Speaking of Strikeouts …

As I mentioned in part 3 of my iPad series of articles, many commentators were downplaying the iPhone prior to its introduction. I stumbled upon this article from 2007, titled “Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone“. It is a classic example of the type of old world thinking that still predominates the technology industry today. After the runaway success of the iPhone this article reads like a parody. It includes such gems as:

“It’s the loyalists who keep promoting this device as if it is going to be anything other than another phone in a crowded market.”

“…the mobile handset business. This is not an emerging business. In fact it’s gone so far that it’s in the process of consolidation with probably two players dominating everything,”

“During this phase of a market margins are incredibly thin so that the small fry cannot compete without losing a lot of money.”

“As for advertising and expensive marketing this is nothing like Apple has ever stepped into. It’s a buzz saw waiting to chop up newbies.”

“… phones go in and out of style so fast that unless Apple has half a dozen variants in the pipeline, its phone, even if immediately successful, will be passé within 3 months.”

“…its survival in the computer business relies on good margins. Those margins cannot exist in the mobile handset business for more than 15 minutes.”

“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.”

(This last comment is very interesting in light of what Google is trying to do with the Android.)

Apple’s track record since the return of Steve Jobs has been to introduce revolutionary devices into stagnant markets. This author assumed that the iPhone was just going to be another me-too phone. He failed to have the foresight that the iPhone was going to change the rules of the how the game was played. The iPhone was such a breakthrough device that it completely transformed the cell phone market. Now, this same author is writing articles such as “Apple’s iPad is far from revolutionary“, with the same type of logic that he used with the iPhone article referenced above. I guess some people will never learn.