Dongmei Li, one of the many consumers who bought the original iPhone for $599 only to see the price go down to $399 two months later, has now sued Apple on behalf of herself and other "early adopters," alleging "price discrimination."
Facing a consumer backlash, Apple refunded the $200 difference for those who had bought the more expensive iPhone less than two weeks before the price cut, and offered a $100 credit to those who bought it earlier. Still unhappy, Li has sued in federal court, saying that Apple (and AT&T) have engaged in unfair business practices.
In the lawsuit, Li apparently claims that the price reduction injured early adopters like herself because they now cannot resell their iPhones for the same profit as those who bought the phones after the price cut. In other words — if I understand this correctly — those who bought an iPhone before the price cut paid more those who bought one after the price cut; and so if later buyers want to resell their phone today, they will be better off in doing so than those who, certainly through no fault of their own, were cruelly forced to buy an iPhone at the earlier, higher price; and this is unlawful price discrimination.
That settles it — the free market is illegal. Or maybe it’s just price cuts that are illegal? My head hurts.
The article doesn’t make clear exactly what kind of price protection or guarantee Li claims "early adopters" were entitled to expect, given that gadget prices have historically dropped pretty quickly. But it appears that, at least in this case, an award of approximately one million dollars would be enough to heal the wounded hearts, repair the shattered expectations, and pay the creative attorneys of those who trusted Apple not to lower the price of the iPhone, ever.