The Apple double standard

“If you go back to the mid 2000’s, pundits were sure that Apple’s best days were behind them,” Yoni Heisler writes for Network World. “After all, they reasoned, how can they follow up on the incredible success of the iPod?”

“Flash forward to the late 2000’s, and those same pundits were quick to point out that Apple was toast,” Heisler writes. “Sure, the iPod and iPhone were both runaway hits, and sure, Steve Jobs did an admirable job turning around a company that was once on the brink of bankruptcy, but what was next? Again, the consensus was clear – Apple’s best days were a thing of the past.”

Heisler writes, “Before the iPad was unveiled, a slew of analysts and self-professed experts were quick to argue that Apple was losing ground. Netbooks were the wave of the future and Apple, they reasoned, may have tapped out their well of innovation… The point here is that no matter what Apple does, critics are quick to chime in and assert that Apple’s brilliance has come to a halt. Somehow, the forces at work behind the secretive walls at 1 Infinity Loop, the forces that conjured up game-changing products like the iMac and the iPhone, are now nothing more than confused has-been’s trying in vain to catch up to innovators like Google, and if you believe morons like Rob Enderle, RIM… For some reason, Apple is not only never allowed to fail, its successes are quickly glossed over while competing products like the Microsoft Surface are lauded as products of the future.”

Much more in the full article – highly recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s unfortunate that, in an otherwise excellent article, Heisler felt the need to insult morons.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it.Steve Jobs, August 24, 2011

For some additional perspective, here are some more quotes from analysts and pundits that we’ve collected over the years (limited only to iPhone, due to space considerations):

• “[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

Related articles:
Apple’s crybaby critics are intellectually lazy – January 16, 2013
The idea that Apple’s best days are behind it is absurd – December 29, 2012
Apple’s best days lie ahead – November 5, 2011
WSJ hack: Apple shares’ best days are surely behind them – July 22, 2009
TheStreet.com chart gazer: Apple’s best days are past – February 19, 2008

35 Comments

  1. Through no fault of his own, Mr. Heisler’s given (or adopted) first name has a double entendre in Sanskrit that suggests he is, to put it euphemistically, a bit of a twat–a notion supported by his own ignorant words. Och weel, in a free world even the twerps have a right to express their personal twerpitude!

  2. But the brilliance of this scheme of behavior is that “we may have been wrong then, but you can’t say that we’re wrong NOW because no one knows the future.”

    Actually, that’s an argument I once heard from a three-year old.

  3. Apple was washed up after just the iPod and iPhone?

    Where have you guys been?

    All of Apple’s good days were behind it when…

    The Lisa sold extremely poorly. Apple’s foray into graphical user interfaces for businesses and the public was just plain stupid and presaged Apple’s doom.

    The Mac (Thin Man) didn’t sell well. Apple was never going to repeat the popularity of, and what happened with, the Apple ][.

    The Mac II didn’t do anything that could not be done with workstations by Sun, Apollo, DEC, Tektronix, etc. The Mac II would never sell well and the Mac line (and consequently Apple) had seen better days.

    The switch to PowerPC (teaming with an old enemy [IBM] and a distant also ran in IBM compatible systems [Motorola]) showed just how desperate Apple was. Besides there was no software for it. This was innovation at its worst. Apple was doomed.

    Windows 95 did everything Apple was doing in System 7 plus it had things like preemptive multitasking. Historically Apple’s strongest product (Apple System software) was rapidly becoming archaic. Apple was doomed.

    Sure, the iMac sold well, but it was for a niche set of consumers. It will never catch on to the general public and business users. Plus this will not translate to expansion into the rest of the Mac line. Apple can’t innovate beyond the candy colored iMacs. Apple’s best was in the past.

    Sure, iTunes and the iTunes store were great ideas and Apple business drivers, but as soon as Amazon and Microsoft launched their own way of selling music online Apple was dead.

    Oh, yea. The iPod sold like hotcakes, but Microsoft has Zune! 50 other companies were selling iPod like devices! Apple will be eaten alive. Apple can’t innovate like that again to stay ahead of Microsoft and the rest.

    The iPhone was a game changer. However, soon thereafter Samsung, HTC, Nokia and others all had phones that had more features and cost the same or less. Apple has been left behind again. Apple just can’t compete. Apple is doomed.

    The MacBook Air was a great idea, but Ultrabooks are the way of the future. The MacBook Air (and subsequently Apple) is left in the dust. Apple just can’t keep up.

    Wow, that iPad was great, and it helped kill the netbook, But everyone from Amazon to Samsung has tablets that are more feature rich and cost the same or less. Apple is doomed.

    A nifty iPad mini that is iPad compatible and you can easily hold in one hand and can fit in a large pocket? Interesting. However, Apple is just responding to the similar sized tablets that everyone else is already shipping. Apple is ABSOLUTELY DOOMED NOW!

    Time and time and time again Apple has been declared to have launched its last great product and that Apple is going to be dead soon.

    The track record over the past 30+ years tells a different story. Reality is more like Byte Magazine’s (remember Byte?) assessment in the early 90s. “If you want to see what a PC will look like 10 years from now, look at the Macintosh of today.” This can easily be extrapolated to virtually everything Apple sells. Want to know what PCs, smart phones, portable music players, tablets, laptops, etc., etc., etc. will look like in a few years? Look at what Apple is shipping in 2013. THEN by 2016, look to Apple’s products for what will be shipping from everyone else by 2019. And on and on and on.

    1. Great list.

      It’s as if everyone wants to be the anti-Apple reporter. I don’t get it and don’t understand the thought process behind it. I know there are a few hard core Apple haters, but you’ll have that. Just like Ford vs. Chevy.

      But the overwhelming reporting of “Apple is doomed” gets old. Many are just market manipulators trying to make a quicker buck than just riding the stock during normal growth.They beat it down so low, buy in, then when the bad news stops, hey, Apple’s actually doing great and the stock pops back up to where it used to be and higher. Wait so many months and repeat the process.

      Hanging or firing squads be not be good enough for these Wall Street types.

  4. Apple inspires irrational hatred in so many. We’ve been seeing this since the 80’s and that will never change. It’s also why Apple is the most fascinating company in the world. Only Apple inspires such extremism on both sides of the coin. It’d be a very bland tech world without Apple.

    Most of the haters now really have no clue about the scale of the business that Apple is running and just strongly the company is positioned moving forward. They can’t fathom $120 billion in cash or nearly a million iDevices being sold per day. It’s virtually like contemplating the size of the universe and stuff in space. It’s just beyond their puny minds. They can’t deal with it…

    1. Yea. I only met one guy in the 90s that had an actual reason to be angry with Apple. He was an older guy then and was old school printing press. He didn’t transition to the computer age and lost his job. Didn’t even try.
      Bitter to the end about Apple and the DTP industry.

      I had no idea of what to say to him. Worked at the same company together so I had to deal with him. I was a big Apple user too, so that didn’t help.

  5. Just goes to show these commentators are living proof that a sub-species of humans has evolved right under our noses.

    They all have the following traits:

    1: all live in cloud cuckoo land and are quite happy there, thanks!
    2: think Alice in Wonderland was TRUE
    3: display framed photos of Steve Ballmer and blow kisses at him every day
    4: have the part of the brain missing that registers shame and remorse
    5: have the innate ability to carry on even though they have blasted every shred of credibility into orbit having just broadcast crap to the entire planet
    6: wear soppy grins all day as they gaze fondly at BSODs thinking they are a sign from God or something
    7: have the ability to look back at their comments, know that they blew it, but still have the bare-faced gall to expect to be paid having just repeated the same mistake
    8: keep replaying the Surface ad trying to learn the dance moves convinced thats what computers are really for

    Best try to ignore them then. Shame the stock market’s unable to do so.

    1. Newton was ahead of its time. The software was not good enough when it launched. The hardware was not good enough when it launched. Consequently, by the time PDAs caught on the Newton had a reputation with the general public that it could not overcome.

      If Apple had done like it did with the iPod and iPhone and not worry about beating the competition out the door but rather get the best possible product to market then the Newton might have been a truly great device and sold like crazy. The iPod was no where near the first personal, digital music player. It just beat the competition by a mile. The iPhone was not the first smartphone — there were several variants before it. However, the iPhone came about when the technology and software was ready.

      The iPod, iPhone, iPad and iPad mini all shipped just as soon as both the hardware and software were ready for prime time. Thus they excelled. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the Newton. Yes, it was a great device for many, many people. However, it was truly ahead of the technology necessary to make it a great device. AND it’s sad to say, Apple has repeated those missteps with both its cloud services (several times!) and the Maps application.

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