Steve Jobs is a genius.
Yes, I know that fact is not news, but one aspect of his genius – marketing – is certainly on full display this week.
Jobs played the media (and a portion of his customer base) like a Stradivarius.
Jobs knows that the iPod lineup is so hot that they will sell themselves. Therefore he figured that he could afford to overshadow them with some long-planned iPhone moves designed to generate loads of free publicity from the mainstream media.
First, he lowered the price – as was always the plan – but, lowered it so drastically as to create an uproar among those who had purchased the iPhone at the original launch prices.
Then he waited for a bit to let the pressure cooker build up steam – he even stoked it a bit by claiming “that’s just the way things work in tech.” That Jobs created doubt in the minds of many that he didn’t anticipate the angst the price cut would cause is part of his genius. Then he released the steam with a $100 gift card – also long-planned – that will end up generating even more sales for the company. “Presto! $49 iPod nanos for everyone!”
Today, we see the fruits of yesterday’s “apology” everywhere from The Today Show to the cable news outlets to local drive-time radio shows and all over the ‘Net. More free publicity for a company whose CEO seems to be able to generate it whenever and wherever he damn well pleases.
This has been a fun week, it’s just beautiful to watch a genius in action. Even without the $100 Apple Store credit it was well worth the price of admission.
SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.