The iPod Touch seems like a great answer to the iPhone if you hate AT&T or don't want to break your current contract. Yes, the lack of camera kinda stinks, if you were to want to photoblog while out of your house, but it's just an iPod, no biggie. It's still a freaking MP3 player with Wifi; not crippled Zune-esque only-able-to-do-about-3-things wifi, but actual, functioning Wifi. Pretty neat. Yes, 16 gigs may be too small for some of you, but do you really need to carry all of your music all of the time?And of course, the great iPhone price break.
Yes, $200 is a lot of money, but sh-- err stuff happens. Technology changes all the time. It was bound to go down in price eventually. Yes, $200 in 2 months is a little nuts, but I'm sure some marketing genius was behind it.
Can you honestly say you've never been cheated out of money before? (not saying Apple is cheating anyone.)
Example: I was cheated out of about $200 by an unscrupulous ticket broker. I paid about $135 each for some concert tickets. He promised the best seats in the house and after-party passes, but we ended up with lawn seats worth $35 and no post-party. He was a cheat and a liar, and I deserve that $200, as there were no services rendered for it.
The iPhone is a different issue entirely. You (not anyone specific) paid $599 on the first day. You waited in line. You wanted the coolest, newest, best phone ever. You got it. For two months, people drooled at the fact you had that new "iTunes phone." For two months, you brought up YouTube in gridlocked traffic, ordered shirts from Threadless in the middle of class, posted on MacRumors from the john (Don't look at me like you didn't!), checked traffic via Google maps, listened to music and flipped about in coverflow. The phone was thoroughly enjoyed. You got your $600 worth.
Price changes happen. I bought gas about 2 months ago for $2.70 a gallon, and now it's at $2.49. Am I calling Citgo and demanding that I get my $0.21/gallon back? (Yes, a commodity that volatile is not the best example, but it fits well enough.) I got my gas for $2.70, and I enjoyed being able to drive to and from university and work. Or let's say I got a cute pair of shoes for $100 and two months later, they go on sale for $20. Am I marching my butt into DSW and demanding to have my $80 back after two months of use?
If the iPhone were new and improved with 32 gigs of storage, a 3 megapixel camera, and a higher-resolution screen for $200 less, I could see getting mad, but it's the same. We early adopters may pay more, but we get to play with all the shiny toys first!
Apple is being more than generous with the $100 gift card. If I were Mr. Jobs himself, I don't think I'd offer it. It's my company; I didn't force you to buy the phone, you bought it of your own free will, knowing full-well that the price would eventually change. Technology changes, prices change, stuff happens. AMEX is being amazing by offering their price protection refund. If I were AMEX, the same principle would apply. You decided to spend the $599.
Complaining about this $100 gift is looking a gift horse in the mouth. Be happy you're getting anything back. Yes, I'm prepared for the "But you didn't pay for it!" flaming, but I still realize that prices change. Milk used to be $1 a gallon; now it's $3 or $4. Same with oil, copper, and most produce. Yes, it sucks, but I already spent it. It's not my $200 anymoreit's gone right to Apple's revenue. I got to play with the coolest phone on the earth for two months, when hardly anyone I knew had one.
Maybe I'm already a bitter woman at the age of 19, but life isn't "fair." This gift card is more than "fair." I'll take my $100 gift card and get some Arn-approved iPhone accessories to play with. If you're so upset about a mere $200, I hope you enjoy your next new car purchase. Don't cry too much when you lose thousands of dollars as you drive off the lot.