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.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?
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.