Apple has announced a $100 credit to most (perhaps all) customers who paid the old prices for the iPhone and who are not entitled to a full $200 rebate. Previously there had been much whining and reports of uneven treatment for customers who bought iPhones more than 14 days before the announcements.

No wonder some customers and most analysts are confused. First the iPhone comes out at $599 (I’m talking always about the 8GB model, of course). Early adopters rush off to buy it while others say it’s way too expensive. 66 days later the price goes down over 33%. While most people reacted negatively to this, not all did.

Steve Jobs is right, in the technology business prices always go down fast and faster, and most people forget this is true on the component side too. With the first 700,000 iPhones sold, Apple did an excellent job of balancing costs, supply and demand. Now that the first rush is over, and with a second device coming out using many of the same components, their costs go down sharply and this has to be reflected in the pricing, especially in view of the holiday season. Had the iPod touch come out at $499 just to appease early adopters, it might have flopped in the season, and people would have complained as usual about Apple gouging customers with high margins.

PS: Of course, the geeky thing would have been to make the rebate proportional to days elapsed between purchase and announcement – $3 per day or so, icon_smile.gif but averaging this out to $100 for everybody is no doubt easier to do and is a good thing PR-wise…