Pogue: If history is any guide, people will line up to buy Apple’s iPad

Yesterday “Apple finally unveiled its tablet computer, the iPad,” David Pogue reports for The New York Times. “Thus concludes Phase 1 of the standard Apple new-category roll-out: months of feverish speculation and hype online, without any official indication by Apple that the product even exists.”

Pogue writes, “Now Phase 2 can begin: the bashing by the bloggers who’ve never even tried it: ‘No physical keyboard!’ ‘No removable battery!’ ‘Way too expensive!’ ‘Doesn’t multitask!’ ‘No memory-card slot!'”

“That will last until the iPad actually goes on sale in April,” Pogue explains. “Then, if history is any guide, Phase 3 will begin: positive reviews, people lining up to buy the thing, and the mysterious disappearance of the basher-bloggers.”

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, they don’t disappear. We file them away in our iCal and pop them out at opportune times. Just like this:

• “[iPhone] just doesn’t matter anymore. There are now alternatives to the iPhone, which has been introduced everywhere else in the world. It’s no longer a novelty.” – Eamon Hoey, Hoey and Associates, April 30, 2008

• “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

• “[Apple should sell 7.9 million iPhones in 2008]… Apple’s goal of selling 10 million iPhones this year is optimistic.” – Toni Sacconaghi, Bernstein Research analyst, February 22, 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, RealMoney.com, 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

Pogue continues, “The iPad is, as predicted, essentially a giant iPod touch: aluminum-backed, half-inch thin, with a 10-inch screen surrounded by a shiny black border. At the bottom, there’s the standard iPod/iPhone connector and a single Home button. It will be available in models ranging from $499 (16 gigs of memory, Wi-Fi) to $830 (64 gigs of memory, Wi-Fi and 3G cellular).”

“The cellular signal will be provided by AT&T for $15 a month (250 megabytes of data transferred — think e-mail only) or $30 a month, unlimited. Amazingly, those AT&T deals involve no contract. You can cancel whenever you like. And since this thing isn’t a phone, you don’t have to worry about dropped calls; you’re paying exclusively for Internet service,” Pogue reports.

“There’s no reason you couldn’t use it to make calls using Skype, of course — Apple says that virtually all of the existing 140,000 iPhone apps run fine on the iPad,” Pogue reports. “(You can run them either at regular tiny size, or blown up double with some loss of clarity.) Then again, you might look a little bizarre walking through the airport holding this giant clipboard up to your ear.”

MacDailyNews Take: David, don’t be silly. Why would you hold the iPad up to your ear when you can simply plug in Apple’s In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic?

Pogue continues, “It’s too early to draw any conclusions. Apple hasn’t given the thing to any reviewers yet, there are no iPad-only apps yet (there will be), the e-bookstore hasn’t gone online yet, and so on. So hyperventilating is not yet the appropriate reaction. At the same time, the bashers should be careful, too. As we enter Phase 2, remember how silly you all looked when you all predicted the iPhone’s demise in that period before it went on sale.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Citymark” for the heads up.]


  1. “MacDailyNews Take: Oh, they don’t disappear. We file them away in our iCal and pop them out at opportune times. Just like this:”

    Thurrott at the top of the list. ahahaha

  2. I am not going to buy the iBezel. I am going to wait for version 2.0, the iPad, to come out. Hopefully enough early whiners will shell out for the iBezel so I can get a decent tablet before year’s end.

    just my $0.02

  3. Unless there’s some surprise in store, like iPhone 4.0 which isn’t quite ready but will increase the functionality of the iPad before it ships, I’ll be surprised if people are lined up to buy that piece or garbage.

  4. Good article from Pogue, though he gets some details wrong.

    And although Apple says the iPad has a 10-hour battery life, it hasn’t yet said “doing what.” Playing video eats up battery a lot faster than reading e-books.

    Actually, didn’t Steve specifically mention “10 hours of video” in his presentation? I swear I heard that or read that somewhere.

    Still, aside from the minor quibbles, a good article.

    And MDN cements his case for Pogue’s three phases, by trotting out a ton of “phase 2” examples from the iPhone – also great reading. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  5. Someone tell me, what is the killer app here? What can you do on this device you can’t do anywhere else? What makes the iPad special?

    Sure, it’s pretty. It’s elegant, Well designed. Nonetheless, it’s an elegant packaging of existing tech.

    It’s a single task device in a multitasking world. It really is a big iPod Touch.

    You can watch a movie on it, read a book on it, surf the web on it, run iPhone apps on it.

    What’s new? What’s different?

    It looks fun to use, but so.

    I want to believe!

    Splain it to me zealots!

  6. @ theloniousMac – No need for zealotry to explain it. From what I can tell, this is Apple’s vision of computing for the future – a kind of computing device that’s simplified enough for the masses to use it without having to worry about installing drivers, losing documents in file/folder hierarchies (or just saving everything to the desktop), etc.

    I’m pretty sure there are plenty of people who would gladly accept this simplified version of personal computing, in place the comparatively more complex version we have today.

  7. I mean the iPhone was obviously superior in many ways to me (still inferior in several ways also). But this device… what is it superior to?

    Oh, it’s a new kind of device targeted at a new market segment.

    You mean a niche?

  8. “… I’m pretty sure there are plenty of people who would gladly accept this simplified version of personal computing, in place the comparatively more complex version we have today….”

    I have plenty of clients that lose document buried in file hierarchies, that’s for sure, but they still need to do things like e-mail and word process at the same time.

    I know people who would appreciate higher levels of simplicity but not abbreviated levels of ability.

  9. Someone tell me, what is the killer app here? What can you do on this device you can’t do anywhere else? What makes the iPad special?


    Doctors – Full patient history (for all of their patients not just one,) charts, x-rays, etc, etc, at their fingertips in a package smaller than a typical single patient file.

    Students- All their text books, word processing apps, spreadsheats, homework assignments, etc, etc, all in the size of a pad of paper

    Musicians- logic controls, mixing, Dj mixing, record control surfaces,

    Filmakers, Artists, Neighbors, grandparents, parents, etc, etc, etc,

    The list goes on and on.. You need to use your imagination, the possibilities are endless, Once people learn to stop thinking of it as a computer replacement and start realizing how specialized a Pad sized touch interface can be and how it can benefit their life or profession, they will start realizing the possibilities.. And at $499??? Wow!

  10. “And although Apple says the iPad has a 10-hour battery life, it hasn’t yet said “doing what.”

    It is posted on the iPad Spec site:

    Testing conducted by Apple in January 2010 using preproduction iPad units and software. Testing consisted of full battery discharge while performing each of the following tasks: video playback, audio playback, and Internet browsing using Wi-Fi. Video content was a repeated 2-hour 23-minute movie purchased from the iTunes Store. Audio content was a playlist of 358 unique songs, consisting of a combination of songs imported from CDs using iTunes (128-Kbps AAC encoding) and songs purchased from the iTunes Store (256-Kbps AAC encoding). Internet over Wi-Fi tests were conducted using a closed network and dedicated web and mail servers, browsing snapshot versions of 20 popular web pages, and receiving mail once an hour. All settings were default except: Wi-Fi was associated with a network; the Wi-Fi feature Ask to Join Networks and Auto-Brightness were turned off. Battery life depends on device settings, usage, and many other factors. Battery tests are conducted using specific iPad units; actual results may vary.

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