In a comment, my friend Brandon boldly disagreed with Ries and predicted that the iPhone will be a huge success. Now Seth Godin has joined the fray with his prediction:
My take is quite different. I think the iPhone is going to sell 2 million units in 2007 and more in 2008. There, I said it.Meanwhile, Laura Ries stands by her prediction that the iPhone will not be successful.
I respect the willingness of Laura, Brandon, and Seth to go on the record with their predictions. I don't yet have a prediction. I see the success of the iPhone hinging upon what Jack Trout and the elder Ries (Al Ries) call "the battle for the mind".
Is the iPhone really a convergence of product categories, or is it merely a convergence of technologies? Whether it is a convergence of product categories depends on how Apple will market it, and how consumers will eventually perceive it. If consumers perceive it as a phone with iPod functionality, then Laura Ries may be proved right. If consumers perceive it as an new kind of device and are able to assign it an entirely new category, then it could be an astounding success.