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This is probably the best take I’ve yet read on the iPhone price cut (via Big Picture):

Nobody forced anyone to buy an iPhone. The hype was immense, and only a little of the hype actually came from Apple. The buyers weren’t buying a phone, they were buying status and the envy of others. Every buyer got the opportunity to show off their new toy, brag. The iPhone provided a high quality narcissistic supply. Now that the price has been sullied and the status is gone you can hear the sound of egos deflating as that brief bubble of exclusivity popped. The dealer cut the price of their junk.

I’d add that the ego-deflation was not just the result of having a trendy status symbol sullied (if reducing its price can be described as “sullying” it), but from the pervasive fear that, by buying it at full price at launch, that iPhone early adapters had been suckered.