would have changed much. Again, much as I hate to say it, MS drove the market and was responsible for the advent of cheap usable computers even your grandmother could use.

I believe that without Apple, our user interfaces would look substantially different. I mean, try this: Get the latest Ubuntu Live CD and boot it. Now compare this to the UI of the Apple Lisa. Not a whole lot of differences! You got your overlapping windows that you move by dragging the title and resize by dragging the bottom right corner, your dropdown text menus with keyboard shortcuts, your trash can, your icons for files and applications with names below them... Apple actually came up with, or made popular, a great number of the UI abstrations we take for granted nowadays...

Microsoft actually went into a quite different direction with Windows 3.x, but "came back" to the Lisa/Macintosh way with Windows 95. Nowadays, most computers work like Lisas... So, in a way, it was neither Woz nor Gates who actually influenced computers. It was Jobs, who was part of (or leading) both the Lisa and the Mac team at Apple.

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20725625)

If he didn't do it some other loser would have so quit milking it.

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (1)

not-quite-rite (232445) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725745)

Woz was pretty damn awesome back in the day.

But how is he now? Does his words still mean as much? Do you consider Woz-of-now equal with Woz-in-the-heady-beginnings-of-the-computer-revolution?

That is why I ask the question: why is he still relevant?

I guess blind idol worship exists in the geek world too....

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726195)

For the same reason all "great founders" are somehow relevant. I don't know, does Linus still write code for the Kernel, or is he just the one to nod changes through? Doesn't matter, when he says something, people listen. He's an icon. Just as much as Jobs and Woz are.

And that's why their word has weight. Not because they do something important. But because there are people who consider them important who will follow what they're saying, thus making them important. It's kinda self perpetuating.

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727441)

You also would expect people like Jobs, Woz, Gates or Thorvalds to have some insight into this stuff; one, because they have a lot of experience doing it; and two, because they are among the few who actually were successful.

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (4, Insightful)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725771)

He's he first man who built modern computer hardware, then personally wrote the software that ran on top of it, all the while providing an extensible hardware and software system that other engineers could (and did, wildly) build upon.
Many people were doing similar things at the time. The difference was how Wozniak went about engineering focusing on usability and openness. Rather than making personal computers an engineering device (something you make), he made them an engineering platform (something you use)

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (2, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726497)

"focusing on usability"

Sorry , but many many more people at Xerox PARC did that much more and much earlier. Before you start regurgitating the Woz myth verbatim I suggest you go look up some of their achievments in GUIs and man-machine interaction before Apple was even a glint in Woz or Steves eye.

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726527)

Sorry , but many many more people at Xerox PARC did that much more and much earlier. Before you start regurgitating the Woz myth verbatim I suggest you go look up some of their achievments in GUIs and man-machine interaction before Apple was even a glint in Woz or Steves eye.
I wasn't referring to GUI, I was referring to the hardware hardware design.

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726755)

Their hardware was far superior to his many years earlier. Woz was/is a good engineer , but he's visionary either in hardware or software design.

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726779)

That should have read *no* visionary.

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20726107)

out of all the engineers who've ever done anything, Woz is very arguably in the top 10, period, of all time, end of story

You have got to be fucking kidding me. Even the craziest Apple fanboy wouldn't argue that - or at least that what I would have thought, a couple minutes ago.

Bullshit. Xerox PARC gave us todays computers. (1, Informative)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726519)

Here we go again with the Woz-n-Steve show with all the mythology about how they revolutionised computers.

Err no , they didn't. At least not from a technological point of view. Xerox PARC did.

Check out this link if you don't believe me: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xerox_Alto [wikipedia.org]

That was 1973 , long before Woz had even thought up the prehistoric command line drive Apple I.

Sorry , how great was Woz again?

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (1)

homer_s (799572) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727173)

He might have been a very good engineer (I cannot judge - I'm not a good engineer), but he is certainly does not sound very smart here:

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,***

So he favors consumers paying more for longer? So he is ok with the initial price, but he feels that Apple should charge consumers more than Apple wants? And he also wants Apple to settle for a lower volume (if the price is higher, the volume will be lower) and hence lower profits ?

So, Woz wants Joe Consumer to pay more, Apple to settle for lower profits - all to make the early adopters feel better?

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (2, Informative)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725569)

Go read Founders at Work [amazon.com] (link to Amazon, no ref to me) and read the chapter on Apple. He's a f'ing genius.

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (1)

not-quite-rite (232445) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725623)

I know he did amazing things back then. What I am asking is what makes him special lately?

Genius isn't forever. Much like sporting ability isn't forever.

He just reminds me of an athlete that did an amazing thing, but now is just sad and broken.

And it's not to say that I don't respect what he did back in the day. He changed the world in a lot of ways.

But people change, and the Woz now does not appear to be the same Woz that did those things.

Hence I ask, why is he still relevant?

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (2, Interesting)

aviators99 (895782) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725809)

He's still relevant because the computer engineering ideas he came up with back then still hold up today, and some board designers could still learn lessons from what he did. His designs are still works of art.

In addition, his philanthropy and dedication to children in need (both materially and intellectually) should be an example to us all.

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (5, Insightful)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725819)

Bad analogy. Sports require physical attributes that are well-known to deteriorate over time. Mental skills, unless degraded by disease or advanced age, do not.

The genius of Woz is that he used pen and paper to create something that had not been created by people who used actual hardware. He understood the fundamentals completely, but let his imagination run wild on a "what if".

How do you know he is still not doing that right now?

Must skill and artistry, in order to be recognized as valuable, serve the corporation?

Must Steve Wozniak, in order to be relevant in your world of Treasure, build another such financial behemoth as Apple?

Surely you must recognize that there are many people around the world who pursue their interests with dedication, skill, and imagination with little care of the financial gains to be derived.

Allow me to speculate. If Steve were independently wealthy, and no longer constrained to generate income to feed and shelter his family, would it not be a better use of his time to use his talents and breadth of experience to help his fellow man? Perhaps it is completely understandable that he should not relish the prospect of working at a soul-crushing cube farm. Perhaps it is acceptable for a man to stop trying to maximize shareholder investment when such a man has already done so amply, and rather dedicate himself to a different purpose.

Perhaps he has indeed changed what he does. But that does not make him less of a man.

 

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (2, Insightful)

not-quite-rite (232445) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725961)

All excellent points and I agree with most of them. But I do disagree with your first one.

Mental ability changes over time. Be it flexibility, adaptability, etc there is a marked change as one gets older. Once you throw in a bit of trauma, emotional distress, etc there are many things that can happen "upstairs".

(Ever hear the old saw about most maths guys making their breakthroughs in their early days?)

And when I use the term relevance, I mean why does his doing something great years ago automatically qualify him as someone to listen to on everything that he chooses to ramble about? Or do we stop evaluating the source of information, because of emotional bias and hero worship?

I don't mean to come off ungrateful for what he did for the world back then, but how many free dinners does he get off it. If anyone else said what he gets quoted on, would it be special?

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (1)

zorn169 (988789) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726515)

The ironic thing is that I remember a WOZ interview a long time ago where he mentions not being able to hold whole designs in his head after he hit a certain age. Not sure how old it was. Maybe 40-45. I hope someone else comes up with a link for it.

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20726899)

AFAIK: He was in a plane accident, ended up in a coma for a little while from which he recovered, since when his memory doesn't work like it used to.

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726005)

With his track record, I don't think being relevent today is neither here nor there - he's already done enough to be great for the rest of his life.

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725783)

That's a valid question.

I'm a former Apple user. Woz helped make Apple great, but he and Jobs caused Apple to stagnate and pretty much kept Apple out of the position that Microsoft and IBM(Lenovo) are in now.

When Woz speaks about social issues, I'll give a listen, but even though I have great respect for him as a man, his business instincts are worth no more than yours or mine.

In short though, why do people care? It's in large part because of Woz's innovation, the personal computer revolution was born.

LK

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20725869)

There are hundreds of engineers that have done amazing things, and are still doing them.

Why do people still care what he thinks/does?


He's a personality and an icon, and I dare say a beloved one.

He's the oddball genius and the most identifiable "Pirate of Silicon Valley", the one who couldn't hack it in business and dropped out to tinker. If you were an 80's geek there's a good chance he was one of your heroes.

And nowadays he's an interesting outcast for whom we still have affection. And it doesn't hurt that he's outspoken and honest (some times brutally so.) There's also a but of soap opera to his relationship with Jobs and Apple.

If you don't get it, you don't get it. We all have our personalities we like to elevate, and outsiders rarely get it, and explaining why is generally a futile gesture.

Re:Why is Woz still relevant? (1)

Evets (629327) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725901)

Woz is no Dvorak. He keeps a low profile. It's a bit sad that this kind of a statement ends up making news, because it really isn't much of a statement at all.

He's one of the guys who is largely responsible for making computers the mainstream tools that they are today, so he's worth listening to. Jimmy Carter still makes headlines when he says anything. So does Paris Hilton. Certainly a guy like Woz who has actually made a much more direct impact on each of our lives is deserving of attention from our community.

If he does a tech talk or does some sort of commentary on the future of our industry, I'll be listening. He certainly is deserving of respect. You might say he doesn't have the business sense that some of the other guys like Jobs or Bill have, but maybe he does. He had the brains to get out and live a normal life, whereas Bill and Steve have been slaves to their success. When it came down to the question of how much is success worth, Woz' answer was closer to what mine would be than most other industry giants.

Apple advertiser slashdot runs third iphone ad! (3, Funny)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725467)

disclaimer, loyal user of mac computing platforms, self avowed telephone luddite! (if I want my phone to play videos and surf the web i'll run voip on a LAPTOP)

In the news today, the long time apple astroturfing ground, slashdot, has run the third [slashdot.org] iphone [slashdot.org] ad [slashdot.org] in the past 48 hours, topping all records for coverage of apple products since the launch of macos X.4 tiger.

Cowboy neal has yet to respond to questions regarding possible payola or hijacking of the firehose system : )

Re:Apple advertiser slashdot runs third iphone ad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20725641)

This isn't a troll, it's fucking insightful. Slashdot might as well be called iDot anymore. The bias is even stronger than the linux bias of old.

Re:Apple advertiser slashdot runs third iphone ad! (0, Troll)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725705)

It's kind of sick, isn't it.

I like my phone. It plugs into the wall. When I go out for a walk to the park, no one can call me. I consider this a feature. It never runs out of batteries, it never needs to be recharged, it works when the power goes out, and you can use the buttons, which are real, actual buttons, without even looking at the phone. It also makes this distinctive "ring-ring" noise instead of playing music, which I really like. Also, it only cost me $10.00.

I wonder how much longer you'll be able to buy them.

Unite! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20725811)

I'm with you! You know what else I hate? Those damn cotton mills! [wikipedia.org]

Simpsons reference (1)

old and new again (985238) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725509)

in the simpsons tonight, burns shopping a cell phone, the clerk in the mic says "iPhones now only 20 cents"

Shut up Woz (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20725539)

Why is that guy always whining about Apple's business decisions? He's undeniably a great engineer, but he never was the business manager there. Please Woz, you haven't worked there for ages. Let it go already.

Re:Shut up Woz (2, Insightful)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726481)

He undeniably "was" a great engineer... Unlike Jobs, he gave up real work along time ago.... Besides, an engineer voicing his opinions on individual product prices is like a business person voicing his opinion on the design of the product. He has no damn idea what he is talking about, and is simply showing his ignorance by talking about it...

plachenko@gmail.com (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20725541)

I need some e-mail.

I can see both sides of the debate (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725553)

but, ultimately, the people who bought it were willing to spend $600. Plus that $200 is insignificant in the long run, you are spending, what? $60 on that phone for 2 years? That 400 + 1440 = $1840 vs 2040. Not that big of a deal. Subtract the $100 giftcard (hey, if you don't want to buy anything with it, it makes a great birthday/christmas gift to someone who does).

I know, I hate when technology drops too, but the psychology of this is fascinating. It's similiar to gasoline - people watch the price like hawks and when its $.05 lower across town, they'll waste 20 minutes driving and another 1/4 gallon to reap "savings" that are not worth the cost in the end.

And people are getting so stressed out over this, you have to wonder if they are the same people who'd buy some new (american) car during the first 9 months only to get stressed out over the end-of-year price breaks into the thousands or the fact that that car is worth a few thousand less once they sign the papers?

Look at it this way: You got a nice product. As a bonus, out of the blue, you got a $100 gift certificate. Now that it's slightly cheaper, maybe you can get your spouse one, whatever.

abe simpson? (1)

Potor (658520) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725567)

the summary makes him sound like abe simpson

The iPhone isn't the same as other Apple products (5, Interesting)

bgspence (155914) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725589)

No one outside of a small circle in Apple and ATT know what the real deal is. Apple is getting something for the phone and something each month for the service. ATT signed up using a spreadsheet with one set of assumptions. Some suggest Apple gets $200 per phone plus a bit of the monthly service charge. ATT's calculations could never guess Apple would change the equation this big so soon. It's not Apple's normal thing to slash prices. ATT will sell more services, but Apple probably gets a huge iPhone subsidy. I bet Apple took ATT to the cleaners with the deal.

you all got gouged good (-1, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725655)

haha. read between the lines on this one people.

what woz is really saying, is that apple fanboys are so fucking stupid they could have gouged them for a longer and still had them kissing job's ass.

over priced, under featured hunk of junk is all an iphone is. Yet some people lapped that shit up like it was choclate milk. just take a look at all the posts defending apple no matter what and you get the picture.

"A fool and his money are soon parted" (0, Flamebait)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725717)

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 ...
"Too soon, too harsh"? Oh, poor babies... Get real. First adopters are idiots who'll pay to show they can afford the latest and greatest gadgets. Businesses are perfectly aware of this and quite rightly take fool advantage of them.

 

Translation (1, Funny)

LaTechTech (752269) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725725)

"Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak Saturday blasted Steve Jobs' decision to drop the price of the iPhone by $200 just two months after the product was launched.


Translation: I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

Just as well they dropped the price.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20725727)

..because I understand the dollar is to plunge to 1.5 euros as the Middle East stops selling oil in dollars.

Looks like we've picked a bad time to have a recession. Our Foreign Policy has made the world our enemy, and now we need them to rally round and get us out of the mess we're in because we've been living beyond our means.

But if we've pissed off the world once too often, there's a good chance they will just let us collapse. Then we'll really need the $200 drop for an iPhone - it will help us to buy bread!

Apple, Google and the iPhone (3, Interesting)

shird (566377) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725765)

I don't get it. What does the price drop on the iPhone have to do with working at Google over Apple? Did the price drop affect the employees of Apple in some bad way, that Google didn't/wouldn't? Are they going to lose their job as a result? The two stories seem completely unrelated.

Steve Jobs' reply (1)

xmpcray (636203) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725841)

Here is Steve Jobs' reply [blogspot.com] to Woz's interview -

Oh wait....

Name Incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20725865)

It's Steve Wozniak, not Steve Wozniak Saturday.

Well at least the Lisa owners got a store credit (4, Funny)

mozumder (178398) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725889)

Re:Well at least the Lisa owners got a store credi (1)

Cafe Alpha (891670) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725917)

As if anyone saved their receipt and the box. Even if they did, and it was printed on that early thermal paper, then it's no longer readable.

This is bullshit, it really only mocks Lisa buyers. If I had bought a Lisa, I'd be ready to kill the 'xec at the center of a certain reality-distortion field right about now.

Re:Well at least the Lisa owners got a store credi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20725947)

Dear friend, bbspot is a satire site. That article is not real.

Re:Well at least the Lisa owners got a store credi (1)

Cafe Alpha (891670) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726147)

Ah. Didn't look closely at the page.

I don't get this... (1, Insightful)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725893)

So the iPhone became a lot less expensive now. And everyone complains? Why?
I mean, the alternative is that Apple would have kept the price high, and made more money. That would have had some people complaining, for sure!

Sometimes it seems you just can't do things right.

B.

Re:I don't get this... (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726473)

Yeah, I really don't get that. If I were in a flippant mood, I'd say something like "ils sont fous ces americains, only in America would people complain about a price drop".

What exactly were the complainers so angry about? iSuppli and pretty much everyone not affected by the RDF knew Apple had a large margin on the thing. That Apple would eventually lower the margin to be more in line with what the other handset mfgs has was a given. If you bought the phone, you evidently thought it was worth the $600. If you didn't, why did you buy it? One might argue that Apple gouged the early adopters, but that is par for the course in tech - happens with anything from the latest nVidia card to CPUs. So it seems counter-intuitive that the anger was about the price drop itself, at least not for those who have a realistic understanding of the market. I'd venture a guess that it had more to do with the iPhone losing its caché, the price change moved it from the 'louis vitton' range of expensive designer gadgets to the more pedestrian. Simply put, it lost its magic.

What is interesting is what Jobs will take home this whole ordeal. Not only did it take press and buzz away from the new iPods, but it probably also taught him that the Apple faithful do not look kindly on price drops. So iPhone2, or whatever the next hot iThing will be, is less likely to see a significant price drop.

Re:I don't get this... (1)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726513)

Ils sont fous, bien-sur. (disclaimer: I'm not a French-speaking person :) ). Shooting themselves in the Fous, they are.

WTF?? (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725909)

A price drop does not harm you, it only benefits other people. I don't understand why Woz, a generally great guy, sympathizes so much with other people's simple jealousy. You thought the price was right when you bought it. What changes now? And you always can choose to only buy from stores with 30 day price guarantee.

Happens all the time with cars. (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725959)

Big deal. Early this year, I bought a 2007 Jeep Wrangler. If I bought the same vehicle today, it would be $3000 cheaper, because Jeep is now offering big sales incentives. And the warranty period was only three years when I bought it; now there's a lifetime power train warranty. (That has more to do with the breakup of Damlier-Chrysler and retaining customer confidence, though.)

What's really annoying iPhone suckers, I suspect, is that their overpriced status symbol just stopped being an overpriced status symbol. The CEO of Rolex once said "We are not in the watch business. We are in the luxury business." That applies here.

Who cares what Woz thinks? (1)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725983)

He's a clever geek, no doubt but he owes everything to the good fortune of meeting Steve Jobs. Without him Woz would still be a calculator engineer at HP. And frankly I find it difficult to take him seriously when he calls his biography "iWoz" when he had nothing to do with the Mac let alone any of the "i" products. Publicity hungry empty vessel. Who cares what he thinks: he has no particular insight.

Re:Who cares what Woz thinks? (2, Interesting)

unitron (5733) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726115)

He's a clever geek, no doubt but he owes everything to the good fortune of meeting Steve Jobs. Without him Woz would still be a calculator engineer at HP.

Are you sure it wasn't the other way around, that Jobs had the good fortune to be in the right place at the right time to exploit Woz's talents?

Re:Who cares what Woz thinks? (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726213)

Both were lucky. They are complementary to each other, neither of them would have succeeded alone. Woz would've created a computer nobody wants to use, Jobs would've gone bankrupt trying.

RTFA guys (3, Funny)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725995)

Ok Apple fanboys, before you start flaming Woz and or biting your nails in despair over having to choose between Jobs and Woz, you should read the entire article.

Woz was not nearly as confrontational as the slashdot summary suggests. Also, the summary combines to quotes from completely different and unrelated parts of the interview which is pretty confusing (no Google has nothing to do with Iphone pricing). Also, Woz said that he thinks that Apple is still more innovative, even though he said all these nice things about innovation at Google.

So yeah, the slashdot summary was very sensationalistic and misleading. So no need to tear down that topless Woz poster from your bedroom wall just yet.

Re:RTFA guys (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727447)

I pick Jobs over Woz because if Apple were run by Woz, it would be another geek-factory, like the rest of the industry, and Apple would have died years ago. But thankfully, Apple is an alternative, and not another choice that would be lost on most geeks. Not that Woz is a bad guy, he's just so obviously into binary, whereas the average human likes to click on pretty icons.

With that said, how can anyone take this lead-in seriously. That was the most disjointed, non-sensical summary of a slashdot article ever. That seems to be the pattern with Apple related stories when some repressed Mac-bashing geek hurries to be the first with his/her lame attempt to flame Apple.

So yeah, nice try, but the reality is that Woz bought 10-grand (plus) in iPhones and spent $200 too much for each one...he is a little miffed, obviously.

Is this who's on top syndrome? (0)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726039)

I'm curious about all the Apple bashing? Just look at the posts over the last few days and they have been numerous and by and large very negative. It was a boneheaded move dropping the price that much that quick but given the iPod Touch it was obvious it had to happen when it did. The real point was it was priced too high out of the gate and the drop should have only been a $100. Apple has tried to address this with the store credit. The point is half the whining was about price then after they drop the price steeply the whining shifts to the sudden price drop. Difficult to please much? I guess the biggest remaining complaint is the bundling with the provider but the simple solution is if it bothers you that much don't buy one. Just odd that a company that seems to be catering in some ways to computer and tech fans is getting so blasted. The OS is far more secure and stable than Windows and OSX has a massive potential. Microsoft has chosen "we're the biggest so you'll buy what we offer and like it" approach to customer service. Notice the lack of customer enthusiasm over that stance with Vista. I just say to cut Apple a little slack. It's a first generation product that has a huge potential. Since it's running OSX it's biggest limitations are battery life and chip speed, both are interconnected. It does have the potential to run desktop apps so in three to five years when chip technology catches up they'll be well positioned to take advantage of it. They did that with OSX and got flack for it early on but it turned out to be the right move and now they have a stunning, easy to use OS with lots of power and features Vista can only dream of. Also as I run my spyware software several times a day and deal with disk defragging and such I have to comment on how realitively maintainence free their products tend to be. I built several PC computers a few weeks ago and I'm still trying to iron out the bugs. My Mac I plugged in 18 months ago and I've barely touched it since except to allow updates once a month and install new software. I'm in it for the software not the daily OS fight that is Windows. iPhones are amazing for first generation and they are likely to be radically better in a couple of years. Try to see the price cut as a good thing. Would you be happier if they still cost $600? What if that meant the iPod Touch had to cost $500? Would that make you happier? Change is happening faster than ever so fast price drops shouldn't be seen as an evil empire issue. The had to set prices well before the release of the iPhone and my guess is the memory dropped faster and more than they expected. Obviously the costs wound up being lower than they thought so they passed on the savings and went for a larger market share since they were already set to hit their sales goal. Remember everyone laughing about their goal? No one is laughing now.

Re:Is this who's on top syndrome? (5, Funny)

bentcd (690786) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726305)

I'm curious about all the Apple bashing?
Apparantly, Apple customers come across as smug bastards and, in a twist of irony, Linux users seem to really really dislike smug bastards. Or perhaps it's just smug bastards from a different camp they dislike, it's a bit unclear. Anyway, this tends to transfer over into any discussion involving Apple regardless of the underlying facts of the matter. The only thing that is holding Slashdot together at the seams is the unsurprising coincident that both smugh Mac-owners and smug Linux-users both harbour an overpowering dislike for Microsoft (which isn't smug, just evil). So long as this tenuous alliance is kept alive with the odd Microsoft-bashing article every now and then, our little community shall prevail! :-)

For the record: I own two Windows boxes, two Linux boxes and one OSX box. I use most of them on a regular basis, for various purposes.

sales slowing (1)

sylverboss (846288) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726141)

this is probably due to: - sales slowing down - and re-launching the brand good job, Steve, iPhone is still hot stuff :)

Anyone (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726297)

Anyone else read "cofounder" as "confounder"?

Grammar check! (1)

smithcl8 (738234) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726887)

What did that editor use to check the spelling and grammar in that article? That was almost as hard to read as the average Slashdot post!

Quit complaining and take some responsibility! (1, Insightful)

Lethyos (408045) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727169)

To the whiners about the price drop: I see no rational reason for you to be upset. You are early adopters and you evidently decided favorably to the value proposition of the iPhone. People who complain about a price-cut being a bad thing simply amaze me: they are pinning their own impatience, foolishness, or buyers remorse on someone else. If you feel cheated, take some personal responsibility and accept that if you did not like the price, you should not have made the purchase! When prices are lowered, it is almost always a good thing (there are exceptions for undercutting and subsidized goods, but I digress), and in this case, it is likely in response to market forces. That is how capitalism is meant to work. All of that is neglecting the fact that analyses of the manufacturing costs [gizmodo.com] revealed huge margins for Apple almost immediately after the release (and reported on again [tuaw.com] , and again [reuters.com] , and again [computerworlduk.com] ). To the people who are complaining, you should make sure you understand caveat emptor [wikipedia.org] before you plunk down over half a grand for a cell phone, especially since many—if not most—of you had all the facts available up-front. And in the interest of full disclosure, I do own an iPhone and made my purchase shortly after Apple subsidized my $200 early termination fee to Sprint. In closure, thank you for the price-cut, Steve!

Boo hoo (1, Flamebait)

massysett (910130) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727223)

Woz bought TWENTY iPhones? So he spent twelve thousand ($12,000!!) on phones as gifts, and now he is complaining that the price has dropped $200 and he can't get his instant refund? I knew the price drop would spark complaining, but a rich guy who spent twelve thousand dollars on phones is complaining? I don't feel sorry for anybody who willingly paid $600 for a frilly gadget, but a rich man buying twenty phones inspires the LEAST sympathy.
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