Misunderstanding the iPhone

This past week was the 5 year anniversary of the launch of the iPhone. A number of Apple blogs celebrated by reporting critical quotes from the iPhone launch. The message was anything but subtle: look how foolish these people were for grossly underestimating the potential of the Apple iPhone.

However, this week’s bloggers showed similar foolishness by putting all the quotes Into the same category. You can’t put critical quotes from a writer or analyst in the same category as from an executive at a competing company.

It’s fair to point out how some analysts were completely wrong about the iPhone: their job is to provide expertise. Considering these colossally wrong predictions, it questions their other forecasts, too. Fair enough.

But competing executives? Honestly, what do you expect Microsoft or RIM (Blackberry) to say publicly upon the release of the iPhone in 2007? “We’re worried that Apple could drive us out of the matket in 5 years”? Sure, someone might say that in a private internal meeting, but there is no way an executive would say that publicly. To say so publicly would kill sales and the stock price. It would be grounds for termination. The best praise a competing executive could give is something like: “We welcome the competition – let the best company win!” More likely, they’ll say that their company has market share and that the new competitor needs to be ready for a battle.

For pundits today to poke fun at partisan quotes from competing executives shows that these pundits are just as ignorant as the so-called analysts who completely underestimated the iPhone 5 years ago.

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