iPhone, a crappy device?

June 12, 2007


Will it or won’t it succeed? That is the burning questions for almost everyone these days when it comes to the iPhone. You can easily find passionate predictions on both sides of the fence. My prediction is failure for the iPhone, which you know from reading this blog.

In the last few days there have been more press reports questioning convergence which raises my hopes that the convergence craze will finally come crashing down.

In the Sunday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bob Keefe asked “If you believe the hype” when it comes to the phone. He quoted Al who compared the craziness of the iPhone publicity to another classic brand disaster the Ford Edsel. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“Whether the iPhone lives up to its hype, of course, remains to be seen.

But Ries, the Atlanta marketing consultant, said he thinks the iPhone will be “a disappointment” because consumers generally don’t want all-in-one “converged” devices.
Ries said overhyped products usually face an uphill climb.

“The more advanced the hype, the more publicity a product gets [before launch], the more likely it is to fall,” he said.

“And let’s face it,” Ries said. “The last product that got this much hype was the Ford Edsel.””

And last night on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Jon delivered a classic comment on the fruitlessness of combination convergence devices.

During a discussion about Ultimate Fighting, which is a mixed Martial arts sport, Jon says that by combining all the fighting disciplines you lose the form and artistry of each. (Indeed Ultimate Fights usually just ends up with two guys rolling around on top of each other on the ground.)

John Hodgman refutes Jon’s statement with “So why combine a cellphone and a camera then?”

Jon comes back with “Why? That’s my question. You just end up with a crappy phone and a crappy camera.” It receives big cheers from the audience and at this point Hodgman concedes that Jon wins the round.

This is the bottom line on all convergence products, when you combine functions you don’t get the best of breeds, you just end up with a fruitless mutant. Or has Jon Stewart described a crappy device.

The iPhone will do a lot of things but it will do nothing well. And that is why it is destined for failure.