Back to the iPhone Naysayers

This time last year, loads of experts were hypothesizing that Apple couldn’t succeed in the cell phone market. Well, it’s been a year, and the first generation did well enough, and the 3G version will almost certainly eclipse its sales by a huge margin.

The Industry Standard had the foresight to go back to some of the iPhone’s biggest critics and see what they have to say for themselves now. My favorite reply is from Rob Enderle, the famously off-the-mark tech analyst who seems to believe that the only difference between Apple products and other technology products is marketing.

I still don’t think it is a great phone, though, and without Apple marketing I doubt it would have done nearly as well. Apple could probably sell refrigerators to Eskimos.

Well if Apple designed those fridges, I would be in line to purchase them! Marketing on its own doesn’t lead to long-term growth. You can apply great marketing to a crummy product, as Microsoft is about to try with Vista, and it rarely makes a difference. Great marketing for a great product? Succeeds, but not just because of the advertising!

Anyway, it’s a fun read overall. A shame they couldn’t get John Dvorak to reply — I’m fairly certain he’s the only person who actually called on Apple to cancel the iPhone because Apple couldn’t stand up to heavy competition from Nokia and Motorola. Um…yeah. I don’t know if anyone is afraid of Motorola right now…

They should also hit up Maddox and his thrilling Nokia E70 that looks like a stun-gun.

Via Daring Fireball

  • phoenix

    I’m VERY glad that someone bothered to look back at the pre-iPhone press. :)

    Good old Dvorak. So much intellect completely wasted on being a complete and total curmudgeon…and I think that’s putting it nicely. I think the iPhone should go in his book of failures, along with back when he said that the whole “cable internet thing” wouldn’t catch on.

About the author

Pete Mortensen

Pete Mortensen is a design strategist for consulting firm Jump Associates and the co-author of Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy, a book and blog that are significantly more interesting than you might initially think. Pete's particular Apple avocations are both around design--interface and industrial. Follow him on Twitter!

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