The silliest quotes from the early days of the iPhone

Ten years ago, on June 29, 2007, after months of growing anticipation, Apple’s revolutionary iPhone went on sale in the U.S.

The world has never been the same.

“iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO in a statement announcing the unveiling of the device on on January 9, 2007. “We are all born with the ultimate pointing device — our fingers — and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse.”

Here are some of our favorite wrongheaded quotes from the early days of the iPhone:

• “[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

SEE ALSO:
Is Apple building ‘The Device?’ [revisited] – January 9, 2007
Apple debuts iPhone: touchscreen mobile phone + widescreen iPod + Internet communicator – January 9, 2007
Is Apple building ‘The Device?’ – December 10, 2002

46 Comments

  1. My personal favorite is Bald Ballmer’s quote about the iPhone. I wonder if he is still liking that strategy after a decade of iPhone success: “I like that strategy, I like it a lot!”

    1. Sometimes karma seems so deliciously alive and well. Microsoft eventually received (most) of what it deserved. I like to think that karma will eventually strike Google/Alphabet, as well. Samsung has already taken a few karma hits in recent years.

      1. I wish someone could get an interview with all those people who laughed at the iPhone and confront them about it now. Knowing human nature, they would probably say that the iPhone is still going to be replaced any day now. It would be funny if, in their eyes, they still considered the iPhone a failed product.

        Oh, well, there were an awful lot of people who thought the automobile and the airplane would be failures or passing fads. “If man were meant to fly, they would have been born with wings.” I just love hearing that type of stuff from people who think they know everything when they know almost nothing. Maybe it’s just the fear of change that makes them that way. Or just plain ignorance. I’m almost 70 years old but I’m still happy to see technology progressing and I sure don’t want it to stop for my sake.

  2. And yet some people got it right:

    “The iPhone will send a shock wave that will be felt well beyond San Francisco. This is a defining moment for Apple.” – Michael Gartenberg, Jupiter Research

    =:~)

  3. It had me forever at “pinch to zoom”……

    Also, when the iPad came out I was at an Apple Store when an older lady (75+) double tapped a picture of her grandchild and smiled. At that moment, she realized here, FINALLY, was a computer she could use to communicate with her children and grandchildren. I walked out of the Apple Store with tears streaming down my face. Thank you very much Steve and the whole team at Apple and AT&t. 🙂

    1. Tears streaming down your face? The iPhone has changed the world. Really it has. But I wouldn’t cry because a woman was able to take a photo in an Apple shop.

            1. Actually, Josh above was being foolish as Carlos has said.

              What the woman was really doing is learning how to save and forward an emailed photo of her grandchild to another grandchild. When she doubled tapped the photo, she knew she had mastered the process. This task to you and I is simple but to someone who is completed unfamiliar with computers it is magical. The combination of instant on, auto wifi connection, the simple Apple email, contacts, and other photo apps and the integration of all that made the iPad truly magical to this woman. For the first time in her life, communication with her extended family was now possible.

              I would assume that by now “Skype-ing” with her family is second nature.

              I suspect that when Josh gets a little older, he’ll understand what I’m talking about.

  4. This is sweet tasting indeed. I wish I had bout ten of the originals and kept nine in their original boxes! Instead, I just had one in the first week it came to market, and it was something to behold, the future in your hands.

  5. In 2007 I had converted to a newton 130 for my Rolodex and calendar. It was about the same size as the paper organizers people were still using back then.

    Then I went to Macworld and saw the iPhone spinning inside a clear plastic dome, preannounced, still 7 months away from shipping. It was newton technology on a then state of the art chip. The touchscreen and a real browser, the iOS 1 version of safari brought the internet, the real internet to mobile. You could book a flight on it. You could check stocks. You could read pdfs. Most of these things were very difficult with the industry leading palm pilots of the time.

    Apple changed the world with iPhone. I only hope the company can continue to change the world for the better.

  6. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my lifetime but here is a BIG ONE:

    Christmas ’03 my nephew, home from college, was sitting on the couch with an iPod. I said, what is that? An iPOD! Let me see that! After one song I went to the computer and bought one. It was AWESOME. (I had an mp3 player from “archos”. It sucked).

    My mistake? Not buying $20,000 of apple stock instead of the iPod at that moment. (and I even KNEW how great OS X was at that time). Pretty close to the biggest mistake of my life……

  7. I think In Apple’s Tradition, the iPhone was a BIG FUCK YOU to all the Industries so called Heavy Weight’s comments. It Stills Hunts them and after Ten years The iPhone has literally Made The Biggest Company in the World by Market Cap. What a Vindication. BTW these statements made by naysayers are so cool, should be archived for Apple Fans to crack at. In Fact we should have a group of comedians act them out and we Fans can carry tomatoes and eggs at the screenings like in the vain of THE ROOM phenomenon.

  8. These are typical reactions to just about everything Apple does. It’s mainly from analysts trying to save face and CEO’s trying to cover up the shit stains forming in their pants. Anyone who looked at the WAY it worked, understood right away it was a game changer. This is why you get the immediate “functionality” argument demonstrating all the things it does not do. There’s a hope that they can convince people to not even give it a look because it doesn’t do “A” or does “B” not as well, etc.

    Take a look at the initial reactions to the 64-bit A7. EVERYONE poo-pooed it as being completely unnecessary on a mobile device. What they completely overlooked was what would be needed in the future.

    To Apple’s credit – to this day – they do not and have not ever laid out their roadmap. Leaving competitors wondering what’s going on. Today we see the brilliance in what Apple did and why. And it stills baffles me that people continue to underestimate and question Apple’s moves.

    Metal is another example of Apple releasing a technology and not entirely showing their hand. While it was initially released for “gaming”, what they didnt say was how vital it would be to enable on-device A.I. And if you take into account all the core system technologies being built on top of Metal (and it is far reaching), it doesn’t take much imagination to see Apple developing a dedicated, optimized Metal processing unit. This is further evidenced you their announcement of no longer needing Imagintation and bringing that development in house.

    1. Yeah, I loved that A7 moment. All the tech geniuses were saying, “Who the hell needs a 64-bit processor on some mobile device? Apple just wants to justify the cost of their already overpriced iPhone.” I get it if people don’t understand something but when they open their pieholes and make such stupidly, arrogant comments, they truly deserve to get called out on their ignorance. How can a person hate a company so much that they have to make fools of themselves for everyone to see and hear? Can’t they just think to themselves that maybe there is a reason for something being done instead of having to shout, “I’m far smarter than the wealthiest company in the U.S. and I say it’s a complete waste of time and money.”

      1. Hey, I loved my ‘Droid, loved it, that is, until Google, having devoured Moto support and features, made it unfixable. I jumped to iPhone 6 almost 2 years ago, and having learned how to master my new phone, I am not about to quit. But my old ‘Droid was my must-have device, very powerful and conformable, easy to use in all ways. If Google had not ruined Android with its take no prisoners attitude, I would be on my ‘Droid now. As it is, Google’s decision made my decision for me. Now I have superlative support and top-notch performance. Always looking forward to the latest from Apple.

  9. @MDN Editor:

    — A huge thank-you for these quotes! You made my day.

    — I’d request that you run this same set of quotes every year on June 29.

    — As a bonus, how about a journalistic follow-up with the fools who made these asinine predictions? I suspect you would get a “no comment” from every single one of them, but it would be worth a try!

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