Computerworld’s Haskin: Apple seems to be repeating Newton mistakes with iPhone

“What does Apple’s iPhone have in common with the failed Apple Newton of more than a decade ago? Nothing. Yet,” David Haskin blogs for Computerworld.

Haskin writes, “But I was reminded of the Newton lately and how, despite its current hot streak, Apple doesn’t have an unblemished record when it comes to introducing innovative new devices. And the company may well be making some of the same mistakes now as it made in 1993 when it introduced Newton.”

“Apple seems to be repeating the cycle again with iPhone, developing what is undoubtedly an advanced product with a remarkable interface and overcharging for it. A recent survey found that a minuscule number of consumers would pay $500 for a 4 GB iPhone. It’s a good reminder that, for all their noise, Apple fanatics truly are a small percentage of the overall technology marketplace,” Haskin writes.

Haskin writes, “Besides overcharging for iPhone, Apple faces significant competition, something it didn’t face in 1993 when it launched Newton.”

“It’s also becoming clear that Apple may be suffering from excessive hubris. That is evident by its strong demands on its partner in the U.S., Cingular/AT&T. The demands, including a slice of the cellular revenues and control of the sales channel, were so strong that Verizon Wireless turned the deal down,” Haskin writes.

Haskin writes, “I’m more convinced than ever that, after an initial frenzy of publicity and sales to early adopters, iPhone sales will be unspectacular. If Apple doesn’t respond quickly by lowering the price and making nice to AT&T, which surely will be ticked off, iPhone may well become Apple’s next Newton.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “sketchtrain” for the heads up.]
There’s so much wrong with this — from reliance on tiny survey’s that asked undisclosed questions to Verizon-planted stories about how they “turned down” the iPhone — that we’re not even going to bother. Rest assured, Haskin’s opinion has been duly iCal’ed for future reference.

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  1. Initially, I thought the iPhone was really cool, but that ended quickly after I added up how much I would have to spend to get into bed with Cingular (now AT&T). No thanks, Apple.

    The iPhone is way too expensive IMO. All I need is a cell phone to make the odd phone call. I don’t need an iPod on a cell phone- that’s what I bought a fscking iPod for.

  2. Jeez, I dont even post that often on here and somebody already thinks I’m a legend ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />
    I think it all depends on how quickly they are gonna be able to reduce the price. I would love one but I know I wont be able to afford one when it first comes out.
    Mdn Word: Hope, as in hopefully it wont be this expensive for too long.

  3. My take:

    The Newton was a product way ahead of its time, where technology was expensive and the demand for a PDA was inexistent.

    So, the Newton was aiming for a consumer segment which was inexistent – so to create the product AND the consumer segment were challenges.

    The iPhone, on the other hand, has a very well defined consumer segment: smartphone users. And from there it will spread to phone users. So, yes, the iPhone is a smartphone (too), but it’s a revolutionary kind of smartphone, with technology not seen before in a single device.

    This can be reflected on the demand. Nobody was saying “I can’t wait for the Newton to come out to buy one”, but I see a lot of “I can’t wait for the iPhone to come out”.

    Plus, as I mentioned before, Apple is aiming for only 1% marketshare. If they achieve that goal (and I believe they will surpass it), then the iPhone will be a success.

    Dang! I should start writing tech columns instead of Enderle, Dvorak and all those losers!

  4. James,

    Even though I think the new technology introduced with the iPhone is great, I don’t plan to buy one either (right away) because I, too, use my cell phone for making calls. Others, however, can’t live without their “smart phone.” I think the iPhone will exceed Apple’s conservative sales expectations, even at $500-600 each. The price will eventually come down with the introduction of newer models with different functional capabilities. The deal-breaker for me is not the $500 startup cost, but the monthly AT&T bill that will be required to use the phone. What will THAT be? Your guess is as good as mine!

  5. Except that the iPhone is a phone and can use the internet. In other words it can connect with the outside world and find information for you. The Newton couldn’t do that. That makes a huge difference. The Newton was just a fancy notepad.

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