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,, 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 chart gazer: Apple’s best days are past – February 19, 2008


    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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