Thursday, September 6, 2007

iPhone priced reduction and customer relations

I already posted a testament to Apple and its handling of customer care. But in the wake of the rebate offered to existing customers after the price slash yesterday I am floored. Really. That is simply amazing. A great thing to do.

As an early adopter you know you are going to pay the highest price for a new technology. It will get cheaper or do more for the same money a bit later on. We just have to get used to the fact that the pace of change means that is compressed from what used to be a 6months to a year to just a couple of months. At least iPhone buyers got something...

I bought a 46" samsung 1080P LCD TV in early june for just over $2700 on sale. A steal compared to where 1080P sets were at christmas. last month I saw the same unit on for $1900 - ouch! and a view sonic 1080P 46" unit for $1400. I dont care how good a talker you are, a 50% reduction in price for what the wife calls a fancy TV is hard to explain. I see no cheque in the mail for this or anything else I have bought from any other vendor as prices went down in time from DVD players (remember the early ones were $1000) to computers and all the price changes - as CPU's got faster, monitors got bigger, drivers gained capacity I never expected this to to better.

The old Apple, in the dark times between the reigns of Steve, wouldn't have batted and eye or cared no matter how much people whined about the change in price or capability. It shows how much Apple values us as customers. I am sure I will never see a big cheque from Dell or Microsoft....

iTunes 7.4 a refresh for next gen ipods

With the quiet launch of the video store in the UK last week. I clung to hope upon hope that the release of iTunes 7.4 was finally going to make my iPod video (aka classic) and Apple Tv useful. The hints and signs were there in the summer when somone noticed that there were video ratings settings for UK, Australia and Canada. But alas, as the install completed and I hit the iTunes store there was still no joy in Canada. Alas the release is only to enable features found in the new iPods that will soon fill our 2007 Christmas wish lists.

For Canada and the rest of the world, you can skip this update as there is nothing to see here.

iTunes 7.4 is ready!

Well I will give Steve Jobs this. if he says iTunes will be out tonight. it will be out tonight. at 2:45 EDT (11:45 PDT) iTunes 7.4 popped up as ready to download. good hunting...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Christmas in September

Too much iPod news today. His Steveness came down from Cupertino and gave us much iPod goodness today. So much to tell but in short : shuffle got more colours including the socially conscious (Product)^red version. Nano now does video, HD ipods are now known as classic ipods. the iPhone with out the phone is now known as iPod Touch. More on this in another post. oh and you can buy content from iTunes via wifi. very very cool.

iTunes Music Store Customer Service - Brilliant

Just a note on how great iTunes customer service can be. Usually when you talk with customer service its hell. Customer service for most providers of anything is painful, gutwrenching and filled with dread even before you start because of the impending sense of incompetence and indfference you expect to receive. Not so with iTunes Music Store. Read on.

I was rifling through the store when I realized an artist I liked had their catalog up on iTunes. I looked at the prices. 0.99. DRM! such is life. so I purchased them. The next day I was surfing iTunes Plus and there was the album with the tracks I had purchased the day before. Cool. my paradigm speakers will be much happier with the 256k iTunes plus versions. No Dice. No upgrade available. I confirmed there were both sets available but the store wouldnt upgrade them. So I wrote to customer support asking about the problem. they said the DRM version was owned by one corp and the DRM free ones another. Because of this the store couldnt link and figure out to upgrade them. However, they would refund my account for the purchases so that I could purchase the DRM Free ones instead. they even included a link so that I wouldnt make the same mistake twice?

Are you kidding me???!?! thoughtful and helpful ? They could have told me to spend the $3.39 to buy the DRM free versions in addition to my DRM versions. I am sure Apple spent more than the original $2.97 to process the return, answer the email etc, but this certainly made me an avid customer. For life.

3 billion songs. How bad is your iTunes habbit?

A while a go. there was a post from Apple saying that the leading iTunes purchaser (a music reviewer) had spent almost $40,000.00 on iTunes. I think I have about $7,000 in so far as I have been averaging about $100/month since the ipod Video (60) became available. A lot of my collection became DRM free when iTunes Plus came out and I upgraded. I realize I might be eccentric (actually I know that I am) but I wonder how many others are actually collecting from iTunes. I haven't been inside an HMV in over 2 years. I wonder how many in the 30+ crowd are in the same boat.

Addicted to Ipod

Yes. I am addicted to my iPod. My 60 GB iPod Video follows me just about everywhere possible. It survived Hurricane Wilma and has been on 3 continents with me. iTunes is the most used application on my computer. So I thought I would share my thoughts on my favourite toy since for Apple, Canadians using seems to be a forgotten afterthought.

I wonder how long it will be before I get a cease and desist...