Microsoft’s Allard: Apple’s iPhone is a lousy iPod

“A cynic would describe Microsoft’s approach to the music player market as simple Apple envy. The iPod has dominant market share and is helping Apple increase its small share of the PC market. So I’ve got to imagine that many in the inner sanctums of Redmond are hot to introduce a slick phone from Microsoft,” Saul Hansell reports for The New York Times.

“I pressed J Allard on this when I met him earlier this week. Mr. Allard runs Microsoft’s Zune unit and handles some other development for its Entertainment and Devices division, which includes the Windows Mobile phone operating system,” Hansell reports. “Microsoft prefers to work with partners, he said, referring to cellphone makers, but he added that ‘we’ll never say never’ to making a Microsoft phone.”

Hansell reports comments made by J Allard which include:

• People are buying [iPhone] because it’s an Apple phone, not because it’s an iPod. It’s a lousy iPod. You can’t skip a track without looking at it. You can’t go running with the thing.

MacDailyNews Note: We’ve been running with the iPhone since June. Love the lap timer, too!

Microsoft will add more features from the Zune into Windows Mobile phones.

MacDailyNews Take: Ooh, phones that squirt!

We didn’t create the Zune because we were dying to get into the hardware business and take inventory risk. We felt we had to do it… [With Windows], we got to create most of the magic and take none of the financial risk. History isn’t going to repeat that with consumer goods.

MacDailyNews Take: You can say that again (last sentence)! Now, about that “magic,” it’s where, exactly?

Full article here.


  1. The idiocy that comes from the MS Camp never stops amazing me. The iPhone is a great phone that happens to be a wonderful iPod. And for jogging, Apple has so graciously PARTNERED with Nike to give us a great, working solution.

    MS let it go, you are has-beens and cannot compete on a level playing field.

  2. Beyond all that corporate-speak, Microsoft is still its own worst enemy. It built itself into a locked room by flooding the tech industry with Windows – and is stuck with all the legacy baggage therein.

    If it wanted to truly compete, it would ape Apple’s model for success.

    If Microsoft had any spirit, they wouldn’t issue those statements, but prove their edge with products alone.

    However, that might be a long wait…

  3. The guy is going ballmery™ (confluence of barmy and Ballmer).

    If we can put the customer first, we prefer to do it with partners.

    Parse that? Nonsense newspeak saying we ignore the customer. Apple? – puts customers first.

  4. Allard is a symptom of the mind rot that’s pervasive in the management of the Evil Empire these days. Any normal person can take a glance at someone like him and figure out that he’s a poseur, but MS’s senior managment simply lacks the ability to do so.

    Ballmer is the ultimate example of the Peter principle, and Allard is the proof.


  5. It’s basic psychology, really. If you know what your competition is saying in statements like these, you can actually garner a fair bit of the company’s overall opinion of itself as compared to you, and maybe get an inkling for what they’re planning to counter you with.

    Microsoft feels threatened fairly easily, and this is manifested in the desire to dominate everything it touches.

    And like Sun Zi said, “Know your enemy.”

  6. i have an iPhone for the phone and internet, with the occasional music/video playback, because it’s a great phone and i’m looking forward to some neat additions from Apple

    i have a 1 Gig iPod shuffle for working out at the gym, ’cause it’s small, light and rugged.

    i have an 80 Gig iPod for music, playing longer videos/movies and file transfer, because that’s what i had before the other two devices and it’s an awesome iPod.

    i think the iPhone’s a decent iPod. sure it would be nice to have more control without having to unlock it. but i certainly wouldn’t call it “lousy.” sounds like sour grapes from “we rebranded a Toshiba Gigabeat because we couldn’t innovate our way out of a paper bag” Microsoft.

  7. I agree the iPhone is not the best iPod.

    The current playlist is secondary to whole list of albums. Why would I be playing a blues playlist and turn the unit sideways to start see every album that I have on the iPhone.

    As for running with the iPhone, it has no Nike+ support. You can’t skip to the next without double squeezing the ear buds, which doesn’t work well while running.

    The iPhone is designed to be looked at during usage, while the iPod can be worked by feel.

    The iPhone has duplicate buttons throughout the user interface. Example: The album view (the default during while playing) can be tapped just like the button in the upper right corner to switch from album to list view and back again.

    But, I hope Apple improves the design with future updates.

  8. @Anonymous

    Exactly how do you press the microphone twice?

    “Yes, you can skip a track by simply pressing the microphone twice quickly.”

    Are you referring to the “Home” button? That only brings up the mini player controls. From there you can skip a track if that is what you mean.

  9. @Anonymous

    Okay, okay. So you explained it later on (twice). I’ll read more next time.

    “Wanna skip a track without looking? Double-click the button on your headphones – boom. Robert’s your father’s brother…”


    “Click on the headphone mic that is.”

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