Analyst: Apple tablet ‘won’t be the wave of the future; will definitely be more of a niche product’

Year-End Clearance & Tax Saving Sale “Gadget lovers are waiting with bated breath for the much-anticipated unveiling of the Apple tablet, but don’t expect it to take the world by storm the way the iPod and iPhone did,” David Goldman reports for CNNMoney. “‘There will be a strong interest in it, but it won’t be the wave of the future,’ said James Brehm, analyst at Frost & Sullivan.”

MacDailyNews Take: James Brehm, you’ve just been iCal’ed.

Goldman continues, “Though Apple hasn’t released any details about its tablet — that unveiling is expected to take place on Jan. 26, according to a New York Times report — analysts who have been briefed on the device say it will run apps like the iPhone and iPod Touch do, but the tablet will be better suited for watching movies and reading. ‘The Apple tablet will have a beautiful user interface, it will have a pleasing aesthetic and will be marketed well,’ said Chris Collins, senior consumer research analyst at Yankee Group. ‘But at the end of the day, we’re still taking about a smart phone with a bigger screen… Netbooks won the battle but lost the war… Eventually, people either went to a smartphone or a notebook. Tablets will also generate a lot of interest initially, but they will ultimately suffer a similar fate.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Blind prognostication is the practice of idiots.

Goldman continues, “Apple will likely need to charge around $800 for the device, analysts say, which could relegate the tablet to ‘niche’ status like Apple’s expensive line of Macintosh computers.”

“Brehm and Collins argued that the there will be some compelling uses for the tablet, including note-taking for students or examining electronic health records for physicians. Apple fans will also bite because, well, it’s an Apple product, and it’s bound to be really cool,” Goldman reports. “‘The market will be there, but this will definitely be more of a niche product,’ said Frost & Sullivan’s Brehm, who was Gateway’s tablet product manager a decade ago.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That a former “Gateway tablet product manager” turned “analyst” lacks even the smidgen of imagination required to spare himself from future ridicule is wholly unsurprising.

• “We are not at all worried. We think we’ve got the one mobile platform you’ll use for the rest of your life. [Apple] are not going to catch up.” – Scott Rockfeld, Microsoft Mobile Communications Group Product Manager, April 01, 2008

• “Microsoft, with Windows Mobile/ActiveSync, Nokia with Intellisync, and Motorola with Good Technology have all fared poorly in the enterprise. We have no reason to expect otherwise from Apple.” – Peter Misek, Canaccord Adams analyst, March 07, 2008

• “What does the iPhone offer that other cell phones do not already offer, or will offer soon? The answer is not very much… Apple’s stated goal of selling 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008 seems ambitious.” – Laura Goldman, LSG Capital, May 21, 2007

• Motorola’s then-Chairman and then-CEO Ed Zander said his company was ready for competition from Apple’s iPhone, due out the following month. “How do you deal with that?” Zander was asked at the Software 2007 conference. Zander quickly retorted, “How do they deal with us?” – Ed Zander, May 10, 2007

• “The iPhone is going to be nothing more than a temporary novelty that will eventually wear off.” – Gundeep Hora, CoolTechZone Editor-in-Chief, April 02, 2007

• “Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone… What Apple risks here is its reputation as a hot company that can do no wrong. If it’s smart it will call the iPhone a ‘reference design’ and pass it to some suckers to build with someone else’s marketing budget. Then it can wash its hands of any marketplace failures… Otherwise I’d advise people to cover their eyes. You are not going to like what you’ll see.” – John C. Dvorak, Bloated Gas Bag, March 28, 2007

• “Even if [the iPhone] is opened up to third parties, it is difficult to see how the installed base of iPhones can reach the level where it becomes a truly attractive service platform for operator and developer investment.” – Tony Cripps, Ovum Service Manager for Mobile User Experience, March 14, 2007

• “I’m more convinced than ever that, after an initial frenzy of publicity and sales to early adopters, iPhone sales will be unspectacular… iPhone may well become Apple’s next Newton.” – David Haskin, Computerworld, February 26, 2007

• “There’s an old saying — stick to your knitting — and Apple is not a mobile phone manufacturer, that’s not their knitting… I think people overreacted to it — there was not a lot of tremendously new stuff if you think about it.” – Greg Winn, Telstra’s operations chief, February 15, 2007

• “Consumers are not used to paying another couple hundred bucks more just because Apple makes a cool product. Some fans will buy [iPhone], but for the rest of us it’s a hard pill to swallow just to have the coolest thing.” – Neil Strother, NPD Group analyst, January 22, 2007

• “I can’t believe the hype being given to iPhone… I just have to wonder who will want one of these things (other than the religious faithful)… So please mark this post and come back in two years to see the results of my prediction: I predict they will not sell anywhere near the 10M Jobs predicts for 2008.” – Richard Sprague, Microsoft Senior Marketing Director, January 18, 2007

• “The iPhone’s willful disregard of the global handset market will come back to haunt Apple.” – Tero Kuittinen,, January 18, 2007

• “[Apple’s iPhone] is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard which makes it not a very good email machine… So, I, I kinda look at that and I say, well, I like our strategy. I like it a lot.” – Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, January 17, 2007

• “The iPhone is nothing more than a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks. In terms of its impact on the industry, the iPhone is less relevant… Apple is unlikely to make much of an impact on this market… Apple will sell a few to its fans, but the iPhone won’t make a long-term mark on the industry.” – Matthew Lynn, Bloomberg, January 15, 2007

• “iPhone which doesn’t look, I mean to me, I’m looking at this thing and I think it’s kind of trending against, you know, what’s really going, what people are really liking on, in these phones nowadays, which are those little keypads. I mean, the Blackjack from Samsung, the Blackberry, obviously, you know kind of pushes this thing, the Palm, all these… And I guess some of these stocks went down on the Apple announcement, thinking that Apple could do no wrong, but I think Apple can do wrong and I think this is it.” – John C. Dvorak, Bloated Gas Bag, January 13, 2007

• “I am pretty skeptical. I don’t think [iPhone] will meet the fantastic predictions I have been reading. For starters, while Apple basically established the market for portable music players, the phone market is already established, with a number of major brands. Can Apple remake the phone market in its image? Success is far from guaranteed.” – Jack Gold, founder and principal analyst at J. Gold Associates, January 11, 2007

• “Apple will launch a mobile phone in January, and it will become available during 2007. It will be a lovely bit of kit, a pleasure to behold, and its limited functionality will be easy to access and use. The Apple phone will be exclusive to one of the major networks in each territory and some customers will switch networks just to get it, but not as many as had been hoped. As customers start to realise that the competition offers better functionality at a lower price, by negotiating a better subsidy, sales will stagnate. After a year a new version will be launched, but it will lack the innovation of the first and quickly vanish. The only question remaining is if, when the iPod phone fails, it will take the iPod with it.” – Bill Ray, The Register, December 26, 2006

• “The economics of something like [an Apple iPhone] aren’t that compelling.” – Rod Bare, Morningstar analyst, December 08, 2006

• “Apple is slated to come out with a new phone… And it will largely fail…. Sales for the phone will skyrocket initially. However, things will calm down, and the Apple phone will take its place on the shelves with the random video cameras, cell phones, wireless routers and other would-be hits… When the iPod emerged in late 2001, it solved some major problems with MP3 players. Unfortunately for Apple, problems like that don’t exist in the handset business. Cell phones aren’t clunky, inadequate devices. Instead, they are pretty good. Really good.” – Michael Kanellos, CNET, December 07, 2006

• “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” – Ed Colligan, Palm CEO, November 16, 2006


  1. Dear MDN: Do you send these guys a note when ever you iCal them? Or do they get a nickel every time you quote them in a subsequent article. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. Yup, if you do not know the future then just default to it will never happen and it will be niche.

    Say iPod, Say iPhone, Say iMac, try the mouse, GUI, and the touch screen with cherries on top! Moron’s.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”shut eye” style=”border:0;” />

  3. What was it that these people couldn’t see? The first iPhone was a shiny little gem that people wanted to carry and showoff. Then they would drop the clincher when Safari fired up. . . . The developers saw it, and demanded their own icons on its face.
    When Apple introduced the 3G, and then explained the SDK I was taken aback, when I realized how this coupled with the already widely used iTunes Store. This was going to be phenomenal!
    Now the big trick is how to get the airwaves big enough to service the sea of iphones. . . . A new tablet (Slate?) will only further strain this extant problem.

  4. What a wonderful collection of quotes. It is evident that many of the “seers” lack imagination and instinct. How Ballmer retains his job is one of marketing’s great mysteries.

  5. What would they consider good sales numbers for a niche product? Couldn’t even the iPhone or iPod Touch be considered niche products. It’s not like they’re toasters or refrigerators. It doesn’t matter whether tablets are considered niche products as long as 10%-15% of the population starts buying them. That’s still a fresh revenue stream for Apple. Amazon has sold about 2 million Kindles for the year and it’s doing wonders for Amazon stock. Apple should easily be able to sell three times as many tablets as Amazon through its retail stores alone.

    These people that are saying sales are limited for the tablet and have yet to see the tablet are just talking out of their asses the same as the early anti-iPod pundits did. Niche doesn’t mean a damn thing as long as the company is making profits from a product.

  6. There is a reason all these quoted “analysts” and competitors are not getting anywhere in business fast & must resign themselves to writing (as Balmer eventually might…rather soon, as in his memoirs).

    They have no imagination and certainly no ability to envision consumer wants and needs from their lofty 50th floor penthouses and offices removed from the reality of daily life on the streets of the world where technology users actually make things happen.

    Obviously anyone believing the crap these guys spew would lead one backward into the stone tablet days.

    Apple’s tablet will be one more notch in my arsenal of useful tools. It will not be the only one, as an iPhone, Mac Mini, MacBook Pro (several) and Dell are not my only computers.

  7. What these idiots don’t realize is iTunes and MobileMe will make this device unique enough to make it a game changing device. It is easy and lazy to compare a product to what already has been made and knock it down, but how can you predict on something that has not even been announced yet?

    Apple could add connectivity to this device that would replicate the functionality of the Apple TV, then they can take the cable companies by storm.

  8. It’s spelled “you’re”- ‘that’s what YOU”RE here to do.’

    Not YOUR- seems like a lot of people stopped paying attention after the 3rd grade.

    (Just a general beef- a pathetically common mistake nowadays: YOUR and IT’S.)

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.