Hats on. Ready? Several people, myself included, have maintained that Mr. Jobs masterminded and orchestrated the iPhone price drop debacle, turning a slight surplus of iPhones into a media frenzy, an advertising free-for-all, and creating a false sense warm fuzzies for all, while ultimately still lowering the price and simultaneously making more money. To some, it was the greatest marketing ploy since New Coke. But it occurred to me tonight; what if that were just part A of the plan? What if part B really does include a 3G iPhone announcement tomorrow? After all, lately Apple is the Kasparov of the computer world...often many many moves ahead. The iPhone price drop came swiftly and suddenly, 2 months after the iPhone's release, upsetting and temporarily alienating many early adopters. You don't need a marketing degree to have predicted the public's reaction to this. But if Apple skipped the price drop and went straight for a 3G iPhone 2.5 months after its debut, any outcries from a price drop would seem like kittens meowing compared to the roars of public protest over a more advanced 3G iPhone coming out so soon. In other words, let's say there was no price drop 2 weeks ago, but that tomorrow did bring a 3G iPhone announcement. Early adopters would be even more livid and vehement. Would they settle for rebates? No. Would they want 3G upgrades to their EDGE phones? Physically impossible. They'd want full blown refunds or exchanges for the 3G phone. Apple would take a FAR bigger financial hit than by just giving away a bunch of store coupons. If Mr. Jobs hadn't already placated the angry mobs with a $100 store credit 2 weeks ago, tomorrow could be disasterous, if in fact a 3G iPhone is announced. But Apple knows human nature. They know when we want fresh iPods, what colors we'll like, how buttons should feel, how icons should act. They know us. And they know that if we just spent a $100 coupon at the Apple store, basic dignity will prevent most of us from clamoring for yet another form of compensation in the wake of a 3G announcement. We'll sputter and mutter and kick the dirt on our way back to the dugout, but we won't ask for another rebate, or a refund, or an exchange. (The current rebate is probably written in such a way that it precludes any future compensation anyhow...just a hunch) Hats off.