Consider some of the pessimistic predictions that preceded Apple???s entry into the smartphone business:
- In December 2006, Palm CEO Ed Colligan summarily dismissed the idea that a traditional personal computing company could compete in the smartphone business. ???We???ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,??? he said. ???PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They???re not going to just walk in.???
- In January 2007, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer laughed off the prospect of an expensive smartphone without a keyboard having a chance in the marketplace as follows: ???Five hundred dollars? Fully subsidized? With a plan? I said that???s 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 e-mail machine.???
- In March 2007, computing industry pundit John C. Dvorak argued that ???Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone??? since ???There is no likelihood that Apple can be successful in a business this competitive.??? Dvorak believed the mobile handset business was already locked up by the era???s major players. ???This is not an emerging business. In fact it???s gone so far that it???s in the process of consolidation with probably two players dominating everything, Nokia Corp. and Motorola Inc.???
This serves as a classic example of those with a static snapshot mentality disregarding the potential for new entry and technological disruption.
Hindsight perhaps, but there was huge suppressed customer satisfaction demand, functionality of networks and handsets was exploding (still is), replacement cycles were short, subsidy was available, proprietary systems were past their use by, open source credibility was high. Excellent entr??es for Apple customer marketing and Android open model with Google behind it.