Apple has a long history of milking early adopters. Even the crappy products (remember the Newton? the Mac Cube?) would sell a few hundred thousand units to the faithful before those faithful learned the sad truth. But just as they were learning that truth, along would come Steve Jobs (okay, not in the case of the Newton, but generally) gleefully proffering the real fantastic product people had been expecting months before. Then those same early adopters, reenergized, would buy all over again, whether it was an iMac, iPod, MacBook, iPhone, whatever. Why should we think this week’s Verizon iPhone announcement is any different?

Where’s the Long Term Evolution (LTE) network? Where’s surfing while talking? Where’s the damned white case?


We’ve been here before, remember? The first iPhone worked only on AT&T’s slower Edge network so the early adopters all upgraded to 3G a few months later, paying again. Worse still there was that big price drop only weeks after the original iPhone introduction when Apple clearly intended to punish the faithful for being, well, faithful.

What will happen if, come February, AT&T drops its iPhone 4 price to $99? Verizon will follow suit, that’s what, and a million early adopters will have been burned.

Steve Jobs can’t help himself. It’s in his blood.