If a firm intends to build relationships with its customers, it must staunchly stand by those that first put their trust in the firm's products. The earliest of buyers are termed 'Innovators' followed by 'Early adopters' and they are primarily responsible for the growth of mass markets for a firm's products. Their 'good word' is imperative to set the 'ball rolling'. Any bad reviews by these 'first buyers' can sound the death knell to the growth of a firm's products.

Apple's just made the mistake of alienating its loyal first buyers of the iPhone. People who had rushed to buy the Apple iPhone over the last two months suddenly and embarrassingly found that they had overpaid by $200 for the year’s most coveted gadget. Apple has made few missteps over the last decade, but it angered many of its most loyal customers by dropping the price of its iPhone to $400 from $600 only two months after it first went on sale. The angry first buyers let the company know on blogs, through e-mail messages and with phone calls.

In a remarkable concession, Steven P. Jobs acknowledged that the company had abused its core customers’ trust and extended a $100 store credit to the early iPhone buyers. The rebate, at least, was enough to mollify some early iPhone customers. While the iPhone price cut follows the general pattern of falling prices, quickly knocking a third off the price of a high-profile product is unusual for any consumer electronics company, let alone Apple.


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