CEOh-Snap! iPhone Can Has Momentum Says Microsoft's Ballmer

Microsoft CEO and current CES Keynoter Steve Ballmer, prior to the original iPhone 2G's launch, had quite a bit to say:

“You can get a Motorola Q for $99. [...] [Apple] will have the most expensive phone, by far, in the marketplace.” [...] “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.”

Flash forward 2 years, where Apple's $199 iPhone was the best selling smartphone -- and all around phone -- in the late-summer quarter, and the cost of unlocked Windows Mobile handsets like the Xperia X1a rocketed past the $800 price point, and what does everyone's favorite internet dance sensation have to say? According to the Financial Times (Registration annoyingly required, text via Ars Technica):

Ballmer conceded that Apple's iPhone (and RIM's BlackBerry) have "clear market momentum." Indeed, Windows Mobile has suffered in the face of strong competition from RIM and Apple.

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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! iPhone Can Has Momentum Says Microsoft's Ballmer


Bill had a little smugcerity which I also always enjoyed. I think his day-to-day presence will be missed by Microsoft, and Microsoft users.

All true. But you'll all change your opinions of Balmer after he wins the next season of Dancing with the Stars. He's going to break some hearts - I guarantee!

I never even heard of him until I started coming to this web site. So he's just a nobody as far as I'm concerned.

The phrase is "fast forward." Do a Google search on "flash forward" and look at the number of counts vs. "fast forward." Back in the dark ages before you were born, there were things called tape decks, and later, VCRs. There was a button called "fast forward," which made the tape go forward, but in a fast way. Then Generation-Pwn came and took every catchphrase and got it wrong. What does "flash forward" literally mean?

@Anon, Flash forward and fast forward are different in kind. Flash forward is the opposite of a flack back. The TV show LOST gives great examples of both flash backs (early seasons) and flash backs (later seasons).
Hope this helps!

You don't need to be an Apple fanboy to have seen (even then) that it was a pretty stupid statement with a high probability of being proven wrong.
I don't know the man but watching him on the web he strikes me as an annoying twit. He really makes me switch off.

Your quote is misleading. Here is the excerpt from the Ars Technica blog:
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance," said Ballmer. "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."
The $500 iphone didn't gain much market share in the global cell phone market of 1.3 billion.
Ballmer was right.