The iPhone iDoubters iDoubted the iPod

The iPhone iDoubters iDoubted the iPod

The world has gone iPhone crazy (for those of you who weren’t aware, the snazzy new device from Apple goes on sale this Friday), with pre-release buzz unlike any other consumer electronic device in history. Some wags have even likened it to the Second Coming (“Rockwood”).

After months and months of media hype, the same gushing reporters now feel a need to dial it back a notch and offer contrary voices, like the New York Times did this past weekend.

What’s funny is how much the naysayers sound like thos who doubted the iPod several years ago. They said it was too expensive, that Apple was outside its core competency, that there was no market for it, and so on. Check out these actual quotes from the article in which I’ve substituted “iPod” for “iPhone” to see how much it sounds like 2001 all over again:

Industry analysts and executives offer mixed opinions about how much the [iPod] will shake up the [music player] business.

“[Apple] set the initial price very high, so it’ll likely do better once they lower the price, and align it with the value they offer,” said Mike Lanman, the chief marketing officer for [Rio].

Edward Snyder, an equity analyst with Charter Equity Research, said that many people would be turned off by the price; older customers who can afford it, he said, will not care about all the fancy features of the [iPod], while younger ones who are excited about the device will not like the cost. … Implementing a [music player] is absolutely more difficult than anything Apple’s done to date,” he said … “I don’t think Apple’s going to be a big player in this at all.”

That’s all the same sort of thing we heard in 2001. Don’t believe me. Here’s a sample from the friendliest audience possible at the time: Mac users. The media and industry analysts were even harsher.

Will I buy an iPhone? I’d certainly love a phone that does everything Apple promises the iPhone can do. But there are two questions: Will it do all that? And will it come down in price quickly?

Ah, technolust, my old foe! I know you well.

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