Anyone remember Digg? That place where one could read and rank user submitted news before reddit? Well, apparently they’re still around, and this week they’ve set the wayback machine to 2007, rounding up some notable thoughts about the diminutive device that would forever change the face of mobile computing—the original iPhone.
Remember that the smartphones were very different back then. In North America BlackBerry was the predominant power user’s device, while Nokia had a commanding lead of the market worldwide. It was against this backdrop that Apple slowly but surely assimilated smartphone design into the slabs of mostly screen that we use today.
This Steve Ballmer quote provides a fairly accurate indication of the status quo at the time of the iPhone’s release:
“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.”
As of Q2 2015, Windows Phone market share is a solid 2.6% ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
If Ballmer was wrong about the iPhone’s success, there were others who were just plain clueless about its abilties—like David Platt, whoever he is:
I have three specific reasons why the iPhone’s design will cause it to crash in flames the way Apple’s late and unlamented Newton did, only much more loudly and publicly because of all the hype it’s gotten: First, the iPhone ignores the main reasons that the iPod succeeded: simplicity and ease of use… Second, the iPhone crams too many functions into a single box… Third, users will detest the touch screen interface due to its lack of tactile feedback.
Too many functions…?
The same summer that the iPhone went on sale I was using a Nokia E61i, on which was installed a Skype-compatible app, utilities for grabbing screens and exporting SMS, even a Gameboy emulator. The reason I never fell under iPhone’s spell is because it was always behind on the technology I was already using.
Yet for those who saw the future, the disruptive power of the iPhone was quite clear. Tomi Ahonen, himself a former Nokia exec, pretty much nails it:
I am certain that the mobile telecoms world will count its time in two Eras. The Era BI: time Before the iPhone, and the ERA AI: time After the iPhone.
You can check out some more iPhone reactions, plus see the first-ever television ad for it, at the link directly below.