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Five years on... - Mark's Journal
Five years on...
The iPhone turned five today.

Here's the 14850today coverage: Apple's iPhone hits Ithaca with a bang

And here are the naysayers. One fun example:

December 07, 2006, CNET, Michael Kanellos
“Apple is slated to come out with a new phone… And it will largely fail…. Sales for the phone will skyrocket initially. However, things will calm down, and the Apple phone will take its place on the shelves with the random video cameras, cell phones, wireless routers and other would-be hits… When the iPod emerged in late 2001, it solved some major problems with MP3 players. Unfortunately for Apple, problems like that don’t exist in the handset business. Cell phones aren’t clunky, inadequate devices. Instead, they are pretty good. Really good.”
7 comments or Leave a comment
cannedpopcorn From: cannedpopcorn Date: June 29th, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
i am choking back laughter from that quote. awesome!
queenmabwords From: queenmabwords Date: June 29th, 2012 10:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
What sauce goes with crow?
jccohen From: jccohen Date: June 30th, 2012 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)
So, tech pundits are as good as political pundits. Check.
corkdorkdan From: corkdorkdan Date: June 30th, 2012 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I remember reading Mr. Kanellos' review when it first came out, and I would argue that he was spot-on with a lot of his points. It's easy in hindsight to say that he completely missed the mark, but at the time we knew nothing of the iPhone, or app stores - that whole ecosystem and customer base that Apple created out of thin air. Only a small portion of the public had experienced the Crackberry, and they were seen more as an unhealthy addiction for corporate types that can't unplug, than a useful and fun tool. The only evidence we had of a similar phone+iPod device was the Rokr(?), the first (poor) attempt to make iTunes portable. I think he's correct in saying that other manufacturers were already way ahead of the game in perfecting the phone experience (if not the smartphone experience). Sure, they had clunky UI's, but a lot of that was carrier-imposed bloat infecting really good designs on the factory phones. Surely no one could usurp the carrier's wishes (...until Apple did). And who could have predicted that the iPhone would be such a game changer that the "phone" function would quickly become one of the least-important functions of the device!

Of course, once it came out, the pitch was more of a smartphone-for-the-masses than phone+iPod. The first iPhone was deeply flawed - overpriced, missing common features like MMS and GPS, hobbled by AT&T's poor network - but people loved it anyway because it was so different. That gave Apple the good will to produce several iterations to really perfect it. In Mr. Kanellos' review, he says the Apple phone will have a slide-out keyboard, work with CDMA, and cost $250. Imagine how much MORE incredulous he would have been if he knew the truth! "It's clearly a boutique device for rich Silicon valley types! Apple is increasingly losing touch with the common user!", you can almost hear him saying.

Anyway, not saying it wasn't a great innovation. I just don't think you can fault people for being skeptical of that claim when it was being floated months before it was even released.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: June 30th, 2012 06:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

I don't think it's just that he completely missed the mark, but that he opined that Apple wasn't up to the task of putting a transformative new consumer electronic device in the palms of the world's hands... when that's precisely what they'd done five years earlier. He wasn't the first to have bet against Apple, and he won't be the last, but he really put his foot in it.
corkdorkdan From: corkdorkdan Date: July 1st, 2012 01:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah but you could just as easily substitute other Apple products that promised to be "transformative" and change an established industry, but were huge flops because it is indeed very difficult to compete with entrenched industry players. Or sometimes the market isn't ready, or someone else beats them to it. Apple doesn't have a magic bullet, they've failed at that game plenty of times - the Apple TV did not change the way I watch TV, Mac Minis did not compete with other low-cost PC providers, the Newton, the Pippin, several iterations of desktops and laptops before the modern iMac/MacBook line were less than stellar. I don't fault this guy for being skeptical based on that track record.
allyson13 From: allyson13 Date: July 2nd, 2012 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was on the customer service end when folks purchased the new iPhone (at a really high non-subsidized price which meant, at least in their minds, that we should bend over backwards to give them credits, etc)

I think AT&T knew there would be a high demand, but no one knew how much of a high demand.

And I remember all those frantic phone calls from folks who took their new iPhones outside the US and were smacked with high bills.

Ah... the memories!
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