Skip to main content

Laura Ries' iPhone Prediction

Laura Ries is now on the record. She predicts that the iPhone will eventually flop after an initial surge:

I don't disagree with the prediction that initially Apple will sell quite a few iPhones. Steve Job's brilliant job with the PR and the media's love of convergence will make an iPhone a must have for some early adopters and elites.

But shortly after the launch the initial hype will wear off and Steve will move on to the next project at Apple. Then the iPhone will end up in the convergence scrap heap along with the ROKR, N-Gage, WebTv and many others.

Initially convergence products, like line extensions get attention and generate early sales. But long term they usually fail and always undermine the brand.
I've set an appointment on my calendar for July 2008 to assess Ries' prediction. Anyone want to go on record with a contrary prediction?


Brandon said…
I think the iPhone will succeed. It will succeed because it's a really good communication device. I don't think of it as a convergence device. The iPod has a bunch of stuff for contacts and games but it's not the focus of the product. Sure the iPhone will play music but at I predict it's a great phone. Frankly, the UI's on phone just plain suck. Bringing a better UI alone is going to be revolutionary.
rcauvin said…
Good to see you sticking your neck out and making a prediction. I see merit in both Ries' arguments and yours, so I'm not comfortable making a prediction at this point.
Unknown said…
Al & Laura are two of my favorite guiding lights in terms of messaging. Their books line my bookcase. While I completely agree with their general theme of 'convergence only works in clock radios', i think the iPhone is not a convergent device... it is a divergent device that is in a new category completely.

Rather than looking at it as a phone with features and a better interface look at it as a computer that has diverged. Previous devices like Palm were divergent of calculators & organisers (more features like adding a phone). Windows mobile devices were divergent of mobile phones (more features like adding an organiser). The iPhone is divergent from a computer (less features catered for on the go).

Looking at it from that point of view I think it will be a raging success. For now, I believe it is a smart move to keep iPods and iPhones as two separate products that may have overlapping features.

Popular posts from this blog

Why Spreadsheets Suck for Prioritizing

The Goal As a company executive, you want confidence that your product team (which includes all the people, from all departments, responsible for product success) has a sound basis for deciding which items are on the product roadmap. You also want confidence the team is prioritizing the items in a smart way. What Should We Prioritize? The items the team prioritizes could be features, user stories, epics, market problems, themes, or experiments. Melissa Perri  makes an excellent case for a " problem roadmap ", and, in general, I recommend focusing on the latter types of items. However, the topic of what types of items you should prioritize - and in what situations - is interesting and important but beyond the scope of this blog entry. A Sad but Familiar Story If there is significant controversy about priorities, then almost inevitably, a product manager or other member of the team decides to put together The Spreadsheet. I've done it. Some of the mos

Interaction Design: the Neglected Skill

Your product development organization has a big, gaping hole in it. (Be prepared to feel defensive as you continue reading.) One of the most important roles in product development is the role of interaction designer. An interaction designer designs how the users will interact with the product and conceptualize the tasks they perform. He decides whether, for example, the user interface will be command driven, object oriented (clicking on objects then specifying what to do with them), or wizard based. The interaction designer decides the individual steps in the use cases. Every company has one or more people that play the interaction designer role. Usually, those people have little or no expertise in interaction design. Sadly, they typically don't even realize how unqualified they are. Let's see who typically plays the role at companies. Engineer . An engineer is an expert on building what is designed. Yes, an engineer may know how to design the internal structure of the hardware

Is Customer Development Pseudoscience?

The “Science” of Lean Startup Lean startup practitioners embrace the scientific method, seeking the "truth" about what business model and strategy will lead to product success. We do so by: Formulating hypotheses Crafting and running experiments to test them Learning from the experiments Iteratively feeding our learnings back into revised hypotheses Sounds pretty scientific, at least in spirit, doesn't it? Yet this process actually neglects a key ingredient in the scientists' mode of operation. To identify what’s missing, let’s examine “customer development”. Customer Development Steve Blank is one of the pioneers of the lean startup movement. He introduced into the lean startup lexicon the term “customer development”. Customer development consists of sessions and interactions with customers to test hypotheses. For example, a product manager might interview a prospect, asking if she agrees with the product manager’s hypotheses about the problem