“Apple could learn a thing or two about managing expectations,” Neil Cavuto opines for Fox News.
“The company announced its hotsy-totsy iPhone was going to revolutionize the world — bad when you start out using that word ‘revolutionize,’ by the way,” Cavuto writes. “That it would sell 10 million in the first year and half a million of those in the first couple of days —days!”
“Lo and behold, we’re told 146,000 iPhones were activated in the day and a half between the phone’s launch and the most recent quarter’s end,” Cavuto writes.
“Let me tell you something: Selling 146,000 items at a minimum of 500 bucks a pop ain’t shabby. In fact, it’s stunning. Never in corporate history, have so many electronic devices sold so quickly,” Cavuto writes.
Cavuto asks, “But then it didn’t meet that damn expectation, did it? It didn’t do what that overbearing braggart marketing department at Apple said it would do, did it?”
Cavuto writes, “Oh, if only these much smarter guys had talked to this admittedly not nearly so smart, anchor guy: Promise down, deliver up.”
Full article, under the title of “Common Sense,” no less here.
Neil Cavuto is “Managing Editor of Business News for FOX News Channel” which is akin to being “Chief Astrophysicist for The Weekly World News,” except that, unfortunately, Cavuto will probably still be employed next month.
First off, Cavuto did royally screw up and miraculously get one thing right: Apple CEO Steve Jobs did call the iPhone “revolutionary.” Jobs did so because it is, but you shouldn’t expect Cavuto to be able to recognize it so soon – he’ll probably be able to grasp it in about five years. Call us crazy, but we’ll take Steve Jobs’ crystal ball on technology over Neil Cavuto’s.
So, what did Cavuto get wrong? Only everything else:
• Apple never announced they “would sell 10 million in the first year.” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in his Macworld Expo 2007 keynote address that Apple would set the goal of selling 10 million iPhone units in 2008, the first full year on the market. (Macworld Expo 2007 iPhone Introduction: Jobs’ remarks on iPhone goals begin at 1:15:52 into the QuickTime video – by the way, Neil, that’s called a “source.”) On July 25, 2007, during Apple’s conference call discussing Q3 – 2007 financial results, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer reiterated Apple’s goal of selling 10 million iPhone units in 2008. (Apple’s Q3 07 Apple Quarterly Results Call: Oppenheimer’s remarks on iPhone goals begin at 6:05 into the QuickTime audio stream – by the way, Neil, that’s called “fact checking.”)
• Apple never announced that they would sell “half a million [iPhones] in the first couple of days.”
• Since there were no such expectations issued by “that overbearing braggart marketing department at Apple,” iPhone didn’t miss any “damn expectations” other than some wildly overreaching ones set by Wall Street analysts who may or may not have stood to benefit if Apple “failed” to meet their ginned up, ridiculous, unachievable numbers. Hint: Wall Street analysts are the ones about whom you’re actually complaining, Neil. Some free advice: An overbearing TV anchor’s totally misplaced criticism doled out under the title of “Common Sense” should be a skit on Saturday Night Live, not Fox News Channel – unless FNC’s looking for lighter fare.
• Yes, AT&T stated that 146,000 iPhones were activated in the day and a half, but Cavuto immediately mistakes “activations” for “sales.” Apple did not sell “146,000 items at a minimum of 500 bucks a pop,” they sold 270,000. Even less “shabby,” huh, Neil? (Source: Apple Inc. Q3 2007 Unaudited Summary Data issued along with the Q3 07 earnings results press release.) It’s not that confusing, Neil, but you did admit in your full piece that you were “an awful student,” which we actually believe – even though you said it.
• Apple has set just two iPhone goals: 1 million iPhone units sold by the end of the company’s Q4 07 quarter ending September 29, 2007 and 10 million iPhone units sold in 2008. We shall see if they hit those goals.
Neil, check your facts before you pontificate, lest you look the fool. It’s just “common sense.”
Neil Cavuto: email@example.com