CEOh-Snap! Ballmer Says iPhone/Capacitive Touch Too Expensive! (That'll be $800 for the Xperia Please!)

We have to wonder if Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has some insidious plot to make his PR people pull their hair out, so they'll look just as Fester'ian as he himself. Or maybe he's just jealous of the love TiPb's been giving Palm's Roger McNamee lately? How else can you account for the glorious (for bloggers!) content he keeps spewing in our general direction?

What now? From the man who once said the iPhone would be the most expensive phone on the planet (guess he didn't see the Windows Mobile Xperia X1a going for $800...), now comes the following, courtesy of WMExperts:

"Windows Mobile 6.5 has touch on it. The way Apple does touch drives cost. [The] way they do it on the iPhone is not an inexpensive component. We’ll do it in a way that you can afford to do it on most phones."

Bu-bu-bu-but...! We thought WinPho was all about choice? Shouldn't manufacturers like HTC, who've made capacitive touch screen devices like the Android G1 (which is hardly that expensive!) have the choice to offer WinPho devices with capacitive touch?

So not only does Ballmer try to spin Microsoft's abject failure to deliver on capacitive touch 2 years after Apple (and months after Android and even BlackBerry) as a cost saving feature, but for extra bonus bluster, claims Apple is "driving cost" on the $199 iPhone?

Next time, stick to dancing...

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

CEOh-Snap! Ballmer Says iPhone/Capacitive Touch Too Expensive! (That'll be $800 for the Xperia Please!)


why doesn't Ballmer just get over himself! I am still appalled that he doesn't realize the iPhone is taking away from sales of WinMo/WinPho and start to adapt to the new smartphone environment instead of living in the past.
I love the iPhone and its my fav phone...but I like to see choice and competition in the market(i had WinMo and BB before iPhone) but Ballmer is completely blind to it...he is such an a$$ it makes me laugh.
iPhone 3.0>WinPho 6.5/7 FTW!!!

I thought Balmer's comment was BS, but so was your heading....bring up an unsubsidized phone in comparison to a subsidized iPhone is just stupid (integrity is always important when knocking someone for lack of it).

iPhone unsubsidized is $599 for 8GB, $699 for 16GB. Still cheaper than Xperia X1a. (Though, legitimately, not unlocked). However, Ballmer is fair game on that for saying the iPhone would be the most expensive phone on the market, which it clearly isn't...

I say we demote Ballmer (like Cheney) from pundit status and just file their blathering into the appropriate waste bin.

That's all good and well, if you had said that in your article, but what said was "claims Apple is “driving cost” on the $199 iPhone?" and ""That’ll be $800 for the Xperia Please!"
As I said, his statement was BS, but you were disingenuous in your own statements.

Ballmer's comment about the price was a little ridiculous as the iPhone is definitely not more expensive than any other phone on the market. I love my iPhone to death, but I think it may come close when you add up all the additional charges over the course of a year. But for the actual phone, definitely not more expensive.
Here's a video a found about the battle between the Palm Pre and the iPhone.

Of course the Experia has a much nicer (if resistive) screen than the iPhone. And the iPhone in the U.S. costs $499 unsubsidized but still locked to AT&T whereas the Experia is unlocked. But yeah, WinMo phones (and PDAs) have always been expensive IMO and I think the iPhone is fairly priced for what you get (esp. when the original was $399 for 8GB in late 2007).

iPhone cost 550 dollars here unlocked and unsubsidised from vodafone nz while windows mobile phone normally cost over 600 or 700. Microsoft is getting more and more stupid now. Still no capacitive screen on windows 6.5 or 7? He should go to he'll.

Even though I loved windows mobile so much. But now, iPhone really make me switch, and never wanna go back unless there is capacitive screen.