Reactions to iPhone highlight competitors’ inability to understand Apple’s success

“To many observers it is one of the great mysteries of the electronics world. Not how the iPod became such a huge success, but how other manufacturers have still failed to effectively compete against the white ear bud toting little player from the company formerly known as Apple computer. Yet with each passing year, the total dominance of Apple Inc.’s humble little player continues to baffle experts. As each new device from competitors is hailed as an ‘iPod Killer’ and promptly fails to live up to expectations analysts seem to have finally given up on the term altogether,” Thomas Fitzgerald blogs for “But why hasn’t anyone been able to create or market a music player that can effectively take on Apple’s iPod?”

Fitzgerald writes, “It was the recent launch of the iPhone, and more important the reaction to it that made me realise what the key is. I think most manufacturers simply still cannot grasp that the iPod could have ever been a success, even though the reality is staring them in the face. I think that there is this feeling among many boardrooms is that the success of the iPod is a fluke; after all, this is the company that in the minds of many business people, failed so spectacularly with the mac. What makes me think that? Well, much of the reaction to the iPhone is the same as the reaction to the iPod when it was released. Manufacturers are assuming it will be a failure because they offer devices with similar functionality for less money.”

Fitzgerald writes, “Last week, Apple once again showed a better way of doing something… Electronics firms are not going to respond to the iPhone, because in their eyes, the iPhone couldn’t possibly be a success.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Street Insight: Apple iPhone faces a number of potential obstacles – January 16, 2007
IDG News Service: ‘Reality might tarnish iPhone’s shine’ – January 16, 2007
The Times: Apple’s brand of corporate hubris is almost always damaging in the long run – January 16, 2007
Hackers ‘salivating’ over Apple’s iPhone – January 15, 2007
Bloomberg writer: Apple iPhone won’t make long-term mark; will only appeal to a few gadget freaks – January 15, 2007
Dvorak on Apple iPhone: ‘I think Apple can do wrong and I think this is it’ – January 13, 2007
USA Today writer: Apple iPhone is an ‘ordinary, average product’ at heart – January 12, 2007
FUD Alert: Analyst – I am pretty skeptical Apple’s iPhone can succeed – January 11, 2007
The massive FUD campaign against Apple’s iPhone ramps up – January 10, 2007
The Register’s Ray: Apple ‘iPhone’ will fail – December 26, 2006
Analyst: Apple iPhone economics aren’t that compelling – December 08, 2006
CNET editor Kanellos: ‘Apple iPhone will largely fail’ – December 07, 2006
Palm CEO laughs off Apple ‘iPhone’ threat – November 20, 2006


  1. Indeed, and the fact is that Mac was a massive sucess. It was not a flop. Some people base their evaluation of Apple based on the false premise that Mac as not a sucess. If they accept that it was then the iPod and other Apple products can be viewed in the correct perspective. Just because M$ ended up with a monopoly on OS does not mean Mac was a failure.

  2. Steve Ballmer was just on tv a few minutes ago being interviewed on one of these financial networks. At one point they asked him what he thought about the iPhone. He was condescending (shock!). He said that it would “certainly be the most expensive phone out there”. And then, believe it or not, he criticized it for not having a keypad.

    *rolls eyes*

  3. Ballmer spewing mindless FUD? No way.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue wink” style=”border:0;” />

    This is a guy who spends his days fascinated by how the doughnut could be designed around a hole. His first reaction to Vista was a grunt followed by, “Ooooo, shiny pretty” with a steady flow of drool as he tried to poke at it through the monitor.

  4. “To many observers it is one of the great mysteries of the electronics world. Not how the iPod became such a huge success, but how other manufacturers have still failed to effectively compete against the white ear bud toting little player from the company formerly known as Apple computer.”

    It’s very, very simple. It’s called iTunes and OS X. Every other device manufacturer has to rely on Windows and MS apps for DRM, and music file transfer and organization. The other factor is music ownership. People have demonstrated with their wallets that they don’t want to rent music. Everyone but Apple ignores the message.

  5. Oops,

    The iPhone is nowhere near the most expensive hone out there. I paid nearly $800 for the Sony Ericsson p900 when it first came out acouple years ago. Sold it on eBay a few months later because a) it wasn’t worth that much and b) the technology wasn’t quite THERE yet.

    Only Apple can do it right. Sad, but true.

  6. Its just amazing how stupid and stubborn people are. Its funny how many windows users are out there that still do not have a clue to why we use macs. The number of people that still say well I’m not a designer, or into editing movies. I mean yeah I am a designer, but thats not the sole reason for using my powerbook. I wonder when the rest of the world is going to step out of the dark and realize there is a better option.

    On a better note I did have a friend call me from Vegas asking about the macbook so I guess one out of so many people just happen to get it.

  7. Yes, I know the iPhone is not the most expensive out there. But Ballmer is already lying about it. Personally, I don’t think you should get away with lying about a competitor’s product. Then again, I don’t think MS should get by with most of what they do.

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