Agnitio discussed a number of the important points surrounding the price of the 3G iPhone that is coming to New Zealand. However, there is one other factor I would like to mention/rant about the price – if the price is “too high” then don’t buy the bloody thing.
For goodness sake, it is a discretionary item. If Apple and Vodafone want to charge a whole lot of money for the thing and you still buy it, you must value it enough to pay that amount of money. People have no implicit right to an iPhone, it is not one of the “necessities of life” that a proper society may wish to provide to all its citizens, as a result whining about the price is just plain irritating.
Some people may say, “hey, it is a monopoly, it is charging to much and selling to little compared to the socially optimal level”. My counter would be “if they hadn’t created the product in the first place, then no value would be created, so calm down”. Hell, the reason these companies invest in creating the product is so that they can extract some surplus at some point – just be glad that this overall transaction creates value for everyone involved!
So instead of moaning about the asymmetric bargaining position, just realise that since there exists a market and since the trade is voluntary, everyone is still better off when the iPhone is avaliable than when it is not – creating and releasing the danged thing at this price is pareto superior (*) to not doing so.
Seriously, is there nothing more important to discuss on TV than the price of the iPhone! I would have thought that society is more concerned about the fact that we are in a recession, and there is the potential for large scale job losses.