While owners of other iPhone and iPod audio docks question whether to buy an Apple Lightning adapter for their equipment, Bang & Olufsen has come up with a solution that should result in some very happy customers.
Those who’ve purchased its BeoPlay A8 audio dock, which has both a 30-pin dock connector and Wi-Fi for AirPlay, are being offered a Lightning adapter free of charge through its “A8 Dock Upgrade Program.”
It’s not just existing owners either, as new owners will be eligible for the scheme too, effectively making the BeoPlay A8 the first dock compatible with Lightning-equipped hardware.
As it’s free, BeoPlay A8 owners who haven’t even decided to upgrade their phone or iPod yet will benefit too, ensuring their expensive dock will be ready should they do so in the future. Although it’s not stated, the wording of B&O’s offer indicates it’ll be a genuine Apple dock adapter that’s supplied, and not one of B&O’s construction.
Premium price, premium service
Of course, when you pay B&O’s premium prices, you expect a premium service; but as the same could be said for Apple — who won’t be bundling a Lightning adapter with the iPhone 5, iPod Nano or new iPod Touch — we doubt many were expecting this.
It also means that B&O’s BeoPlay can be added to the growing list of products that will operate as expected using the new cable and adapter. Gear4 and iHome say they’re not expecting any problems either.
The BeoPlay A8 is an expensive piece of kit though, and anyone who can splash out $1149 on the dock itself, probably won’t be worried about the $30 cost for a Lightning adapter. But it’s not about the money, it’s about customer service, care and satisfaction, and the A8 Dock Upgrade Program should win Bang & Olufsen plenty of new fans.
It paints Apple as particularly mercenary too, as the price of an unlocked 64GB iPhone 5 isn’t going to be far off that of a BeoPlay A8; but customers are still expected to pay for the adapter. Apple’s profit margins are well-documented, and we’d be surprised if B&O’s eclipsed it by much, if at all.
The program has yet to begin, presumably due to the October release date of the Lightning adapters, but owners can sign-up to be notified of when it gets under way at this dedicated site.
Perhaps this will prompt other big-name/high-price dock manufacturers to introduce a similar scheme?