Apple Claim Chowder: Introduction

on August 30, 2014
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Apple has scheduled an Event for Tuesday, September 9, 2014. Apple’s Events attract critics the way a trailer park attracts tornados. Good analysis and insightful critiques are expected and welcome, however many critics merely repeat the same discredited arguments over and over and over again. Some people simply never learn from their mistakes. Which reminds me of a joke:

    An Apple critic with two very red ears went to his doctor. The doctor asked him what had happened.

    “I was ironing a shirt and the phone rang,” he said. “But instead of picking up the phone, I accidentally picked up the iron and put it to my ear.”

    “GEEZ!” the doctor exclaimed in disbelief. “So, what happened to your other ear?”

    “Isn’t is obvious?” the critic replied. “I had to call you to schedule this appointment.”

Perhaps the above joke would be more apt if it were we, and not the critics, who had the red ears, for the critics seem to escape their repeated errors unscathed while it is we who end up getting burned year after year.

History is a very good teacher, but (it) has very few students. ~ Wael El-Manzalawy

This is the first in a series of articles that examines past claims and, having found them wanting, expounds upon lessons learned and unlearned. Future articles will group the critics’ claims into topics, but I’ll get things started by simply serving up some of the juiciest claim chowder of all time. Bon appétit.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Almost all of the linked material comes from the excellent iPhone Death Watch and iPad Death Watch Web sites maintained by AAPL Investors.net. Highly recommended reading.

Upset 3d puppet - harlequin, keeping for a head

Apple Claim Chowder

The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him. ~ Robert Benchley

Is there a toaster that also knows how to brew coffee? There is no such combined device, because it would not make anything better than an individual toaster or coffee machine. It works the same way with the iPod, the digital camera or mobile phone: it is important to have specialized devices. ~ Former Apple Vice President, iPod Division, now with Palm, Jon Rubenstein, September 27, 2005

twentyyears

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. ~ Palm CEO Ed Colligan, commenting on then-rumored Apple iPhone, 16 Nov 2006

    In our view, the appearance of the iPhone (or something like it) poses little risk to RIM’s business. ~ Chris Umiastowski, TD Securities, 12 December 2006

…I am not sure how [the iPhone] will stand against Sprint’s Wimax`(when it successfully launches) and its phones, which I am looking forward much more than over-hyped Apple iPhone. ~ Bhaskar Chitraju, Indews Broadcast, 18 January 2007

    The big competitors in the mobile-phone industry such as Nokia Oyj and Motorola Inc. won’t be whispering nervously into their clamshells over a new threat to their business. The iPhone is nothing more than a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks. ~ Matthew Lynn, Bloomberg, 15 January 2007

Windowscompare$500 fully subsidized with a plan! I said that 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. ~ Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, 17 January 2007

    The iPhone will not substantially alter the fundamental structure and challenges of the mobile industry. ~ Charles Golvin, Forrester Research Inc, January 2007

The honeymoon is over for the iPhone. ~ Tim Moynihan, Crave, the Gadget Blog from Cnet 11 January 2007

Last year Apple’s iPhone sales alone were larger than the revenues at 474 of the companies in the S&P 500 stock index. ~ Eric Chemi of Bloomberg Businessweek

The iPhone’s willful disregard of the global handset market will come back to haunt Apple. ~ Tero Kuittinen, RealMoney.com, 18 January 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, 26 February 2007

Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone… ~ John C. Dvorak, 28 March 2007

Nobody is completely worthless. Some can be used as bad examples. ~ John Tigges

Apple begins selling its revolutionary iPhone this summer and it will mark the end of the string of hits for the company. ~ Todd Sullivan, Seeking Alpha, 15 May 2007

How do you deal with [the iPhone}? How do they deal with us? ~ Ed Zander, Motorola CEO/Chairman 10 May 2007

We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves. ~ Eric Hoffer

What does the iPhone offer that other cell phones do not already offer, or will offer soon? The answer is not very much… ~ Laura Goldman, LSG Capital, 21 May 2007

The forthcoming (June 29) release of the Apple iPhone is going to be a bigger marketing flop than Ishtar and Waterworld combined. ~ David S. Platt, Suckbusters!, 21 June 2007

I may not agree with you, but I’ll defend to the death my right to tell you to shut up. ~ Andy Borowitz

Once the initial fever wears off, however, the bloom will really be off the rose, and sales will be disappointing (at least here in the U.S.). ~ Jim Louderback, PC Magazine. 6 June 2007

We Predict the iPhone will bomb ~ Porges, The Futurist, 7 June 2007

You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty. ~ Jessica Mitford

The iPhone is a sustaining technology relative to Nokia. In other words, Apple is leaping ahead on the sustaining curve [by building a better phone]. But the prediction of the theory would be that Apple won’t succeed with the iPhone. They’ve launched an innovation that the existing players in the industry are heavily motivated to beat: It’s not [truly] disruptive. History speaks pretty loudly on that, that the probability of success is going to be limited. ~ Clayton Christensen, Author of Innovator’s Dilemma, 28 June 2007

There’s a lot of rejoicing at Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile [at the iPhone’s initial sales]. ~ IAG Research’s Roger Entner, 4 July 2007

Some never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge

Let’s face it, the Internet was designed for the PC. The Internet is not designed for the iPhone. ~ Steve Ballmer, Microsoft, 21 October 2009

    The tablet market has only succeeded as a niche market over the years and it was hoped Apple would dream up some new paradigm to change all that. From what I’ve seen and heard, this won’t be it. ~ John C. Dvorak, MarketWatch, 29 January 2010

I added it up and … like 800 people are going to buy the iPad. . . . ~ Molly Wood, CNet, 31 January 2010

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If Apple makes a successful tablet, they will have accomplished what no other company before them has ever managed to do, which is why I am not optimistic. If I turn out to be wrong, I’ll gladly eat my words, but I’m pretty sure that I’m not wrong. ~ Alex Cook, Frontier Outlook, 28 January 2010

    Unless Apple has also developed some new type of power source, such as nuclear cells or magical hamsters on tiny spinning wheels for the iPad, don’t expect the claims about battery life to hold true. ~ John Breeden II, Government Computer News, 28 January 2010

You might want to tell me the difference between a large phone and a tablet. ~ Eric Schmidt, Google, 10 January 2010

The true way to be deceived is to think oneself more knowing than others. ~ La Rochefoucauld

You know, I’m a big believer in touch and digital reading, but I still think that some mixture of voice, the pen and a real keyboard – in other words a netbook – will be the mainstream on that. So, it’s not like I sit there and feel the same way I did with iPhone where I say, ‘Oh my God, Microsoft didn’t aim high enough.’ It’s a nice reader, but there’s nothing on the iPad I look at and say, ‘Oh, I wish Microsoft had done it. ~ Bill Gates, Microsoft, 10 February 2010

Nothing is more damaging to a new truth than an old error. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Apple iPad is not going to be the company’s next runaway best seller. ~ John C. Dvorak, MarketWatch, 12 February 2010

The only time he opens his mouth is to change feet.

—David Feherty

The iPad will remain an expensive, niche device compared to all-purpose netbooks…. (N)etbooks sales will still far outstrip those of the iPad. ~ Preston Gralla, PC World, 30 March 2010

The decline of the iPhone has started. And that will become clear long before the year 2010 is gone… ~ Tomi T Ahonen, Former Nokia Executive, Inc, 9 April 2010

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(Apple) is not having an impact on Nintendo… ~ Reggie Fils-Aime, President, Nintendo of America, 7 April 2010

I admit, sales of the iPad beat my expectations. I didn’t think that this device would do that well, and I still think it’s an oversized iPod Touch. ~ Alex Cook, Seeking Alpha, 1 June 2010

Never miss a good chance to shut up. ~ Cowboy wisdom

It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I’m okay with that. ~ Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft, 14 July 2010

    If a user wants to walk from the kitchen to the dining room in her house, she simply walks through. It does not work like that in mobile–you have to go through the front door to get to the kitchen. iPhone has a home button which works like a go-back-to-front-door button. This is not a model that human beings are used to. People are spatial. ~ Peter Skillman, VP Meego User Experience and Services Design, Nokia, 20 September 2010

There could literally be millions of first-generation iPads gathering dust in people’s home offices already. This product is the tech industry’s biggest MacGuffin yet. ~ Paul Thurrott, Windows IT Pro, 23 October 2010

What you don’t know would make a great book. ~ Sydney Smith

I cannot see a need for the thing [iPad]. ~ John Dvorak, MarketWatch, 22 October 2010

A salad spinner would have been a better investment, [than an iPad] and I don’t even eat that much salad. ~ John Swansburg, Slate, 18 February 2011

The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind. ~ H. L. Mencken

Apple is a company that has to come up with hit after hit after hit, every 12 to 18 months, but once you do the iPhone on Verizon, what’s the next thing past this? ~ Patrick Becker Jr, Becker Capital Management, 7 March 2011

    The reliance by Apple and Android phones on the ‘app’ as the central metaphor is outdated. ~ Chris Weber, President, head of North America, Nokia, 10 August 2011

As more developers reach consumers through platform-independent technologies such as HTML5, Apple’s app store could be cut out of the loop as customers gain freedom to transfer their chosen applications from one device to another. ~ Michael Holt, CFA, Morningstar, 28 Dec 2011

What we see is that youth are pretty much fed up with iPhones. Everyone has the iPhone. ~ Niels Munksgaard, Director of Portfolio, Product Marketing & Sales , Nokia, 13 Dec 2011

Nobody goes there anymore—it’s too crowded. ~ Yogi Berra

The following are three reasons the new iPad will be dead on arrival (DOA)… ~ Michael Li, The GadgetMasters, 11 March 2012

    I don’t think anyone has done a product that I see customers wanting. ~ Steve Ballmer, Microsoft, 25 Nov 2012

Siri could signal the beginning of the end for Apple. ~ Greg Satell, Forbes, 26 March 2013

    (Android) Not secure? It’s more secure than the iPhone. ~ Eric Schmidt, Google, 8 October 2013

Apple’s iOS 7 launch is fast becoming its most troubled mobile operating system update, increasing concern that the technology giant has lost some of its magic touch since co-founder Steve Jobs passed away two years ago. ~ Scott Martin and Alistair Barr, USA Today, 17 October 2013

iPhone accounts for 41.9% of US smartphone subscriber base, up from 31.3% a year ago – Apple CFO Luca Maestri, via @macjournals

[Android phones] are a great Christmas present to an iPhone user! ~ Eric Schmidt, Google, 24 November 2013

I know there’s a lot of noise because Apple did [64-bit] on their A7. I think they are doing a marketing gimmick. There’s zero benefit a consumer gets from that. ~ Anand Chandrasekher, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Qualcomm, 1 October 2013
Anand Chandrasekher has been quietly reassigned — and removed from the company leadership page on its website as of 25 Oct 2013.

My prayer to God is a very short one: “Oh God, please make my enemies ridiculous.” God has granted my wish. ~ Voltaire

Lessons Learned And Unlearned

True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubteth often, and changeth his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubteth not; he knoweth all things but his own ignorance. ~ Akhenaton

The lesson here is to not take things on faith. Question everything. Facts should underlie every argument and logic should support that argument’s structure.

A man is getting along on the road to wisdom when he begins to realize that his opinion is just an opinion.

Beware the opinions of critics who are too sure of themselves, for it is most likely that they are also too full of themselves.

Doubt is often the beginning of wisdom. ~ M Scott Peck

Further, while it is always wise to question every opinion, it is not always wise to have an opinion on every question. Some things can only be answered in time.

Who is there who can make muddy waters clear? But if allowed to remain still, it will gradually clear itself. ~ Lao-tsu

Apple Claim Chowder Series:

Introduction
Events
Killers
Cynicism
Product
Evolutionary Or Revolutionary
Business Models