What critics were saying about Steve Jobs’ smartphone in the months before it launched
Three years ago, when it became clear that Apple AAPL was about to unveil some kind of mobile phone, critics began to weigh in on its chances of success. AAPLinvestors’ Terry Gregory, building on a list of skeptical quotes begun by MacDailyNews, has put together what may be the definitive collection.
“Apple will likely have a tough time convincing application vendors to build specialized clients for the iPhone until the volumes are there, and the volumes could be limited by the lack of third-party applications – a Catch 22.” Jack Gold, J. Gold Associates, 10 January 2007
“Five hundred dollars? Fully subsidized, with a plan? It is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard which makes it not a very good email machine… So, I, I kinda look at that and I say, well, I like our strategy. I like it a lot.” Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, 17 January 2007
“Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone… What Apple risks here is its reputation as a hot company that can do no wrong. If it’s smart it will call the iPhone a ‘reference design’ and pass it to some suckers to build with someone else’s marketing budget. Then it can wash its hands of any marketplace failures… Otherwise I’d advise people to cover their eyes. You are not going to like what you’ll see.” John C. Dvorak, 28 March 2007
“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.” Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, 30 April 2007
“What does the iPhone offer that other cell phones do not already offer, or will offer soon? The answer is not very much… Apple’s stated goal of selling 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008 seems ambitious.” Laura Goldman, LSG Capital, 21 May 2007
“We Predict the iPhone will bomb. Which means that when the iPhone comes, Digg will likely be full of horror stories from the poor saps who camped out at their local AT&T store, only to find their purchase was buggier than a camp cabin.” Seth Porges, The Futurist, 7 June 2007
“The forthcoming (June 29) release of the Apple iPhone is going to be a bigger marketing flop than Ishtar and Waterworld combined. Because its designers forgot Platt’s First, Last, and Only Law of User Experience Design (“Know Thy User, for He Is Not Thee”), that product is going to crash in flames. Sell your Apple stock now, while the hype’s still hot. You heard it here first.” David S. Platt, Suckbusters!, 21 June 2007
More than 33 million iPhones, 100,000 apps and 2 billion downloads later, the death watch continues. To see AAPLinvestors’ full collection — including comparisons to such “iPhone killers” as the Palm PALM Pre, Research in Motion’s RIMM BlackBerry Storm and Motorola’s MOT Droid — click here.