back to article Why Apple won't sell 10 million iPhones in 2008

Steve Jobs sounds modest with his 2008 sales prediction: "10 million iPhones is one per cent of the mobile phone market". This is indeed true, but it's not a useful benchmark. The vast majority of those phones are super cheap. The smartphone category, which is closest to iPhone territory, is very different. Symbian has sold 100 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unfortunately you are wrong...

    Not due to the merits of your argument, which is very logical, but you are missing the hype factor. People will buy the IPhone like lemmings, just because its the phone to have. Networks will fall over themselves for the opportunity to be associated with Apple, just to look hip.

    Human beings arnt rational, and neither are the companies they run. Sad but true.

  2. Rick Smith

    and the iPod can't possibly outsell a Zen

    No other tech company in history has demonstrated repeated customer rallies like Apple. It's true that many others do make fatal mistakes. Apple can do what no other electronics company has done in the phone market - extend a mindset of quality into EVERYTHING including user experience, first and foremost.

    How many iPod killers does it take to kill an iPod? - answer there hasn't been one, despite the iPod's age. How many people think Apple would shutter it's doors? - an infinite number of those others lacking quality.

    Wait and see. That's our only option. Just don't be surprised when you're surprised.

  3. Gordon Fecyk

    Substitution Game: What if Microsoft created the "mPhone?"

    It's too bad I couldn't post a comment in the unrelated piece, "Why Microsoft's innovation is only Surface deep." Because if Apple developed a "coffee table" Mac, pundits would have treated it far nicer than MS's offering.

    But let's say Microsoft developed a "mPhone" with an identical feature set to Apple's iPhone instead of Apple developing theirs. Would networks "fall over themselves" rushing to support it? Would customers buy the mPhone "like lemmings?" Probably not.

    I'm glad someone at El Reg is throwing cold water on the iPhone's reviewers. I was worried they were saving all of their venom and clue just for Microsoft.

  4. Brett Glasson

    I'm not so sure

    You know, I don't own a mac, I do own an iPod (which I don't use) but I still feel that this article is missing the point. Somehow, I get the feeling I've read an article just like this where you could replace the 'iPhone' with 'iPod' and 'phone manufacturers' with 'MP3 player manufacturers'

    Now, I realise that the MP3 player market circa 2001 (or whenever) was somewhat different than the significantly more mature cell phone market of today, but I can't help thinking that the major phone manufacturers have been successful to date despite their numerous and easily noticable failings. I would not be surprised at all if a newcomer such as apple were to enter the market with a product that hits the sweet spot with consumers and becomes a runaway overnight success. Lord knows I have absolutely HATED every mobile I have ever owned with the possible exception of my current RAZR V3i, which is OK at best.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No, you're wrong

    "People will buy the IPhone like lemmings, just because its the phone to have. "

    You're assuming that people can and will switch to the iPhone.

    First of all, the vast majority of new phone connections are from developing countries where $600 would represent many months wages. They simply wouldn't have the money to buy something like this. Phones in the $30 range are far more likely to grab market share quickly because of this.

    Secondly, if the iPhone is locked to one network, people on most networks won't be able to buy a compatible iPhone. If they're on a contract, they won't want to start another one just to get the iPhone, that would mean they'd be paying for two phones at once.

    Thirdly, phrases like "People will buy the IPhone like lemmings" are almost exactly what people said about the PlayStation Portable and the PS3, that people would buy anything with the word playstation on it. But it didn't happen that way, did it? In the real world most people don't actually give a monkeys about brand name goods if they cost an unusually large amount to buy.

    Fourthly, successful phone companies don't do well just concentrating on just one or two models. Symbian is the most successful type of smartphone, and they've sold over 100 million units, but that's spread over about 60 different models that look and work in radically different ways. Apple has to offer a far more diverse range of models than they've done with the iPod, because no single phone or smartphone model sells that well by itself.

  6. Chad H.

    at least here in the UK, the lack of 3g will kill the iphone.

    The title says it all realy.

    In countries like the US, where EDGE has been rolled out and is a success, the lack of 3g isnt a problem, the difference between 200-odd Kbps instead of 300 Kbps isnt realy that noticable when downloading music or highly compressed video.

    But dropping down to the dialup-esque speeds of GPRS (40-odd kps) is noticable, and will ensure that music downloaded is only done when well thought out, not on impulse.

    Of course, if and when the HSDPA iphone is relased... downloadable video on demand wont just be viable, it will be amazing given apples aptitude for multimedia... 1.8 Mbps now, a possibility of 3.6 in the near future... The right tarrif could make you throw the landline away...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will you do a mea culpa when Apple passes 10 million before the deadline?

    Apple has sold over 100 million iPods. Most of those iPod purchasers would like the best iPod ever. Guess what, the new, best ever, widescreen, video iPod also makes phone calls and surfs the net almost anywhere. Bonus!

    This iPhone creates it's own category of phone. No one knows just how well widescreen, video iPod, net-surfing, camera phones will sell because no phone company has ever made one.

    No company has ever made a cell phone where all the features on the phone are easy to use since the early car phones that just made phone calls.

    Apple has done this with their iPhone.

    This is going to be BIG.

    Can you say paradigm shift?

  8. Heff

    People are lemmings in very specific ways, though

    they'll buy N71s and N73s like sheep, because, well, its only a £50 upgrade whn it was fresh to the market, and thats from Nokia, an industry stalwart.

    people are talking about some obscene figures with the iPhone. talking about $300+ dollars even as an upgrade in a market that gives away the latest blackberry model for free with a new contract. networks know users wont stump for that, so apple has to sell it to the networks to subsidise their handset even more than the competition, and the ONLY persuasive tool they have for this is that users will be using more expensive network features like..

    ...oh right. not 3g or downloading music. Um.... lots and LOTS of text messages?

    people will all eventually have an iPhone. just not the first wave, like apple saw with the iPod. remember gen1 iPods? right. eventually, we'll all carry a nice, slimline piece of black glass, all solid state and tasty, that we can use as an RFID credit card, music player, address book, mobile phone, alarm clock and wireless networking hub.

    just not right now. or in the near future. apple still has to go through the torturous route of subjecting its smartphone OS to the open market, which is what breaks most producers and what the remainer are still struggling with; every new symbian smartphone that comes out these days is cursed with microsoft disease : it doesnt work, wait for the service packs.

    people buy swanky phones like lemmings when they work. they dont stay with difficult and horrible to use products still in testing stages, espcially when the network would rather sell them a 3G handset and get some network-feature revenue from it.

  9. AC

    That's ROGERS

    It may be a mere typo to you, but this company has a monopoly on GSM service in Canada, so please don't upset them ;-)

  10. Ed


    Apple have beaten expectations for all the figures they've released in the last few years. Apple have probably thought hard about it before announcing this figure - I'd be suprised if we don't see another iPhone aimed lower down the market (iPhone Nano maybe?) before the end of 2008, for example.

    I think an iPhone Nano could potentially be a huge hit - Apple have a great brand - probably better than any of the phone brands, and if they release a cool mobile at under £150 or so I think it could really take off.

    The key point is that we're going to see a new phone sometime in the next year and a half and that's going to help break this barrier. My guess is we'll see it announced at MacWorld 2008 and released around this time next year.

    Of course, you could be right - it could be a complete flop.

  11. Ben

    Look at the RAZR

    In the United States, anyway, just from what I see, the RAZR has been selling like crazy (though I don't have one). It was well-advertised and looks good in pockets and on hips, clamped to purses and next to one's ear. The iPhone will have the same type of visual appeal, coupled with the desire of everyone who absolutely loves their iPod.

  12. Stevie Bob

    Still achievable

    The fact that this has some very neat features and the hype factor mentioned above, plus the existing iPod brand carries a massive fan base and this will certainly give it some early momentum.

    You say Symbian sold 100 million in 10 years (10 million a year - yes I am a mathematical genius) so I guess you must admit it is possible.

    Anyways, to pricey for my tastes but I'm happy to wait for cheaper options to arrive in a few years.

  13. Nikolaus Heger

    Hype Alone Would Sell 10M in Asia

    Above poster is correct about the hype factor - most people buy high end phones in order to be perceived has having the latest and greatest gadget, then proceed to ignore 98% of the phones functionality.

    But there's a twist. If something is hip in Asia, _everyone_ must have it. And by that I mean *everyone*. Its very different from Europe/USA in this respect. There is no backlash or naysayers once something is hip - only admirers, and people who can afford and those who can't.

    I predict it will be insanely hip in Asia, and it will sell more than 10M in Asia alone. Co-incidentally usability will be wonderful as well which it good for Apple long term but not a major factor in selling so many of the initial model.

  14. yeah, right.

    Maybe. Maybe not.

    If Apple makes the classic mistake of tying themselves to one operator, then no, they probably won't make near that target.

    However, from what I've seen of the iPhone, it does what I need it to do. I've been looking for such a device for several years, and have refused to "upgrade" my old Sony Ericsson T39m until then. I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a lemming, more of someone who has a firm list of "must haves" in such a device, and is willing to wait until something exists that has what I need. The iPhone, despite the hype, might meet that goal. We'll see.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Nothing like nailing your true colours to the mast? but that's grist to the mill for theRegister so no change there.

    I think you underestimate both Apple/AT&T and Joe public. The former have invested too much to under-promote the iPhone so expect some pretty spectacular publicity(along with the scurrilous FUD which inevitably follows any new Apple product) and the latter will lap up any product which makes the whole business of combining mobile telephony/internet/audio/video/productivity apps work in a way never before seen or envisaged. It's a paradigm shift from currently available smartphone hardware.

    It will have Apple's OSX on board - the biggest selling point in my book, coupled with ease of use a la iPod and look totally different to anything else on the market.

    A classic supply/demand equation(carefully managed) will ramp up iPhone fever towards a year-end buying spree the like of which modern myths are made.

    One point I'm surprised you did not address, which is in fact several, is the usual reliability/battery life and replacement/ screen scratches must be slipping.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old Flawed History - Think iPod

    Nobody thought anyone wanted to pay $300 for a portable p3 player - that's because they were all crap.

    Same with phones. No one wants to pay $15 a month plus $2.50 a track o buy songs while walking around - there are at least 10 phones that offer that feature.

    iPhone will huge because people are paying for $300 for phones where they hate nearly every feature - at least Apple always delivers what they promise - that's worth $500 for a decent phone + a video ipod + chachet.

    So if Apple sells 10 million by end of 2008, will you agree to write a public apology saying you're wrong and you'll stick to only writing about horse carriages?

    This pretty sums it up:

  17. Lee Givens

    Not an Apple Scholar

    I can tell by reading your article that you've just started keeping an eye on Apple. Your article would be true if you substituted Apple with Motorola, Sony/Ericsson, or Blackberry. Apple is not just a different company, it's a different reality. Apple can build and market things that don't make sense in any business school and succeed.

    I really like the comments by some of the uninformed---lemmings? Wait, you build the best products, products that make consumers lives better and you call them lemmings? I guess you own a Zune so you won't be in the majority. The Ford Taurus sold a lot of cars but I'm sure they're not lemmings. You buy what works for you and if it sells 10 million in 18 months, who cares?

    BTW, Apple will sell more than 10 million. Did you not understand that Apple will be moving to Europe in 2008? iPhone sales in France and Germany will equal 3 million units....And we're not in Finland yet!

  18. pg

    weak article

    Aside from the Rogers 'typo' (evidence of little research!), you got a stat for the "most Blackberry owners have voice lines too"? I have yet to see anyone with a Blackberry and another mobile in the last 5 years. This article sounds oh so American. little fact checking, idiotic (and non proven) speculations. In general not what I expect from el reg.

    jftr- I am not an apple fanboy. Ill take a nokia and a *nix box thankya very much.

  19. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

    Cart/Horse Topology Reversal?

    Re: "Over the next few years we'll see more mobile music devices, ... , mobile web browsers, ..., all of which happen to have a SIM card, and which can make calls - but making calls is a secondary use".

    Hmm... That's what the vendors would like, because a phone doesn't allow much product differentiation. But is it a valid characterization? When Joe Punter is rushing down to the shops to pick up something, what does he grab as he heads out the door? Is it the phone-capability or the music-playing capability? (Jane Punter may well have both by default because she carries a handbag rather than tries to stuff things on belts or in pockets).

    So I'm not buying the "making calls is ... secondary" argument. Particularly when all that other stuff is going to negatively impact battery life and size.

    Of course, there wil be some from whom combining two of their existing pocket devices is irrestible. But even here, you have the issue that a whole bunch of, say, iPod customes like the the fact that they can carry their _whole_ music collection, all 10GB to 80GB of it. iPhone won't help them any.

    Where Apple could make a big difference is in driving a unified headset system, so that (through Bluetooth or whatever) a single headset with the associated cables and/or chargers could seamlessly work with everything. But they don't seem very interested in that side of the puzzle, given the lack of anything apart from the stock "ear buds" (which just fall out of my ears).

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it works....

    Looking at the early iPod or G5 iMac failure rates that means they'll be having to repair or replace a good 4 million in the first six months.

    Apple simply aren't capable of producing hardware with the reliability people take for granted in even the cheapest of mobiles.

  21. Giles Jones Gold badge


    While smartphone sales aren't that high, this is the smartphone which will appeal to those who would normally just buy a dumb phone.

    There are few smartphones that look great and operate as nicely as the iPhone will.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "...but there are over 200 significant networks in the world and the networks buy 80 per cent of the world's handsets. They will want everything squeaky clean and tested."

    I guess Orange skipped that bit when they launched the N80 then. Unless by testing we really mean crippling the default functionality provided whilst throwing in a few useless extras.

  23. Kevin Smith

    Interesting article.

    The trouble with it is that you're missing several important points.

    The main one being that Apple are currently selling about 40m iPods per year. The iPhone is, as has been stated several times by Mr Jobs, the best iPod Apple have ever made. If the IPhone can take just 10% of Apple's current and future iPod customers then they've got A minimum of 4m sales straight off the bat.

    Add in a few disillusioned smartphone users, a bunch of Mac users who will at last have a mobile that will properly sync with their computer etc.

    You're missing the core market.

    The fact is, the iPhone isn't aimed at people with smartphones, it's aimed at people with iPods & Macs. You said yourself the smartphone market is tiny, so why would they aim the product at that audience?

    People know that they can shop around and won't hesitate to jump to a new network for a good deal or the phone they want, the trouble is that phone often turns out to be lacking in many important departments.

    I just bought myself out of the arse end of an 18 month contract just to get rid of the crap-fest that is the Nokia N80, it was another phone that promised loads and delivered little.

    If the iPhone is up to the expected standard, all bugs ironed out within a month of launch, and it impresses then it's guaranteed iPod like success.

    There is a reason that the iPhone got the new touch screen and interface first, logic would dictate that you throw that innovation at the iPod and milk it for every penny it's worth but instead it's being gambled on the new product.

    I know what result my money's on.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You missed one important point

    You have not covered the fact that any user who is on a non TDMA network (i.e. has a SIM card) can easily choose to buy the phone directly from Apple and then just put in their SIM card. Hence, even though the networks might not have a deal with Apple directly their subscribers could be carrying a ton of iPhones.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rogers - Rodgers

    Rogers typo corrected.

    Roger and Out.


    El Reg

  26. rhett

    Why is everyone else so upset?

    The iPhone isn't even for sale in any other country BUT the USA. So none of you make any sense.

    You speak about the Nokia N71 and N73 and others that you can get sooooo cheap, well I'm here to tell you buddy, stateside those phones cost MORE than the iPhone and aren't even offered from a carrier! All we get over here is crap.

    You seem to forget that this is an American phone. There is VERY LITTLE 3G network here (and 3G sucks your battery life too) and we are usually the last to get new cell phones from other companies. So when you start whining about things you don't like or don't agree with concerning the iPhone, just keep it to yourself until they announce a model for your market. I think it will be a huge success and plan on buying one myself. I am sick of all of our sucky phones over here.

  27. James Pickett

    Is it just me?

    I have a phone for making phone calls. I have an MP3 player with a radio (so not an iPod) for audio entertainment, a PDA for organising and a camera for taking pictures. Actually, I have several cameras, but that's because no one camera does everything I want, which is really my point - if a single camera won't do everything well, how much worse will an all-in-one device do all the things it's supposed to?

    I like things that are fit for purpose and have the right form and function. Trying to squeeze everything into a 'designer' box might be a fashion statement, but it doesn't appeal to me. What's the battery life going to be like, anyway?

  28. Stuart Morrison

    I'm waiting for..

    ..a lower-price, reduced functionality successor to the iPhone..

    The "iPhone Shuffle" will be cheaper and though it will not have a screen it will call all the people in your phonebook in random order thus increasing your social networking exponentially and kick-start the growth of Phone 2.0.

    Or not.

    In all seriousness a good UI is a nice thing to have but easy enough to reproduce for the big boys, with the price tag people have been talking about it's going to take more than that for iPhone to make a big splash in a market where the customer's goal is to get the most bang (or bling) for a set budget that is usually well under £100.

    I can't see what advantage a £200 iPhone will have over a £50 Nokia 6300 that would encourage me to buy one (I'm guessing comparable upgrade prices for my particular personal but likely quite typical case).

    I expect after the first year's sales results come in we'll see a split in iPhone product line - maybe not a iPhone shuffle but certainly an iPhone Nano.

  29. Webster Phreaky

    AppleDroids Have Heads Up Arse As Usual

    What a bunch of Apple Kool-Aid Drinkers! Apple has a misserable history of instituting new technology when in the VERY FEW TIMES they actually devised it. Like the Newton, the Cube (first desktop non computer computer), Apple Cyberdog, Macintosh TV (now the Apple TV has flopped already!), mega-buck Apple Lisa, and the mouse that was thrown away faster than any other mouse "Apple Puck Mouse".

    Apple even badgered pure Motorola into Stevie's recent stupid phone that flopped immedicately - Motorola ROKR.

    The iPod made it because Apple DIDN'T THINK OF IT! The ground work was laid very well by the Rio. The only thing that made the Made In China iPod more successful is iTunes and Apple is the biggest marketing bullshit artists of all times. Out flanking better pocket players like Creatives and iRivers. Enjoy your iPud after the battery is dead in 14 months?

    Predictions I will Happily be able to say I told you so in 12 months - the iPhone and the Apple TV will be flops and soon available on big time closeout retailers like Big Lots and

    Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ......

  30. Adam Nealis

    It is and it isn't a video iPod that makes 'phone calls.

    You wrote:

    "The iPhone is a video iPod with a better screen that just happens to make phone calls."

    In a sense that's true. From the end user's point of view I suppose that's valid.

    But under the hood, so to speak, this device runs OS X, rather than WINCE or Java or Flash, or a custom ASIC (as is the case with the iPod). Which makes it a handheld computer with a decent operating system.

    As a video iPod it's limited to a 4GB or 8GB capacity, unlike the 30GB video iPods.

    I won't be buying one of these for the following main reasons:

    8GB is not enough to store my entire music collection. This is something I can do with my current MP3 player and is a feature that is important to me.

    I don't like the idea of having to use a QWERTY keyboard to do SMS. Having no tactile feedback is bad enough, but trying to type with one hand is nowhere near as efficient as using the usual predictive text system.

  31. Will

    Hot and Cold

    I have two thoughts on the iPhone, one hot the other cold.

    Hot; most comments I have read around this subject fail to acknowledge the impact the iPhone will have in terms of integrating your 'mac world'. When taken into context of an iMac owner, with iTunes, airport extreme and Apple TV, the iPhone becomes seamless the pocket interface to this world. Forget downloading music on overpriced mobile networks, by the time you get to your dining table your iPhone will have updated with *all* the content your iTunes has pulled down for you while you have been out. Kick back on the couch, and the iPhone drives your front row software on your Apple TV, while quietly pulling from your iPhone into your network the cool attachments sent to you while at work today for viewing later. Effortlessly connect you iPhone to a friends Apple TV and show them when you go over there for dinner and show them too. Phone rings, guess what, you can answer that too, then make a skype out call (gtalk etc etc one day) with ease.

    Cold; Touch screen interfaces; anyone owned an LG Chocolate will tell just ain't right.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    >Predictions I will Happily be able to say I told you so in 12 months - the iPhone

    >and the Apple TV will be flops and soon available on big time closeout retailers >l

    >like Big Lots and

    You're on. See you in 12 months.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They will sell a lot of units.. Not 10 Mil.. but a lot. Apple's advertising campaigns are always brilliant, and will have the masses believing that the new Apple phone is actually a sign of the second coming. No one is getting through the Pearly Gates without one!!

    Look at what is happening with mp3 players. Most non tech people do not even check out the competition. They just blindly assume that ipod is the best mp3 player around. Heck, some of them don't even know that there are other mp3 players on the market.

    To add to this ..the entire Mac cult have been holding secret meetings in Starbucks for last 4 months, discussing when they should start lining up.. They will buy whatever comes out of Apple factory. Leader knows best !!

    Me.. I am waiting until they build in a photocopier, toaster, and an espresso maker into that baby !! Why would I settle for just a phone..

  34. elder norm

    Quit fighting --- :-)

    The iPhone will sell. How many will depend on a lot of things but plan on quite a few.

    People will love it.

    There will be some problems, everything has some problems.

    I really think people will be blown away cause Apple will add neat things by tying it into OSX 10.5.

    These nay sayers that put down Apple in big ways, are just MS shills. If you do not like a product, do not use it. Apple will not go away just cause you don't like it or are a MS junkie. :-) In fact, I believe that in the next few months, quarters, people that put down Apple in big and bosterous ways will be seen for the shills that they are.


  35. James Cleveland

    Downloadable music?

    Pretty much every attempt to offer music on my phone (downloadable) has pissed me off a treat. I download music how I like, at home. If networks want to try and offload some crummy service to its customers, I don't care as long as it doesn't affect my device.

    The only thing that would ruin the iPhone for me is having a lack of space, which it probably will. 8Gb players just annoy me when I have 120Gb of music, my 60Gb iPod does the job, barely, but an iPhone would just become a gimmick if it can't store a substantial amount of music.

  36. Rupert Stubbs


    If the iPhone doesn't appear in fully-reviewable form by the end of the month, then it will lose momentum.

    If the iPhone has a serious issue in terms of usability (I was slightly concerned by SJ saying it takes a week to learn how to trust the text entry system. A week?! - reviewers will not wait that long.) it will only sell to RDF fanbois.

    If the iPhone does not work better as an internet device SJ will look bad.

    If any reviewer manages to scratch the screen, no matter how stupid they have been, it will be known as the ScratchPhone.

    But if it survives all those tests, it will sell. And it will sell well in Europe (as long as it has 3G and HSDPA).

    If it looks like it's a success, then the other networks will sell their soul to stock it too (I bet Apple has some wriggle room there) - when the Moto V3 came out, some UK networks wouldn't stock it because Moto wouldn't customise it for their network enough. When it started selling they had to stock it with even less customisation or lose customers.

    The mobile business is worse than Hollywood. No-one knows what's going to be a success, so the herd instinct rules (3G licences/MMS/WAP/etc.). The worst thing Apple could do is try and turn itself into a phone manufacturer - stay focused on the customers, and the industry will come round.

  37. Martin Kelly

    Will they, won't they

    It always makes me laugh when I read these anti Apple conversations. The simple truth is no one is forced to buy Apple Products. I have used all sorts of kit over the last 30 years and I like to think I use the best product for the job. My car is a BMW, I use a Canon SLR, I watch Pioneer TV's, I wear Churchill shoes and I use Apple computers.

    I, like a lot of Mac users, will buy a iPhone for the simple reason that it will integrate with my MacBookPro seamlessly, unlike almost every other smartphone on the market. I won't have to pay inflated prices for my music as it is on my laptop already (from which ever source I choose) and it will be used for its prime purpose of making calls and allowing me to keep my diary, address book up-to date and available at all times. The fact that I can also listen to some of my music, take a photograph in an emergency, access email, order 4000 latte's from Starbucks or surf the web are all extras and are brilliant in one small bit of kit that I can carry in a pocket.

    As regards Webster Phreaky, let me say, I work for a company which use Apple computers throughout, by choice as they are the best machines for the type of work we do. In the last 17 years we have bought numerous Apples (of nearly ever type released inc Cubes & G5 iMacs) and we have only ever had two which had problems at birth, both were replaced by Apple with a minimum of fuss. Some of the original blue & white G3's (circa 1998) are still in use and will only be replaced at the next upgrade of (surprise surprise) Microsoft Office. We have never had a system crash that brought the company to a halt or caused us to loose any data or cost the company any money.

    I also own an original first gen iPod which has had a battery replacement and is still in use nearly 6 years later as well as a 80Gb 5th gen which not only contains my entire music library from the past 40 years but acts as a back up disk for my laptop and home computer.

    No one ever said Apple were perfect, but you pays the money and you make the choice. Stick with what you want and stop slagging off others who disagree with your opinions. I don't think I'm any smarter or more intelligent than someone who uses different products than me, I'm just happy with the decisions that I've made.

  38. Daniel Bower

    Anyone remember the Newton?

    I think everyone back then (well everyone who loved Apple) said that it was the next big thing and how it would ultimately take over the world. Oh how wrong they were.

    Trouble is with the iPhone is its just too big and this is the main reason why people who have a blackberry also cart around a normal phone. I for one would much rather carry around a normal (read small) handset and my trusty Zen Micro 4gb is plenty for me - its easy enough to swap music around afterall).

    Apple will still be faced with the other issue that does put people off iPods and that's locking them into iTunes and making them re-convert their entire library - er, no thanks.

    That beautiful x-black screen the iPhone sports will soon look pretty shabby after a 20 minutes conversation against a sweaty cheek mid-summer and I think the rest of the phone will quickly loose its shininess. Phones take more of a hammering the mp3 players.

    And what of battery life. The mighty Nokia's having a hard time with the N95 because with lots of apps running the battery life is under a day. People won't put up with that from their phone.

    There will be bugs, again look at the problem Nokia have had with every 1st gen release since the 6110 (do they still make those? :) ) and networks are notoriously bad at helping customers with their bug-ridden monsters (look at Orange with the 7110) - not my problem mate is the usual customer service line - no 12 month warranty on a bugged mobile I'm afraid.

    I could go on but I think you get the idea. Brilliant in concept but doomed to failure I'm afraid...

  39. Go Cat

    Funny? Funnier? Funniest?

    Stuart Morrison: "The "iPhone Shuffle" will be cheaper and though it will not have a screen it will call all the people in your phonebook in random order thus increasing your social networking exponentially and kick-start the growth of Phone 2.0."

    Nice one Stuart. Funniest thing I've read in days.

    Or not... 'cause you wrote this next: "In all seriousness a good UI is a nice thing to have but easy enough to reproduce for the big boys..."

    Really? This clearly illustrates your apparent ignorance of the incredible challenges of UI design. Unless you were being facetious. You were... right?

  40. Matt Kemp

    re: Will you do a mea culpa when Apple passes 10 million before the deadline?

    "Can you say paradigm shift?"

    Can you say Apple PR Department?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about 20M

    IMO there's a good chance Apple will be selling 20M or more iPhones a year by the end of 2008. This is the first example of the universal single device that most people will carry with them all the time. That includes at home. It will take competitors several years to make a comparable device. But the required alternative content delivery infrastructure will find it impossible to gain traction in the market. For many people such a device, together with HD TV panel, can replace their PC, which will simply become part of the household plumbing, a necessary but largely forgotten home data cache.

    Pass some more of that Kool-Aid.

  42. shaun Wolfson

    3G = bad battery life

    what everyone is missing is that 3G is a battery killer...

  43. axel mel


    "I, like a lot of Mac users, will buy a iPhone for the simple reason that it will integrate with my MacBookPro seamlessly, unlike almost every other smartphone on the market."

    So since apple represents like 2% of the world market that's your big selling point!?

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New iPhone ads

    The new iPhone ads just started airing. You can see the first three here:

    After seeing the ads, I have to think that Apple will sell a gagillion of these.

  45. Dudley Bryan Jr.

    Why Feature Lists Can be Deceptive

    You know what the saddest thing is? There is ultimately precious little new with the iPhone save "convergence". Many of its "innovations" are purely interface/GUI driven. The worst part of it, is that people have been working very hard to arrive where Apple has now landed years in advance of them, and if Apple is successful, they simply WILL NOT GET CREDIT for it. People are quick to point out how nice Opera mobile is, yet I can see no demo that looks and functions as nicely as Safari does, and yet the advanced technology is there. Widgets were introduced years ago, and just last year mobile widgets were announced. It's just poorly presented, or held back by a carrier's warped sense of "accessorizing" and "product variation".

    Excellent Bluetooth savvy functions and multimedia features have been cropping up, yet they've been hit or miss. Some commenter earlier said the most utterly brain-dead thing about why Apple will fail. They said: "Fourthly, successful phone companies don't do well just concentrating on just one or two models. Symbian is the most successful type of smartphone, and they've sold over 100 million units, but that's spread over about 60 different models that look and work in radically different ways."

    I'll repeat that... "about 60 different models that look and work in in radically different ways". Limited product line, in fact, has been Apple's biggest strength in the consumer electronics market.

    This is EXACTLY why iPhone will make its numbers. At the end of the day, despite all the attempts to keep producing phones that sell, the cellphone market has mostly come out with an annoying undulating tapestry of inconsistency that has fomented a very palpable hatred from customers. Customers purchase them, not out of a sense of clear desire, but usually out of confusion and a hazy conviction that the phone they're purchasing will do right by them. I've personally "upgraded" my phone after boldy reading everything I could and fiddling with the device in the store... yet, taking for granted certain features would be present, only to find that these features are being SOLD back to me, feature by feature... or not available at all alongside the new capabilities of the hardware. ALSO, let's not forget that Stan Sigman, previous CEO of Cingular, did note that Apple already has new iPhones in queue that take things up a notch (although he said this somewhat defensively, and I could almost imagine the black ninja moving in the shadows to take him out).

    I'll be trying out a Blackberry Curve, an iPhone, and purhaps a Motorola Q in the next month. I'm perfectly happy with my iTunes ecosystem and existing iPod accessories however, so the gravitational pull towards iPhone doesn't really seem possible to resist. I just want less complexity and solid useable features that only get added to in the future. Is that too much to ask?

    Will Apple have trouble with other networks? Perhaps. I'm sure there is a roadmap, and 2008 will show whether Apple has the versatility to garner a similar percentage of the cellphone market, as they have the personal computer market.

    I'm still a little angry that most phone manufacturers have done NOTHING to demonstrate use cases for their multitude of phones (which might be the reason), and how well they do in performing day-to-day tasks and advertised features. From the demos I've seen by third parties, it seems that these things are usually NOT done for good reason. Eeriely, Apple will be one of, if not THE only phones, customers will be able to fully test the features of in every store that sells it.

  46. Alex


    A month of two before the PS3 was released the worlds media was falling over itself trumpeting that it would be a crazy success. (At least the bits of it I read did.) It failed. Same with the wonder of the PSP. The Nintendo DS and Wii are, on the other hand, big successes, despite the fact that the media did their level best to kill them at birth by belittling their graphics capabilities and saying things like "the fun factor may well be overrated." The "fun factor" is the whole point of a game console. The public voted.

    Now the media is (to my eye) trying to kill off the iPhone, using the same techniques. Its not surprising. Nokia, Sony-Ericsson and Motorola buy a lot of ads and have some heavy muscle. The problem is, of course, that the media is making the same mistake as it made with Nintendo vs Sony. Once a consumer encounters a product which actually *works* and works properly, no consumer ever goes back to the old paradigm.

  47. jubtastic1


    The UI is stupidly better than any existing phone.

    4/8GB is not going to contain my entire music library, but then neither does my current 6GB iPod mini, luckily(?) it turns out that around 88% of released music is crap to average, so the 12% that I've marked up 4 stars or better will fit just fine.

    OS X means great stability and easy feature additions, especially considering that within 3 weeks these will be hacked to open the doors to any third party apps/libraries I need.

    Only issue with this phone is going to be battery life, and to be honest a day will be long enough as most of them will be docked as soon as the user gets home anyway.

    If it all goes wrong and these things end up in a bargain bin I'll buy five so that I'm good for the foreseeable future, because I can't see the rest of the industry fixing their phones unless this succeeds.

  48. Blain Hamon

    If we're all here talking about it...

    Then it's already won. Seriously, the key to success is recognition, asking for it by name. We've got people in countries where it won't be released for months, maybe even over a year from now, talking about it.

    When's the last time you've seen any phone, mobile or not, with this much attention?

  49. Anthony

    Touchscreen phones

    Hey guys, you do realise that the Asia-Pacific region has had touchscreen 3G phones for literally years now? I remember having a Symbian Motorola back in the early 00's that had about four buttons on the face, and the rest was a gorgeous LCD. Problem was, you couldn't use it walking, in a car or any time that you had vibration and needed some sort of tactile feedback. I've got a Samsung 3G flip now.

    The iPhone is not special beyond how nice it looks. Which is about par for the course when we're discussing Apple. Yes, it's pretty. Yes, the UI looks nice. No, it would never be worth the price or being tied to a dying (GSM+EDGE? Please!) network for at least 2 years.

    Not to mention you can't change the battery. Has someone told El Steve-o that mobile phones are not, in fact, iPods? Because while people might countenance buying a new mp3 player when the old one dies, they sure as hell are not going to buy another contract because their phone does.

  50. Kevin Smith

    Locked in?

    "Apple will still be faced with the other issue that does put people off iPods and that's locking them into iTunes and making them re-convert their entire library - er, no thanks."

    The only people who will have to "convert their entire library" are those people who got "locked" in to PlaysForSure WMA by Microsoft using a proprietary format.

    If, like any sensible person would have avoided buying crippled downloads and ripped your music as MP3 or even AAC, which contrary to popular belief isn't an Apple proprietary format at all, but an MPEG standard developed by Dolby, Nokia, Sony et al, had you done that then you wouldn't have a problem.

    If you're looking for someone to blame look at the record companies for their stupid rules and Microsoft for developing and then abandoning the PlaysForSure DRM format and making the default settings in WMP to rip to WMA.

  51. James Anderson

    Is it Just Me?

    In reply to "James Picket". No.

    I want a phone to make phone calls with -- full stop.

    I still have a fully functioning P800 hanging around in a drawer somewhere. Very nice little PDA, nice user itnterface, synched with outlook on the PC absolutly nothing wrong with it, except, I only used it to make phone calls.

    Eventually I got fed up lugging it around and went back to a low end Nokia although I do resent paying for a camera, bluetooth, radio reciever etc. which I know I will never use , my next phone will probably be the cheapest Motorola purely because it is just a phone.

    Incidently I do own an iPod but I see no point in having an iPod whith a phone dangling of the end, any more than I would want a toaster attachment on my blender.

  52. Greg

    Why is it so "revolutionary"?


    The only thing I ever hear about the iPhone is how amazing and revolutionary it is. How "it's the future of mobile devices" and how no-one's ever done it before.

    Errrr.....MDA, anyone? I had an MDA III for years, with a whacking great SD card slapped in the top, and I've so far found it very hard to find something the iPhone can do that it couldn't.

    And now I have an Ameo, which has internal GPS, a chucking-great internal hard drive, gorgeous screen, etc. True, it's neither as small or as aesthetically pleasing as the iPod, but it's still quite capable of proving the iPhone to be nothing like revolutionary. When T-Mobile and O2 have had the MDA/XDA series for years, just how amazing and revolutionary can the iPhone be - especially given its inferior hardware specs and high price tag?

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only one reason not to buy


  54. Sean Aaron

    I almost wish I hadn't upgraded my 3 mobile

    to a Nokia 6288, but I imagine in 18 months if this thing is a success I'll be able to upgrade yet again and get one of these (or 3 will have gone bust by then).

    I cannot see how this phone will fail after the adverts. If the UI is like the ads, people will go mad for this, especially in the gadget-crazy UK.

    In the meantime I'm enjoying the fact that I finally have a mobile that I can sync with my iBook and really liking bluetooth file transfer and a decent camera in one device. Screen resolution could be better, but I'm happy with the series 40 UI. The upgrade was free. Would I pay £100+ for a iPhone upgrade? Definitely!

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two percent?

    So since apple represents like 2% of the world market that's your big selling point!? (axel mel)

    Are you really falling for the 2% myth? You need to look at a figure for people who use their machines as computers, not as terminals or form-filling bots. Apple's percentage of non-terminal use is far greater than 2%.

    Did 2% stop the march of the iPod?

    I'm an unashamed Apple fanboi. We have 12-years-old Apple computers here at work still functioning. When I turn up for work on a Monday (or any other day) I don't want to have to wonder whether my computer (aka income generator) is going to work. I might think differently if I'd been brought up with Microsoft but from this end I'm glad I wasn't!

    The iPhone? I want one and may get one if the price is right.

  56. Stuart Morrison

    re: Funny? Funnier? Funniest?

    "In all seriousness a good UI is a nice thing to have but easy enough to reproduce for the big boys..."

    Yup, that was a deliberately flippant exaggeration intended to suggest a couple of points..

    1) While everyone at some level appreciates a good UI on their devices and hates a truely awful UI for a lot of people 'good enough' is good enough. Joe-average will put up with an average UI if the product has some other selling point for them - be that price, coloured clip-on covers, free Johhny Depp wallpaper or whatever.

    2) Elements of good UI design are commonly copied/ripped-off and I would expect at least some of the elements of the iPhone UI to start to appear in competitor's products in one form or another if they prove to be a big hit for the iPhone. Creating a great UI is damn hard, copying bits of it is less so.

  57. Philip Edwards


    "4/8GB is not going to contain my entire music library, but then neither does my current 6GB iPod mini, luckily(?) it turns out that around 88% of released music is crap to average, so the 12% that I've marked up 4 stars or better will fit just fine."

    Are you saying that 88% of all music released is crap or that 88% of the music you own is crap? If so, I have a simple and cost-effective solution for you. Stop buying crap music.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    No, my ZX Spectrum is better than your C64.

    Oh I'm sorry, I thought we all still having the same argument.


  59. Leon Markham

    Convergence my hoop!

    Just to add my tuppence to this debate...

    To the guy who said "Many of its "innovations" are purely interface/GUI driven" - that's not a bad thing! Interface is the key and Apple are the masters of that - the iPod wasn't the first MP3 player by any stretch of the imagination, but they do get the customer experience right.

    As to "convergence" - this word should be banned from all presentations and discussions on technology anywhere.

    Convergence is meaningless to all but the geekiest of consumers - they want (or WE want) convenience and functionality. In my kitchen I have separate devices for heating water, bread, and everything else - this works for me and doesn't cause inconvenience. That's not to say that all "convergence" is bad - but it has to justify itself in terms of convenience and functionality - when I go on holiday I might go to an all inclusive "convergent" resort where a coloured wristband (or "single sign-on") gets me all I can eat or drink OR I might go to France where I have to intereact separately with each cafe, restaurant, petrol station and moody tobacconist.

    Now when we are comparing those two holidays we might discuss which is tackier, which is easier, which is cheaper - but we never usually give a flying **** about which is convergent...


  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No iPhone for me 'cause I hate Rogers. . .

    "It may be a mere typo to you, but this company has a monopoly on GSM service in Canada, so please don't upset them ;-)"

    Yeah -- and Ted can bite my shiny metal @ss! : )

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