So on the off chance you are one of Apple’s blindly devoted fanboys (or fangirls) who already bought a $600 iPhone over the last couple of months all I can say is; here let me get you a little salt to pour in that open wound. This week, after just two months of being on the market, Steve Job’s gleefully slashed the 8GB iPhone price by a third to $399, and discontinued the 4 Gig model all together. At this point rumors are swirling and there are reports of people having mixed success getting refunds and credits, but this much is for sure; Apple has yet again managed to steal the media spotlight and create product buzz for the iPhone unlike any other cell phone manufacture before.

What’s most surprising is the outrage people are expressing over the sudden price reduction, not the price drop itself. But this is nothing new from Apple. Let’s face it, Apple has built the iPod economy around planned obsolescence and the disposability of their consumer electronics from the beginning. No removable/replaceable batteries in any iPods or the iPhone. No external expansion options for memory in any model. No credit is given towards a new model purchase nor is there any upgrade program. Apple has always been about pumping out units, not customer “satisfaction.” In fact, the more dissatisfied you are with a previous generation iPod (or Mac for this matter) the more likely you are to just chuck it and pony up for the latest flavor?

Ipod Vending

Take a cue from the photo I took at the airport last week. People now purchase $300 iPods as you would a bag of chips or a coke. And its not just the airport, these are popping up at malls, school campuses, heck I saw one at the Hilton in Vegas next to the elevator going to my room! Good Lord, have we gotten so trivial with our dollars and reduced our expectations of how long a piece of consumer electronics should last that it’s now normal to buy and dispose of them while walking down a hallway to a hotel room?

So why are the early adopters of the iPhone shocked over this sudden price drop? This is nothing new from their precious Apple. Besides, the same individuals that are so bent over this travesty are going to be the first ones in line around the Apple store next year to by the iPhone 1.5?

In fact that’s what they should be demanding, not a $200 credit for the price drop, but a refund on their time spent in line, we’ll call it “iLine.” It’s a fantastic new offering from Apple where you pay $599 for the privilege of camping out in front of an Apple store for a “limited” new product that will actually be readily available to anyone one week after launch, in fact they will have so many of them in stock two months after launch that there’ll be a price drop to entice sales in order to hit the 1 million unit projections for the end of September! Silly isn’t it, surely Mr. Job’s would never try such a thing.

So all you crazed iPhone users, while you are crying to get your technology tax of $200 refunded, why not ask Apple for a voucher to reserve your place in iLine 2008. Then you can again pay too much for an over-hyped, over-priced product that will again be discounted soon after you purchase it, and you can again swear how this is the last time you will fall under the sway of Apple’s marketing machine.