Wednesday, July 04, 2007

How failure looks

Let me quote from three articles. First, David Platt proved conclusively that the iPhone would be a flop:
The forthcoming (June 29) release of the Apple iPhone is going to be a bigger marketing flop than Ishtar and Waterworld (dating myself again, aren't I) combined. [...] Sell your Apple stock now, while the hype's still hot. You heard it here first.
Frightening, what? The bad news was confirmed by Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft:
There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60 percent or 70 percent or 80 percent of them, than I would to have 2 percent or 3 percent, which is what Apple might get.
Just by the way, there's an example of Microsoft Truth © in there: Windows Mobile has only 6% of the smartphone* market, not "60 to 80 percent." Ballmer is not actually saying that they possess such a market share, but that they would like to have it. Cunning ratbastards. John Gruber wrote a good rebuttal.

Well, the moment of truth arrived last Friday evening when the poor, doomed iPhone went on sale. Here's a market report from MacNN this morning:
Apple over the weekend sold more than 700,000 iPhones to rocket past analyst predictions and shatter AT&T's record by selling more iPhones in three days than Motorola's RAZR did in its first month. Apple's supply of iPhones depleted at more than half of its retail stores less than a week after the cellular handset hit shelves at 6:00 p.m. ET last Friday night. Buyers cleared out both Apple and AT&T stores in 10 states, with 95 of 164 stores selling out on Monday night, according to Bloomberg.
Yeah, that sounds like one hell of a failed product-launch to me. What a disaster.

* The point is the category of "smartphone." The vast majority of those billion phones are throwaways that one is given with a new contract, whether you want it or not. The iPhone is not competing with them, no more than Porsche competes with Yugo.

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Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Friend here at work wants one - most stores sold out within a few hours of it going on sale. Every AT&T store in the US is out, there are only about 3 of the 140 Apple stores in the US with any left, those in small towns. No one knows when more will come in.
I don't want one, but they are pretty.

July 5, 2007 at 5:55:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger zhoen said...

Guy walks into an auto parts store.
"I'd like a gas cap for my '83 Yugo."

Clerk thinks a minute and answers, "Yeah, that sounds like a fair trade.."

July 6, 2007 at 4:42:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Udge said...

Heheh. Well, exactly.

July 6, 2007 at 11:58:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Hee. zhoen's funny.

I have no desire for an iPhone but Joe's right, they are pretty. Wow, that really is a huge failure for Apple. Completely selling out of a product. Wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

July 6, 2007 at 6:59:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

I haven't been able to see an actual iPhone since it hasn't been available (and no one is really rushing to make it available) in Canada. However, I still feel like it doesn't have much more to offer than the other smartphones like the Blackberry Pearl that are out there.

Here (in the last paragraph) were my sentiments about it back in January:

July 6, 2007 at 8:07:00 p.m. GMT+2  

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