Should Apple pull the plug on the iPhone?

Last year, John Dvorak said:

These phones go in and out of style so fast that unless Apple has half a dozen variants in the pipeline, its phone, even if immediately successful, will be passé within 3 months.
There is no likelihood that Apple can be successful in a business this competitive. Even in the business where it is a clear pioneer, the personal computer, it had to compete with Microsoft and can only sustain a 5% market share.
And its survival in the computer business relies on good margins. Those margins cannot exist in the mobile handset business for more than 15 minutes.

According to Steve Ballmer:

Now we’ll get a chance to go through this again in phones and music players. 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.

Who’s having the last laugh now?

2 responses to “Should Apple pull the plug on the iPhone?

  1. Ballmer is easy to dismiss because I think he really resents Apple encroaching on what he considers to be “his” market. Dvorak is a different story. I respect is opinions. However, I do not think Apple will pull the iPhone after they have invested all this publicity and money into it. Plus, it is still very profitable.

    As for the question of whether it should be pulled, I wouldn’t. It has spurred lots of other phone manufacturers to make their own “me too” products, most modeled after the iPhone. Some are good, most aren’t. However, the iPhone is prompting other mobile phone makers to make better phones. Ultimately, that is good for the market and the consumer.

  2. of course they shouldn’t. That was Dvorak’s advice to Apple before they released it. We all see how that worked out.

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