When the Dot 2 (UK visitors click here) was announced at a little more than half what the Dot 1 cost, I expected much rejoicing among everyone who’s been wanting a Dot ever since the first generation sold out. What I didn’t see coming was all the complaining from the first-gen Dot owners who now feel: they overpaid for the Dot 1 / were tricked into overpaying for a Dot 1 / that Prime members were dishonestly lured into buying the Dot 1 at double the price of the Dot 2 in order to subsidize the lower price of Dot 2 with their Dot 1 purchase.
I call horsefeathers.
There are several reasons why, in my opinion, no one who paid $90 for the Dot 1 has any legitimate reason to complain about the Dot 2 being sold for $50.
1. It is pretty widely acknowledged in the tech sector that every Amazon-branded piece of hardware is a loss leader product for the e-commerce giant.
Whatever you paid for your Dot, whatever generation the Dot is, you paid less than it cost Amazon to bring it to you. Amazon’s probably taking an even bigger bath on the Dot 2 than they did on the first Dot. Rumor has it Amazon’s goal is to totally saturate the market before Google releases its intended competitor product, which would also explain the big push to sell the Dot 2 in multi-packs.
No one overpaid for the Dot 1. It’s just that people buying the Dot 2 are probably underpaying to a greater extent.
2. The Dot 2 is not the same product as the Dot 1.
I won’t be able to say for certain what all the differences are until I get my Dot 2, but I already know the Dot 2 replaced the Dot 1’s volume ring with buttons. Personally I prefer the volume ring, but it was probably less expensive during manufacture to replace it with buttons.
3. Anyone who buys the first version of any new piece of tech should know they are an early adopter, and a better and less expensive version of the product will surely be coming if the first generation is a hit.
Early adopters are willing to pay a little to a lot extra for the privilege of being the first to get their hands on new tech. If that doesn’t sound like you, don’t be an early adopter.
4. Anyone who’s been using any kind of tech device for longer than year should know tech just keeps getting better and cheaper, and new versions are released regularly.
Remember when $5,000 or more was typical to pay for a desktop computer? In that year’s dollars, no less? And isn’t it pretty much common knowledge that when you buy a new computer or smart phone, it’s going to be far surpassed in functionality and beaten on price in a matter of months?
Tech companies can’t just stop selling whatever the current version is as soon as a new version goes into development, first because new versions are constantly in development and second because they still have to bring money in to pay their bills and employees. Lest anyone claim Amazon could afford to do it by letting income from their other divisions cover the overhead in the Dot department, that’s not how big manufacturers of consumer products work: every division is separate, and has to cover its own costs.
5. Anyone who’s making the most of their Prime membership really hasn’t got a leg to stand on in arguing that Amazon’s somehow taking advantage of Prime members in this. Really.
If you’re a Prime member are you seriously going to tell me, with a straight face, that you’re not saving hundreds of dollars every year in shipping costs alone with that Prime membership, compared to paying for 2-day shipping on a year’s worth of orders? And on top of that you get Prime Video. And Prime Music. And a free Kindle book every month. And now, Audible Prime audiobooks too.
Amazon likes to keep its Prime members happy because Amazon knows we buy more stuff from Amazon than if we weren’t Prime members, so you can bet if they’re offering any kind of special deal or product to Prime members it’s because Amazon truly believes it to be a special deal or offer: not because they think, “Oh, Prime members are a buncha suckers, we can put one over on them, easy!”
Bottom Line: We’re talking about fifty dollars here.
Fifty dollars is not pocket change, I’ll grant you. But in the land of tech early adopters, it shouldn’t be enough to generate the levels of outrage I’m seeing online. If fifty dollars is enough to drive you to start a petition or make you threaten an Amazon boycott (as some are doing), then maybe early adopterism isn’t for you.
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With the DKnight Big MagicBox Bluetooth 4.0 Portable Wireless Speaker (UK visitors click here) is a great pick for pairing with your Dot. Currently (as of 9/20/16) rated 4.5/5 stars across over 600 reviews and priced at $49.99.
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